Cinderella in Cannes (Third and Final Cycle)

IMG_5326 (1)

Night views of Cannes from the after party

(Continued from Cinderella in Cannes Part 2) Having slept but a few hours, I boarded a shuttle bus to the Nice airport. On the flight back to NYC I was seated next to an adorable couple. I discreetly admired their holding hands and obvious affection for each other. They were having the best time and eventually I got drawn into their mischief. Norwegian Air was fantastic and had a touchscreen at each seat where you order food and drinks and the attendants bring it to you. My row-mates were enjoying keeping a tab going and sending wine to my seat as well. I don’t know if I have ever laughed so long and hard on a flight and I’m sure we were innocuously absurd to the other passengers. My new friends kept trying to hook me up with the guy in the seat ahead of me, well, you can only imagine the giggles and snorts that were produced.


A terrible pic of my adorable companions on the flight home

We talked about our love for dancing, they told me about a gay club in Stockholm they had just visited. As we all deal with the tragedy in Orlando I think of them and their zest for life and their willingness to display their affection publicly and share that with me on this transatlantic flight. As we were getting ready for touchdown in NYC, my new friends, with their matching fancy, noise-cancelling headphones plopped a pair on my head saying “Oh, this is for you! You HAVE to listen to this as we fly into NYC.” It was Adele’s “When We Were Young”.

Everybody loves the things you do
From the way you talk to the way you move
Everybody here is watching you
Cause you feel like home
You’re like a dream come true
You look like a movie
You sound like a song
My God, this reminds me
Of when we were young
Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

Coincidentally my mom had just shown me a beautiful recording of Adele singing this song live in NYC and I was touched watching her breakdown in tears at the end because her supportive fans gave her a standing ovation.

Now tears started streaming down my cheeks, as the sun set with an orange glow, and as the lovely gay men were singing the lyrics in the seats next to me. The song finished EXACTLY as the wheels touched down on the tarmac. It is an understatement to say it was the perfect ending of a magical trip…“It was just like a movie, it was just like a song.”


Flying into NYC listening to When We Were Young

This would be a great place to say THE END, but it doesn’t end there. I left the plane in a teary daze, and breezed through border control and customs.

My girlfriend, Joan, who I adore and share many delights, insisted that she and her husband were going to drive 3 hours from the Berkshires to pick me up at the airport and bring me home. She knew that I was stressed about being on time to catch the last train, so they wanted to take that stress off my mind and treat me like a fairytale Princess.

So walking out of the airport with Adele’s song on my mind and in my heart, there was my best friend with her open arms to welcome me home. I got to share my trip with them on the long drive and Peter had made dinner for us to eat in the car, so I munched on tuna and fruit salad, and re-lived the last days’ events with my favorite people.

It was the perfect finish of a flawless trip that started with an Adele song (see the First Cycle) and ended with one. What a gift, I will be forever grateful for the friends, family and new acquaintances that cross my path. “Cause you feel like home. You’re like a dream come true.

Cinderella in Cannes (Second Cycle)

(Continuing along to France…) The drive to Cannes was long but Paul was a super (and fast!) driver. The first night we spent on an overnight ferry (see Cinderella in Cannes Part One) and I fell asleep with a distinctly strong smell of fish in my nostrils. We ended up pulling into Antibes, France, just a few miles northeast of Cannes at 10pm. I went out searching for a sight of the beach and gave up after meandering around in the dark for 20 minutes, bought some pizza at a food truck, and headed for bed.

The next day we met up with the cast and film crew of American Honey that were able to make it to the festival. It was a joyous reunion catching up with them and feeling the excitement of being together for this momentous event. My eyes and heart kept being drawn toward the blue turquoise sea dotted with white yachts. SO BEAUTIFUL, I couldn’t wait to get my toes in the sand. The beach was taken up with festival tents and garb and there were few places the public could even be near the beach.


After getting our badges and tickets, we drove up to an old, fading Russian palace where a bunch of the production crew were sharing rooms to keep our costs down. The view was to die for and the beauty of marble walls and stained glass enthralling even if we did have to climb 10 flights of stairs in the midst of peeling paint.

That evening we met outside of a pub to enjoy each other’s company before the big Premier and Red Carpet event the next day. Everyone was abuzz with excitement. I was still fighting the time change so after 3 hours, when standing on the sidewalk started to get painful I caught an Uber back to the apartment for some much-needed sleep.

The big day came and we all put on our finery and left for the Palais de Cannes. I still marvel that little ol’ me attended such an exclusive event. The security was tight tight tight and even though we had tickets and wanted to wait for the cast to arrive and walk the red carpet with them, guards shooed us inside to watch their arrival via the huge screen. I smiled as the young street-cast actors that I worked with, loved, humored and nursed last summer were lauded by fans and flashes of cameras. I was so proud of them. They danced on the Red Carpet then were ushered down the aisle amidst standing ovations to sit a few rows in front of me. Shia stopped in the aisle and kissed me on the cheek and I felt like a princess and at that moment knew my daughters were right, I couldn’t miss this experience.

Then it was time to watch the film. It was beautiful re-living the events of last summer on a road-trip that I thought we would never survive. The stress of it was transformed into a story of hardships endured but where love triumphs. The sound track was incredible and brought back so many memories of dancing in parking lots and singing in the van.

After the premier we were regaled at a small party with drinks, toasts, hors-d’oeuvres, and dancing. Then we walked to the waterfront for the big party held in a tent right on the beach. Finally I had my feet in sand and yet the guards would not let me any further than a foot away from the boardwalk. No midnight dip in the Riviera for me!

We danced, hugged, and celebrated, ate precious dipped ice cream bars in genuine gold leaf until 2am when the party was ended and we were escorted to the street. Not ready to stop yet, we walked to an outdoor cafe that was still serving pizza. At 4am Cinderella was turning into a pumpkin and knowing I had to pack and catch a flight in a few hours, I said my good-byes and dashed to catch a ride back to the Russian Palace. (to be continued…)


Cinderella in Cannes (First Cycle)


Cannes, France

First off let’s get the pronunciation of Cannes right. People here on the east coast  of the USA say CAHnnes, in a hoity-toity way. One friend corrected me when I said CANnes, France. So I looked it up and lo-and-behold my high school french didn’t fail me, it IS “CAN” rhymes with fan.

The reason to get the pronunciation correct is that the film I worked production on last summer, American Honey (see my post…A Little Renaissance Renewal) was accepted into the prestigious International Film Festival and premiered in Cannes on May 12th. I was invited to go and offered a ticket but I would have to find flights and accommodations for myself. All this seemed overwhelming to plan in a few weeks and I didn’t think about it too seriously until my daughters all said, “YOU HAVE TO GO! This is a once in a lifetime experience!”

Once I decided they were right, the plans fell into place. I used airline miles to get a free flight to London and decided to go to Stratford-upon-Avon for a day and see Shakespeare’s town. A friend on the production crew of the film was driving from northern England to Cannes and graciously agreed to have me tag along. Thus the plot was laid for a great whirlwind of a trip.


The Red Carpet

As for Red Carpet attire, I had no time, or desire, to buy a fancy gown that I would only wear once, so my sister, the stylish one, suggested I go with a simple black dress, which I happened to have bagged in my attic. Standing in as my Fairy Godmother, she had me try on her closet collection of amazing shoes, and I chose the perfect pair, borrowed a belt and clutch, gelled my nails, bought a pair of bead earrings and put my hair up with some beautiful jeweled pins from my daughter. Cinderella transformed on a low budget.

Everything worked out with such finesse that each moment was full of magic. Arriving at the London airport I waited a few minutes for a car to take me to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. In the car, excited but exhausted, the driver asked if I would like some music and I said “sure!” If these blog posts could have a soundtrack I would have Adele’s Hello starting now… Soon I was humming along to the very appropriate lyrics welcoming me to England…

Hello, it’s me, I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…

I was dropped at the darling Adelphi Guest House that I found through my Rick Steves book and was met by the charming host, Simon, and provided tea and cake. Sensitive to my bleary, jet-lagged state, he sat with me and oriented me to the town with a map. I could walk right down the street and be in the thick of Shakespeare-land. It had been a long time since I had slept but was determined to stay awake and explore.


Royal Shakespeare Company

I went straight to the Royal Shakespeare Company, bought a cheap ticket to see Cymbeline that evening, enjoyed a quick stroll along the river, then dinner at the charming old Garrick Inn. I decided against the “smashed peas” with my fish and chips but a friend had recommended I try the sticky toffee pudding with custard, a delicious, concoction of yummy sweetness. I chatted with a nice couple from Minnesota at a table next to mine. They were walking the Cornwall Coast about 9 miles a day and staying at different inns each night. I might need to put that on my dream travel list?


River Avon

Cymbeline was terrific even though I was SO jetlagged I found it difficult to keep from nodding off and had to pinch myself and do ankle lifts, then resorted to caffeine at intermission. That same couple from dinner was seated in my row and I also visited with some ladies next to me from Yorkshire that come to Stratford to see plays every year. The play needed cutting (over 3 hours long) but it was modern and hip, with gender swapping (Cymbeline was a female King, and the Queen, her husband, a male), which worked really well. A delightful evening of theater.


My cute guest house

I stumbled my way back to the guest house, so tired that I must have looked drunk, fell into bed and then was wide awake, probably all that caffeine. But I slept eventually and awoke to a lovely breakfast served in the dining room.

This was my day to fully explore the town where Shakespeare lived, courted, and died. Yes, it’s touristy, but I now have a visual of the area, his house, the river, the church. I toured his birthplace first, so interesting with beautiful gardens where bad actors were doing scenes from his plays. But the house was wonderfully restored and so delightful to see where Shakespeare slept, made gloves and got into mischief. I walked my toes off, getting blisters, and enjoying even the touristy side of things. Everywhere you look there’s a Shakespeare quote. I sipped tea and had a scone in a most gorgeous garden at Hall’s Croft (Shakespeare’s daughter’s house) and had a Titania quote on my cup…”Feed him with apricots and dewberries, with purple grapes, green figs and mulberries” ( Midsummer3.1)


Hall’s Croft garden

It was when I got to the church that I really “felt” Shakespeare the most. Trinity Church is where he was baptized, married and buried. It was holy somehow and I slowed down and really listened, sat and meditated on history and took time to breathe in the experience of being in a place where Shakespeare walked, talked and prayed? It struck me that he returned to his roots after finding fame in London, and went “home.” Do we all long for that return and feel the pull of our ancestors and the familiarity of places and moments lived previously?

From the church I walked out to Anne Hathaway’s cottage imagining Shakespeare walking there himself to court his future wife. The cottage is gorgeous with thick thatched roof and gardens to explore. I stopped at a pub on my way back and had a terrible salad that I waited 45 minutes for but at least I was outside enjoying the sunshine and the dogs that were in attendance.


Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

I strolled back to the guest house to pick up my suitcase and wait for Paul to pick me up for our drive to the overnight ferry out of Portsmouth. I was able to see everything I had hoped to see and now was ready for the next adventure. Stay tuned as I meander toward France, Red Carpets, designer dresses, and Russian palaces!

New eyes on a new path…

IMG_4678Tyringham, MA. I went exploring, seeking a new trail, and racing ahead of the snow that was forecast and to my delight was rewarded with new inspiration. My current theory is that hiking the same paths frequently puts me into autopilot-mode, rather like repeating the same workout routine, weights, treadmill, stretches, my muscles can plateau. My eye muscles need changing it up too Continue reading

brown, barren, baron?

I went for a quick hike in New Marlborough, MA last week. I was looking for Dry Hill Trail, one that I failed to find last year because of a snowstorm. This year the snow has held off and the trails are covered in only a blanket of dry leaves, but it was still a challenge to find. In the process of failed turns and roads that lead to infinity I looked to my left and saw this view…

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

Stone Manor, New Marlborough, MA on the way to the trail

It never ceases to amaze me that the Berkshires are filled with beautiful castles Continue reading

The House that Cap Built

The street where I live

The street where I live

After a hectic summer, I have moved all of my belongings from Seattle, Washington to a small town in Massachusetts. I grew up in the country but I have never lived IN a small town. Here in Lenox I can walk to the dry cleaners, the market, the library, the post office, restaurants, bars, get a great latte and giggle with a friend in a fabulous bookstore. Small town life suits me. Continue reading

A little renaissance renewal…


Making friends with the Muskogee police that are dealing with the security on the film shoot.

I’m off on location for film shoot. I’m hanging out with a film crew and young people who have never acted before and who have lived through tougher times than I will ever know. There are moments that I think I won’t make it through the 7 weeks. But here I am one week in and still alive and finding positives in weary days. Continue reading




I’m heading off again for another 8 weeks on the road. This time it’s a bit different in that I have been hired to accompany a group of young adults that are acting in a feature film. We will be traveling to 5 central US states. When the 18-23 year olds are not acting, I will be taking them on excursions and showing them some of this great country I love. I am also there to help them process their emotional responses to the film work they will be doing. Pretty exciting stuff! Continue reading

Perfect Blonde Storm

Snowed-in, Massachusetts

Snowed-in, Massachusetts

OK, so I was just writing and realized for the first time that K9 actually comes from the word CANINE. Sometimes I’m so dense! I am a very intelligent woman but there’s a mix in me that would match a country song like the Perfect Storm. As another Berkshire blizzard rages outside my windows I have the  Brad Paisley song on repeat.

If she was a drink she’d be a single-barrelled bourbon on ice

Smooth with a kick, a chill and a burn, all at the same time

She’s Sunday drive meets high-speed chase

She ain’t just a song she’s the whole mix tape

She’s so complicated that’s the way God made her

Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane

And she destroys me in that t-shirt and I love her so much it hurts

I never meant to fall like this she don’t just rain she pours

That girl right there’s the perfect storm

I know how to make her laugh or blush, or mad at me

But that’s OK there ain’t no one more beautiful angry

And she loves just as deep as she goes when she’s down

The highs match the lows can’t have one without the other

And I love her just the way God made her

     Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane

She’s the girl of a lifetime a guy like me spends his whole life

Looking for, that girl right there’s the perfect storm

I think I could add a verse or two… She’s smart with a dumb-blonde side. It’s taken me awhile to accept that this is a good thing, that this specimen of femininity is not predictable and perfect… but straight and narrow with a side of curves. I’ve always wanted to be all things to all people but it makes for a really unhealthy way to walk through life. So I’m working on enjoying the “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane” part of my personality, the angel and demon, the “Sunday drive meets high-speed chase” that makes life interesting. And I’m having success! I like being complicated and unpredictable, able to surprise and follow impulses…the girl that willingly has the instincts of a fool. 

Well anyway, Brad Paisley has me figured out and I’m grateful to know on this snowy day that maybe there are some people out there that can enjoy the puzzling way God made me. At least I hope it’s more than a nice song or maybe it’s time to write my own…

She’s smart with a dumb-blonde side.

Straight and narrow, with a side of curves

The girl that willingly has the instincts of a fool.  (Love, Lori)

Fowl play in foul weather…

I took a few very chilly walks this week…brrr…but always worth it. The first was on a rail trail where I strolled from Massachusetts into Connecticut and got obsessed with taking photos of these beautiful barns.

Ducks have been on my mind as I read Eckhart Tolle’s description about how they are able to squabble and squawk at each other, then turn, flap their wings a few times and swim elegantly away without ruffled feathers. He recommends that we do this too. Let the emotions roll over you and then flap your wings, throw them off and get back to the business of living in the now. He does not advise reliving, revamping, or re-saying what it is you should, could, or would have said or done, but just let it go. On my walks there was a plethora of ducks to illustrate his point.

I took a sojourn to Stanley Park in Westfield, MA. It must be a lovely park when it’s not zero degrees. They have a special bronze duck, named Ozzie, on a little island in the middle of a pond. A few years back the real Ozzie was killed by a teenage boy stomping him to death. The town kids brought in their pennies to fund a campaign for a memorial for the murdered Ozzie.

As I came up the hill there arose a cacophony of squawks and duck calls (they sounded eerily like the ones my mother would practice for duck hunting) that stopped me in my tracks. The pond was FILLED with beautiful, iridescent male and female ducks and a white swan.

Let me explain my hesitation…I have been snapped at by nasty geese and chased by trumpet swans. A few years ago, unbeknownst to me, I walked near a couple of nesting swans and let me tell you, they are huge, beautiful and terrifying when they are mad. Wings out and slapping the water, with necks that stretch straight at you, they pursued me as I ran away as fast as I could. I will always remember that narrow escape with nervous laughter. So as soon as I heard the din and cackle of fowl noises my fight or flight response kicked in and I thought twice about going forward.

Thankfully there was only one swan and she/he didn’t seem to be nesting and the whole pond was welcoming me with open, clacking beaks fully expecting a handout. As I forged ahead, they calmed down and decided to leave me be since I did not come bearing gifts like the Magi. I was just another shepherd coming to gaze at the scene without even the poorest offering. I saw Ozzie’s burial island with many ducks perched around him keeping him company. I had a Lord-of-the-Flies moment of horror at the idea of a gang of boys taunting and killing an innocent duck. I am glad that they have honored the outpouring of rage against a senseless act of unkindness.

Stanley Park, MA

Stanley Park, MA

The collected pennies for Ozzie brings to mind the play I am in at the moment where I perform the role of a mother of a coma patient. Every time my character arrives at the critical care facility to visit her daughter, I place a head’s up penny on the floor by the bed to bring good luck into the room. Pennies have been a simple reminder of good fortune for a long time. I hear that we may do away with them altogether as they are not worth enough in our currency to bother printing them. But for the many reminders of simple, priceless good will, I hope they stick around.

Two songs came to the forefront this week. I wish I had the DJ skill to mash them together…I think it might come out quite magical.

The duck was dancing by the water, quack, quack, quack                                                                                The rhythm made him think he oughta quack, quack                                                                                        He was dancing to the samba, the samba, the samba                                                                                       Oh, goose, oh.

This little penny is to wish on                                                                                                                              And make your wishes come true                                                                                                                         This little penny is to dream on                                                                                                                       Dream of all you can do

The goose was gaining passing by, honk, honk, honk                                                                                        He stopped and gave the dance a try, honk, honk                                                                                              He was dancing to the samba                                                                                                                                The new thing.

This little penny is a dancing penny                                                                                                                      See how it glitters and it glows                                                                                                                            Bright as a whistle, light as a thistle                                                                                                                 Quick, quick as a wink up on it’s twinkling toes

Then a lovely swan swam by, in all her majesty, and she loosened up.                                                 Hoochy-coochy-coo did that swan.                                                                                                                       She joined the duck and goose and did the samba too.                                                                                    You should have seen the kind of samba she could do.

This little penny is to laugh on                                                                                                                               To see that tears never fall

They did the samba so long, they all fell right in the water.                                                                           While they were singing away,                                                                                                                           quack quack quack, quack quack quack

This little penny is the last little penny                                                                                                            Most important of all, for this penny is to love on                                                                                           And where love is, heaven is there                                                                                                                          So with just five pennies, if they’re these five pennies                                                                                     You’ll be a millionaire (Danny Kaye- “5 Little Pennies” (Karrin Allyson- “O Pato”)