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April 2008

It's official...

By Joy A. Kennelly

I have bronchitis according to my doc, or else a peculiar case of pneumonia. Now that I know what it is I feel better. She said it probably wasn't Valley Fever because I was hacking up a lung and feeling very weak even before going to AZ.

However, if the antibiotics don't kick this then we'll see what else we can find. OY! At least I know for now though. Makes me feel good to know it's not allergies and there's a cure in sight. I hope...:)

My Bible Study group are praying hard for me which might explain why I felt a little stronger today. Ever since Friday night I've been so whipped it's all I could do to get out of bed and function. So nice to have my brain back too. Got to have my energy for tomorrow night's big mixer and Sunday afternoon's event too!

Lots of good stuff rolling along. I'll share more later, but know it's all good.

Hope you're having a good one. Try to pop by my event even if just for a bit. We think we're going to have a real fun crowd because Sharkeez has invited their crowd and we've invited a ton of people too.

Take care of yourself!

Life is so short - please tell people you love them today

By Joy A. Kennelly

I haven't had much time to write because of everything that is going on, plus, although I had a great time at the Blues Traveler concert at Hollywood Park this past Friday, I'm so allergic to cigarette smoke I've been sick ever since because it's so prolific being an outdoor venue and all.

I'm beginning to wonder if I don't have bronchitis because I am so weak and tired all the time. Fortunately, I'm going to the doctors soon. I can't take the constant coughing, and sleeping any more! GoChi Juice is good, but this is kicking my butt! Enough already.

That said, just received very sad news this morning which is why I'm writing. Do you all remember my friend Esther's show that I wrote about and her winning an award for her short  webseries she created with her friend Jeana called Me, Myself and Us TV?

Well, she just wrote me this morning to say that her friend Jeana has died. No specifics so I don't know anything other than a young woman in her thirties is dead. How tragic. How wrong. My heart goes out to Esther because they were best friends. Jeana was so happy go lucky and full of life when I met her. It's really shocking to hear this news.

Really makes you put life in perspective doesn't it? If any of you are able to contribute to the needs on the following list, please help. I'm sure Esther would greatly appreciate your support in this way.

Here is Esther's List (in her own words.)  Peace and Blessings.

1. A lovely beautiful space, possibly with flowers already surrounding the area in Los Angeles to host a memorial for Jeana. A yard, a house, room to hold at least 100 people.   May 15, 16, or 17th.
2.  Some kind of template of a memorial program.  You know how I am, I could pull something together yet maybe someone has something on hand to help me move faster.
3.  Any miles to donate, I've got a Continental account and a Virgin Airline account.  This is not only for myself but to also help at least one person in Jeana's family in Indiana have a way to get to Los Angeles and help with what has been left behind.
4. Leads to people who may want to timeshare my West Hollywood furnished studio apartment for 6 months at a time. Starting June 1st. Someone who is not necessarily a permanent resident of Los Angeles, yet travels for work in Los Angeles on a regular basis and would find comfort to have a simple space to rest, cook and take care of their business.  I am extremely flexible in this area and can work something out. Maybe someone is in town only 2 weeks out of the month consistently. 
5.  Leads to people who may possibly be looking for a 2002 jeep liberty - 70,000 miles - stick shift. The car is in Los Angeles.  I am selling at $7,500.   These same people would be willing to look at the jeep starting May 2 yet the car is not available until May 19.  In addition, the $7,500 pays off the car loan, so they would need to come with me to my bank to pay and receive the title to the car on May 15, 16 or 19th.
All of the above have been stressing me out at this time.  A lot of financials had been stressing Jeana out yet she never asked for the help that she needed.  I will never not ask for help when I need it and today I need it.   

I am waiting for the miracle.
Love you.
Thank you,
esther (dot) friedman (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

If you, or someone you know, is at all able to help Esther as she prepares this memorial service and move to NY, please contact her directly.

Thank you.

GoChi Happy Hour at Sharkeez MB!

Go_chi_promo_at_sharkeez_mb_3This is my latest event. Isn't this the cutest invite? Thank you Sharkeez! Hope you'll consider joining us! We're inviting lots of people and you're all welcome.

Great networking and schmoozing. Should be an interesting mix to say the least.

GoChi Juice helps people  have more energy, and oh so many other good health benefits you'll just have to come take a shot and see for yourself! Scientifically proven to give you 19 health benefits!


People have said so many of their health issues have been helped by drinking GoChi Juice because it supports your immune system.

Drinking it daily has helped my sleeping issues, energy levels, and so many other health issues which is why I'm sharing this with everyone now! I love that I just drink to my good health! Cheers everyone!:)

Tonight's Free Life International meeting was great too in case you checked out our other upcoming events on our Goji Health and Abundance group on Meetup. (Free Life is the parent company of GoChi Juice.) We're planning to hold a big company-wide Free LIfe International meeting in L.A. soon so keep your eyes peeled. Any day now!

If you want to learn more about GoChi Juice and Free Life International, or want to purchase it to experience the GoChi effect for yourself (Only 14 days to better health!), go to my website:

Love to share the good news of GoChi with you in person too! Come to our event!

Oh, and if you're curious about the latest with my PR business, go to: - lots of good stuff going on there too! Can't talk about a lot of it until it's nailed down, but this will get your appetite piqued.

Enjoy the read!

God is good.

All the time. God is good. Did your Presbyterian church ever say that? I love that saying. Today it's so true! God is an awesome God is all I have to say.

More later, but right now The Riches is on. I would have written more sooner, but cable's been out for the past bunch of days. Kind of nice with no internet access - made me actually make phone calls!:)

Okay, it's back on.

Have a good one!

If you're interested in an update of my weekend...

By Joy A. Kennelly

and the latest with my clients, please go to: (or just search for Goji on and visit my professional blog: where I highlight Charles Zigman's success with his book series entitled World's Coolest Movie Star: The Complete 95 Films (and Legend)of Jean Gabin: Volumes One and Two.

I've just spent hours updating both sites and they will help explain the latest and the greatest. I don't want to take too much attention away from Haiti right now (check out the great comment I received from someone who actually lives and works there on my last blog post! The power of the internet!), but did want to bring people up-to-date on me and my business adventures because I promised I would share.

Also, on another note, we're hosting an informational GoChi Juice meeting this Thursday, April 17, at good 'ole Club 705 in Hermosa Beach if you care to join us. All the details are here. Hope to see you there! If you can't make it, but want to try GoChi Juice, you may also purchase here on my other website: (I know. I have a lot, but they all serve different purposes!)

I'm especially proud of all the information on Beverly on my The Joy Writer PR site and the photo albums on our Goji site. I'm looking pretty ragged by the end of the weekend, but hey, it was worth it. Over 3,000 people attended and it was great to meet the owners of FreeLife International and hear their vision for the future.

I met a lot of great people, learned a lot of great information, made some new friends, had fun visiting all the Scottsdale galleries pitching my client, Beverly Bigwood, (they have some wonderful galleries there and the lighting is fantastic), and enjoyed viewing all the great public art Phoenix has to offer.

Fed my mind, my spirit, and my emotions! Plus, got to finally meet someone I had only met through my blog! Never in a million years did I think I'd be going to PHX, but when it happened, I just had to call Dharma.

We really enjoyed hanging out and catching up. She's very interesting and has a whole book series she's working on. We both like to write which is why we became friends. Thanks Dharma! Had a great time visiting the galleries with you!

Okay, that's all for now. Really must get out of the house and take care of some errands and work on some other projects like getting my phone/fax to work again now that I've moved it and pitching Travel Tray!

Got into a real spring cleaning mode when I returned from my trip and threw out and am donating a ton of stuff! Very cathartic. You know what they say, Out with the old, in with the new!

Have a good one everyone!

Keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

Here's more information on the situation in Haiti

This is from my friend Patti's myspace page on her experiences in Haiti and her take on the situation. Directly below is an article validating her assertion re: rotting food that Haitians aren't receiving.

It's simply amazing to me that this is still going on in this day and age. It's time for it to stop. Please pray for the people of Haiti. They need our prayers and financial support. This breaks my heart.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Situation in Haiti Worsens

The current situation in Haiti has gone from bad to worse. Riots are erupting, markets and stores being raided and looted, tires being burned in protest, road blocks put in place and people being killed. This has turned into a desperate situation as the people revolt against rising food prices. How can you blame them? 80% of Haitians live on $2/day or less and of that 80%, 60% live on less than $1/day. Basic necessities have skyrocketed in price and riots are breaking out in many cities.

The price of a cup of rice has risen to 60 cents (up 50% from a year ago). If you’re earning a dollar a day and you have a family of four...well it doesn’t take much to do the math. Many have resorted to eating dirt to quell the pangs of starvation, because even though going up in price still stands at about 5 cents a ’cookie.’ Only Somalia and Afghanistan have a higher per capita daily deficit in calorie intake than Haiti. In the States, we feel this economic crunch. We drink less Starbucks, we don’t take our planned family vacation or even worse, we lose our homes.

But in the end, regardless of how badly we end up, we are mountains above where the people of Haiti are. Theirs is a situation of desperation. A situation with the inability to afford food, fuel, a place to live. Haiti does not have a welfare program, food stamps, heck recently 40,000 pounds of beans (many donated) were found rotting in customs because of the crack down due to drug trafficking and the lack of an infrastructure to screen imports and decrease corruption, yet in the end, is only a small portion of what has contributed to what is happening.

How can we have enough excess in this country to almost feed the world, yet people are still starving. In the last 3 years, there has been $1.5 billion (no, that is not a typo) in foreign aid to Haiti, and yet things have progressed to where the are. It breaks my heart.

Tons of Food Aid Rotting in Haiti Ports
2008-03-06 20:45:57
By JONATHAN M. KATZ and JENNIFER KAY Associated Press Writer

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) — While millions of Haitians go hungry, containers full of food are stacking up in the nation's ports because of government red tape — leaving tons of beans, rice and other staples to rot under a sweltering sun or be devoured by vermin.

A government attempt to clean up a corrupt port system that has helped make Haiti a major conduit for Colombian cocaine has added new layers of bureaucracy — and led to backlogs so severe they are being felt 600 miles away in Miami, where cargo shipments to Haiti have ground almost to a standstill.

The problems are depriving desperate people of donated food. Some are so poor they are forced to eat cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable oil to satisfy their hunger.

An Associated Press investigation found the situation is most severe in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city. One recent afternoon, garbage men shoveled a pile of rotting pinto beans that had turned gray and crumbled to dust as cockroaches and beetles scurried about.

The men had found the putrid cargo by following a stench through stacked shipping containers to one holding 40,000 pounds of beans. It had been in port since November.

"So many times, by the time (the food) gets out of customs it's expired and we're forced to burn it," said Susie Scott Krabacher, whose Colorado-based Mercy and Sharing Foundation has worked in Haiti for 14 years. "The food is there. It is available. It just can't get to the people."

Though it is unclear how much of Haiti's food supply is tied up in the port delays, the effects could be serious. Haiti imports about 75 percent of its food supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And there is little room for error in a country where the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that almost half the population was undernourished in 2002.

The U.N. World Food Program and large-scale U.S. rice growers say they have been able to get their food into Haiti by hiring local agents to handle bureaucratic procedures. But smaller charities, merchants and private citizens have often been forced by the delays to throw away containers of food or pay exorbitant fees.

The problems stem in part from efforts to clean up a port system the World Bank recently ranked as the second-worst in the region, ahead of only Guyana.

Before the changes were implemented last fall, bribes flowed freely and goods passed through unsearched and without duties being paid. That deprived the government of money and helped make Haiti a major transshipment point for Colombian cocaine destined for the United States.

The international community has encouraged Haiti's customs reform efforts, with the U.S. government helping fund port security and U.N. peacekeepers stepping up anti-smuggling patrols along the coast and Dominican border.

But new requirements for licenses and manifests in triplicate have overwhelmed poorly trained workers and the country's archaic, handwritten customs system.

Unlike U.S. ports, where less than 5 percent of containers were scanned last year and only a fraction of those opened up and inspected, Haitian cargo handlers said each container at Cap-Haitien must now be completely emptied and inspected. Customs chief Jean-Jacques Valentin said that policy was Haiti's own decision.

Frustrated by the new procedures and demanding higher pay, striking workers shut down the port at Cap-Haitien for 20 days in December. Graffiti denouncing the port's director still mars its buildings.

And despite the reforms, some say the bribes are continuing.

Jean-Paul Michaud, a Canadian, said he sailed to the capital of Port-au-Prince late last year carrying 60 pounds of donated clothing and medicine — and that port authorities demanded $10,000 in "customs fees" — code for a bribe to make the fees disappear.

"I'd have rather thrown the aid in the water," said Michaud. The Canadian Embassy intervened and the fee was later waived.

Krabacher's group says it has paid nearly $16,000 in fees in the first six weeks of 2008 alone, compared to $23,418 for all of 2007.

Lawmakers concerned about the situation questioned Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis about the port delays during a February no-confidence vote.

"There is a lot of work being done in terms of the ports," Alexis maintained. "We are looking at a way to implement a 'fast-track' policy, so people can get their merchandise out more quickly."

He also recommended splitting the National Port Authority into two agencies, one focusing on the logistics of port management and the other overseeing customs because he does not believe the current agency can handle both tasks.

Haitian President Rene Preval echoed those concerns in a speech to parliament in January, calling for a crackdown on illegal contraband and a lowering of exorbitant container fees that are three times higher than those in neighboring Dominican Republic.

While lawmakers haggle over the answers, precious food rots by the ton.

After opening the door of the orange container filled with rotting beans last month, the workers were hit by a revolting smell. They let the odor dissipate for a week before spending two days loading the beans into a flatbed truck and hauling them away for disposal.

The garbage collectors grumbled about the waste, with one saying he wished he could have taken the beans to his neighborhood before they rotted. The workers then went in search of a container loaded with spoiling rice.

Dimitri Torres, the director of container-handler Cap Terminal SA., said he doesn't even know who shipped the beans. They had already been transferred from one container to another during inspection and the shipping documents had disappeared.

Valentin, the customs chief, blames the backlog on shippers who are trying to skirt the new system. He said some intended to smuggle items into Haiti and avoid customs duties.

"They are people that weren't straight with not bringing contraband, and that's why they're making excuses and that's why things are slow," Valentin said.

Cap Terminal normally has about 50 containers at its yard next to the port, Torres said. More than 200 are now stacked up, at least half belonging to Miami-based Frontier Liner Services.

That company, like several others, has stopped shipping to Haiti until the delays are resolved and its empty containers are returned. Haiti-bound cargo traffic in Florida's Miami River is at a virtual standstill.

"We've had to lay off people," said Munir Mourra, president of Miami-based River Terminal Services. "Pretty much all the stevedores on the vessels have been laid off."


Katz reported from Cap-Haitien and Kay from Miami.

New Haiti update... Please continue to pray it's just awful

One of my very good friends, Patti, is involved with this ministry and my heart just breaks to think of how much these children are going through. Please help if you can. Here's more information on the charity and what they're doing to help. Any support is welcome.

By Hands & Feet Project

Haiti is still in crisis.  The Prime Minister has been ousted from office and relief is no where in sight.  We pray soon...

Imagine not having a home, no bed, nearly naked and starving, no family, and all alone... imagine you are 5 years old. Sadly, that is the life of too many children in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Half of the Haitian population are children under 14 years of age; the many abandoned children need our help - now.

The Hands & Feet Project is an autonomous ministry which was founded by members of Audio Adrenaline and the leadership of Flicker Records.

The H&FP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the health, welfare and education of the orphaned children of Haiti. Based on the teachings of James 1:27, and the heart of the whole of scripture, Hands & Feet is dedicated to the construction and operation of a Childrens' Village to provide for these needs.

The heart of Hands & Feet is the core of the admonition of James - rescue the orphans from their suffering. Children are the future of any nation. If there is hope for Haiti, it is in the children. If the H&FP can reach a child, we can plant seeds of faith through a new generation. When we impact the lives of these orphans, we impact future leaders of communities, cities and a nation. Touch a child and you can rescue a nation.   It begins with the children.  They need love, hugs, and a caring family  a home.

Together we can change their world through God's love.

40 for 40...

In honor of Will & Mark's 40th Birthdays, we are launching the "$40 for 40 years" CHALLENGE!

Over the 50 days between their birthdays (02.25.08 - 04.14.08), we are asking you to save $40 to donate in their honor.

$40 in the U.S. can get you a week of Starbucks... in Haiti, it is two months' wages (for those that are lucky enough to find work).

$40 can be dinner for two in the U.S... or it can feed a family for four months in Haiti!

Please consider skipping your morning coffee even once a week for the next month, or cooking Sunday dinner at home rather than dining out, and donate your extra $40 to the Hands & Feet Project in honor of two who have given so much to make it happen!  [Note: You may donate any amount you wish, but we are issuing you a challenge to find that $1/year to honor these men by contributing to that which is most important to them.]

If you would like to donate to the 40-for-40 fund, which will be sent directly to the Project for repairs and materials, please click the image above for more information, or...

For online donations, click image above or simply PAYPAL lindsay (at)hafproject (dot)org

For mail-in contributions, please send to:

"40 for 40"
c/o The Hands & Feet Project
PO Box 682105
Franklin, TN  37064

If you have any questions, please contact lindsay at hafproject dot org

Please pray! Haiti is rioting

Thursday, April 10, 2008 - it may be over now, but thought you'd like to know what's going on around the world. If you know anything, please leave a comment. This is horrific!


Riots in the streets of Haiti...

Just wanted to let you know what has been going on in Haiti the past couple of days. The common people of Haiti are upset with the fact that food prices are going up and the people can not afford to continue buying food!! In turn they have take to the street to protest. You cannot get to and from [the capitol] Port au Prince. In turn the stores in Jacmel are running out of things. The power company is running out of fuel to provide us with power. Our generator decided to break the other day, too, so we are here without power at this point.

Please keep us in your prayers. Please pray that diesel can make it to jacmel in the next day or two. Pray that we will have enough drinking water to get through.

Pray for the people and the country of Haiti...

I'm back from PHX - did you miss me? GOCHI!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Just returned from a three-day intensive GoChi Conference for FreeLife, Int'l in Phoenix, AZ and missed our hot spell fortunately. Now that I know more about the product and the company - update soon! And yes, I'm getting serious about it now because I finally feel comfortable with the quality of the company, the product, and the business side of it.

Thanks for checking in. I've missed blogging, but also enjoyed the break.

More later...

Bones, First Tuesday, The Riches, Cozy Faux, and Meetup

By Joy A. Kennelly

Never have watched the show Bones before and it's fun to see The Standard Downtown used as a location. If you're ever in LA you should hit it at least once. Oh good, now the The Riches are on! Now to see how sick it's become. :)

Just came from another First Tuesday group, but this time it's a 2nd Tuesday held down here in the South Bay. What another great group of women. This meeting was much smaller and more intimate which I just loved. Everyone was so honest and open with their emotions, it was more of a support group almost than business networking, but it's great.

After schmoozing over some great appetizers, we all gathered together in the living room to hear my good friend Christi Wilson of Cozy Faux share all about her wonderful luxurious, soft faux blanket and specialty collection. So lovely - check out the web site for gifts. You'll love 'em!

Then we went around the room and shared what we were about for three minutes each. Then afterwards, Alexi of Little Effort Big Results spoke on hand analysis which was really a lot of fun. I was afraid it was palm reading because I'm not into that, but this is based on more scientific ideas and very interesting.

I have gifted hands!:)  According to  Alexi, my long "head line" means I have special unique talents and like solving complex problems. Totally! Your right hand indicates how you are in the world, your left is your personal life. When compared, both of my hands were so different it was very interesting.

According to my "heart" line, I like powerful people and need to recognize that I have that same power in myself so I don't need others to fulfill that. The more I move through life, the more I realize it's true. Can't help it!:)

What always amazes me is how people have a tendency to under-estimate me though. Men think I'm demure till they get to know me and are surprised that under my soft, quiet exterior I'm really strong; clients think I'm so nice I'm a pushover until they push me too hard and disrespect my abilities then I push back.

Tonight was just what I needed. A chance to "let my hair down" so to speak with other women who are dealing with their own issues who could totally relate and support my decisions. I'm really looking forward to "doing lunch" with some of the women I've met because they're so interesting.

On another note, I've also decided to expand my social horizons with men and have signed up for all kinds of fun groups over on Have you all seen this site? My friend said it's started by the same people who began EBay and it's really great. Perfect for adults to connect with other like-minded people.

Check it out! Okay, that's all.

I want to relax and enjoy The Riches.

I love Eddie Izzard!

Pix from GenArt, Fashion Week, Cambria & Big Sur - Finally!

By Joy A. Kennelly

Finally uploaded all my pix and have them ready to be seen. Just know, this is a new camera, I haven't read the owner's manual and as a result, some of the pix aren't the best quality, but others are wonderful (if I d say so myself. LOL) Enjoy my picture diary!

Genart_fashion_show Okay, here's a bad one, but at least now you know what I meant by the stationary fashion show at GenArt's recent event. I had taken a bunch of other pics, but ended up deleting them to accommodate my scenery shots up north.


This girl totally reminded me of Kate Bosworth, doesn't she? These was real rain droplets and I thought it was such a clever display.

One of my good friends, Lana, and her brother, Erwin I believe, joined us at the GenArt event which was a lot of fun. I always have a great time with both of them!

My good friends, Lana and Melinda, joined me at the GenArt event. Oy vey! I look so pregnant and I'm so not, but boy do I feel comfortable wearing this top. Got to buy a belt.


Lana has some crazy pants just like me. Now my pants have someone to go out with on the town! LOL

Here's one of the shows I caught during LA Fashion Week by Joseph Domingo. I always love to see what the hair stylists will create to go with the clothes as much as I enjoy the fashion.


Is this wild hair or what? This is what the runway looks like at the end. This show had some really pretty dresses with unusual adornments and piping which I liked.

Sorry, had more, but again, deleted them to find space for my vacation pix since I forgot to buy a larger memory card. My bad!


This was the first place I walked to in Cambria because it sounded so unusual... Nitt Witt Ridge. Don't you agree? Of course, it didn't open till 10am and I was there much earlier. Next time I'll take a tour.

This trip, it was Hearst Castle tours instead.


This is the view from the top of Hearst Castle. Again, wish I had a telephoto lens, but I think you grasp a little of the splendor of the view right?


This is one of the side entrances to the castle. Can you believe it? How grand!


This is the first pool you come to and it's called Neptune's Pool. Once a year all the staff get to enjoy a huge pool party where they can invite their friends up to enjoy spending time with them.

A lot of the surrounding statues were especially created for Mr. Hearst and shipped in from Italy and all over the world. See the man standing in the top? Apparently, when this statue arrived it was too big so they chopped off his feet to fit it inside that area! Isn't that funny.

Also, if I'm remembering correctly, Mr. Getty copied a lot of what Mr. Hearst did with his smaller museum over in Malibu. Oh, those rich people. Always trying to keep up with one another.:)

Wouldn't you just love to swim here? Absolutely stunning.


Here's another shot of the same pool, but looking back up towards the castle itself. So regal, I just loved it! The stark white of the statues contrasts so beautifully with the clear water and blue tiles of the pool.


This is just one of the many gardens Mr. Hearst had planted. The building you see behind was one of the guest houses he built for guests that weren't invited to stay in the "big house," but enjoyed a beautiful setting nonetheless.

What I found fascinating is that every plant and trees were brought into this area and weren't here normally. What an undertaking and how beautiful now.


This the main Hearst Castle entrance. I thought my shot of this was unique, but as I look up the information, it's so not. Oh well, I tried.:)

It's nice though, right?

Here's another one straight on...

Isn't the color of the sky incredible? I did not digitally enhance it either. Just naturally beautiful. The balcony is where Mr. Hearst would watch his guests having fun. What I thought was so funny is that he was really against unmarried couples shacking up together, but personally kept a mistress for 34 years.

Her name was Marion Davies and they had adjoining rooms on the third floor where no one else was allowed to enter. I enjoyed my Tour #2 because then we toured that area also. Lots of small, winding staircases with small rooms and lots of beautiful furnishings.

Click here for some of the amazing statistics and an overview of the entire Castle property.


Here's some examples of the furnishings and his extensive art collection. Sorry this one is blurry, but you weren't allowed to use a flash. The ceilings and wall coverings were over the top too!


Isn't this just so delicate and feminine? If I could have taken t with me, I would have.:) I love pink.


This is the master dining room where everyone ate together. Again, sorry it's so blurry. According to our fast talking gay tour guide (why do they love this job so much? Just kidding. It's a gay man's dream! LOL), the longer that you stayed at Hearst Castle, the farther you would be seated away from Mr. Hearst who sat in the middle across from Marion.

One of the famous old time stars, either Carey Grant or someone else who I've forgotten, said if he was sat any further away he'd be sitting outside! One of those stars was invited back 40 times. Others were never invited back.

Oh, another interesting character twist of Mr. Hearst is that he hated his guests to get drunk. Sound familiar? HA!

He would lock up the liquor cabinet until the evening to make sure he kept things under control. Isn't that funny? I bet some  old time alcoholics weren't too happy about having their booze controlled once they realized they'd have to wait to imbibe. LOL Maybe some began packing their own just in case...:)


Tour number 1 takes you to Mr. Hearst's huge private theatre. Just like one of the grand theatres you would see Downtown LA today. Very ornate and gaudy.

This statue is one of many that graced the walls to help with acoustics I believe. We were able to enjoy home movies playing on the big screen in this room.

Mr. Hearst, because he owned so many newspapers, was always receiving films ahead of the general public and began throwing his lavish parties to entice people to drive the four hours up from LA to sit and review them with him.

Oftentimes many of the actors, actresses, directors and writers of the films were included. There was a whole mezzanine floor with shared bedrooms set up just for starlets to stay in so the gentlemen would have pleasant female  company while visiting. What that life must have been like back then. Can you imagine?

Actress Katherine Hepburn has been quoted as saying her one regret is that she didn't take up Mr. Hearst's offer to come visit his "little ranch." Now do you see why?

Both tours I took ended up in this amazing Roman style inside covered pool room. Now according to my outspoken first tour guide, oftentimes midnight love trysts occurred in the steam room. A note slipped into a pocket, a furtive glance and the next thing you know...

The bottom of the pool, although flat, creates an optical illusion and looks curved when you look straight into it. Just directly above the lamp in the foreground is a ledge where people could dive into the 10 foot deep part of the pool.

What I loved about the National Geographic movie, Hearst Castle Building the Dream which is part of Tour 1 is that it follows one starlets experience staying there and you see the place come alive with action.

You also follow little Hearst as he travels with his mother when he's only 10 years old all over Europe where art first captures his heart. Apparently, he wanted his Dad to buy the Louvre after visiting France. His mother had a great deal of influence over him and when his father died, he left his entire estate to his wife since he knew young William would squander his fortune.

Thus, when William wanted to buy something, he would have to ask his mother's permission and she would use that opportunity to make him stop dating some undesirable woman, or give up something in exchange.

Some tour guides surmise that Marion Davies played a mother figure to him. She was an amazing lady all on her own - Actress, Real Estate Investor etc etc! What I loved learning about William Randolph Hearst is that he loved and appreciated strong, career-minded females.

His architect who worked with him almost day and night to build his vision, was a female residential architect named Julia Morgan. She was also another extraordinary woman of that time and in addition to creating Hearst Castle, created and oversaw over 800 other projects in California and Hawaii. She worked nearly 28 years on Hearst Castle and numerous other residences for both Mr. Hearst and Ms. Davies.

A very humble Victorian woman, she requested all her private papers be burned upon her death, but fortunately for us, her relative refused and that's why we know what we know today. Click on her name if you want to learn more about her. Quite an extraordinary woman.

Julia_morgans_desk Here's a picture of the small studio she used when she would come to stay and oversee the project. Isn't this amazing? Such a small location for such a grand scale project, but I guess she was out in the field for a large part of this.

Notice the old timey phone too on the desk.


This is the back courtyard where she would cross to go to her "office." The backside of Hearst Castle isn't as finished as the front and the tape on the tour bus taking you back down to the bottom of the hill lets you know that if you'd like to donate you can donate to the Friends of Hearst Castle foundation.

They host some amazing special events at the Castle and if you want to enjoy some with other philanthropic minded individuals, click here for more details. Really sounds like fun. I wouldn't mind going to a few myself? Anyone care to join me?



There is only one kitchen in the entire Castle and this is it. I took these pix for my chef friends.:) I can only imagine how many people were responsible to make the wonderful meals for all the guests and workers who came to the hill.



Isn't the attention to detail adorable?


This is the pantry. I ended up touring with a family of five on this tour because I mistakenly joined them and when I figured out I was in the wrong place it was too late. They were nice about it and it was great to have the entire castle to ourselves while touring, rather than the huge group I would have been with otherwise.

You can take private tours for about $600 if I remember correctly and you're allowed to invite up to six guests with you which is actually fairly reasonable since it covers the entire castle tours on a private basis.

Click here for information on all the tours available.


I can't remember which room this is (they all blur together after awhile, but maybe it's the library. I think that's right.) William was kicked out of Harvard is one of the stories told.


This is the "Gold Room" where the infamous gossip columnist, Hedda Hopper, used to stay as a guest. It's up in the top spier of the castle (is that what the towers are called? Well, that's what I'm trying to say.) and is very small, but really pretty with the sun shining through.

Click here for a list of some of the other important people who stayed here.


This is an example of the ornate ceilings Hearst was fond of. This is also the chandelier that hangs in the Gold Room. Everything is so ornate and gaudy and so of the time, I just loved it. Not to my taste for my own personal space, but definitely something admirable in this setting.


Tour 2 ends in the same pool house just from a different viewpoint. Click here for some Behind the Scenes info on the beautiful details involved in this room and all the others.

Now do you see why this was so refreshing and just what I needed? I love art and visionary men. When the two come together... It's a beautiful thing.


The other fun thing to do while visiting Cambria and Hearst Castle is to check out all the Elephant Seals that love to laze around in the sun along the coastline. It's just a few miles past Hearst Castle and the turn-off is clearly marked. There are walking trails to allow you to walk and view closer.

There are hundreds of seals like this and they make the funniest sounds. They also seem to do the Michael Jackson moon walk as they push themselves across the sand to get back into the water.

Certain areas were quite stinky perhaps from a dead one, but otherwise, it's very pleasant although when I was there it was bitter cold and windy. These next few shots are blurry because it was too cold to stand and get a good shot!


Isn't it rugged? Just love the different seascapes Northern CA offers.


This could be further up, or in Cambria, I don't remember.


The next day I drove up to Big Sur. I had been told it was only 25 miles away, but it was actually more like 100. However, it was well worth the drive.

Stunning vistas like this all up and down the Northern coast. You really must see it for yourself because I'm not doing this half the justice.



This is my final shot heading home from Big Sur and thus ends our tour. I hope you've enjoyed your visit and make plans to come back and see me again real soon.

We'll leave a light on for you...:)

Have I convinced you now to make the trip? I'll even go back up with you! Only this time I might suggest staying at the Cambria Pines Lodge based on the referral of another friend, Jaimi Blakely who just hosted a writer's retreat there.

According to Jaimi, Cambria Pines Lodge has "24 acresthat you can hike and a free drink at their bar and a free breakfast buffet every morning. There's an organic garden on the property where they grow a lot of their own produce.

When you call Cambria Pines Lodge, say that you want their current special.Usually, the specials are from $69-$89 depending on the season. (Such a deal!) Also, if you register to receive the weekly email from, then you will see frequent specials listed that are in that area (from San Luis Obispo to Monterey).

"Jaimi" loves Black Cat Bistro and Robin's for dinner and Indigo Moon for lunch or a casual dinner. "She" heard that the Thai place is great, too, but hasn't been yet."

Okay, that's really all. Cambria isn't that big so you can find the perfect place for you just by walking through the town once. I did it in 30 minutes or so from where I was staying. It's that small. Totally reminds me of what Hermosa Beach was like so long, long, long ago...:) I'm not that old, but I can imagine.

Enjoy your Sunday. I need to get outside now.

Pix of the beach from the other day - what a sunset

Perfect_beach_shot Beach

This is why I live here. I just love the ocean. Look at the sky! I wish I had a better camera now!

Bruces_beach_sign_2 Wish I had a beach named after me! I didn't have a chance to read the sign, but I think this is in honor of the family that owns this hillside park in Manhattan Beach. The earlier shots are of Brucesbeach2Hermosa Beach. Is this area beautiful or what?


I was driving by and the sky just made me stop and shoot these. I'm not the best photographer, but you get the drift. I still have to upload my Cambria ones. Can't wait to share those with you all too! Isn't this the most delightful park?                                                                                                
Brucesbeach3 El_segundo Now if I only had a really good camera you could see the sun shining off the boat in the distance. It was so stunning and I am so bummed this camera is too small to have captured it.

Now do you see why I love living where I live despite everything that goes on? Where else can you look to the side of the road and catch such vistas of the ocean? I just love looking out into infinity and smelling the ocean air. I was born living on the beach, I want to be married on the beach, and maybe even have my ashes thrown in the ocean if I'm cremated. Hopefully that's a long time away so I won't worry about that now.

That's all I have to share for now. This has been a brief snapshot into South Bay beaches at Sunset - starting in Hermosa and ending in El Segundo.

Enjoy the view!

Very cool South Bay Charity - please support if you can!

Hi Everyone, Just received this from my friend Meghan whose step-dad, Taz Latham, just sent her this wonderful letter highlighting some needs in our community. I trust her implicitly and think these seem like really worthy causes. Please check it out and donate if you can!

Here's his pitch letter:

Dear Friend,

I have a strong commitment to, and a strong belief in, non-profit organizations whose primary purpose is to assist individuals and families in poverty to become self-sufficient.

This belief has found expression in my commitment to raise a total of $20,000 for Toberman Neighborhood Center and Heifer International by April 18, 2008. 

Toberman is the local focus.  It is a San Pedro based non-profit multi-purpose neighborhood center providing various social service programs to low-income individuals and families living in the South Bay, with the purpose of moving them from poverty to self-sufficiency.  They do this through nine core programs that focus on family development, child safety and learning, gang prevention/intervention and emergency assistance.

Heifer focuses internationally and works in partnership with communities to alleviate hunger, poverty and environmental damage by providing appropriate livestock and training to small scale farmers.  A recipient of livestock and training to care for that livestock from Heifer commits to give the first female offspring of their animals and their knowledge, resources and skills to another family in their village.  In this manner they create an expanding network of hope, dignity and self-reliance that reaches around the globe.

If you desire more information about either organization please contact me or go to their website: and

You can support my commitment to these two non-profit organizations in either of two ways – the first and most significant is to provide me with referrals of individuals and/or organizations that may be interested in supporting my goal.  Secondly, you can make a financial donation to one or both of these organizations. 

You may donate to Heifer using my personalized Heifer International page.  To get there:
Go to and under the Give tab select Team Heifer
Do a search under Top Fundraisers for Taz Latham
This will get you to my personalized web page where you can donate and Heifer will track the information.

You may donate to Toberman by mailing a check to: Toberman Neighborhood Center, 131 N. Grand Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731-2035.  Please mark your check on the Memo line as Latham Project.

Taz Latham

Oy! Bartender's logic really escapes me sometimes.

By Joy A. Kennelly

I've been really trying not to blog about the stupidity of this whole bar issue, but this letter to the editor really got me going. Either I'm getting real old, or bartenders are really dense. Or maybe both. I just can't fathom her reasoning and just have to comment.

Here's what I wrote on This is Hermosa re: Blue 32. (BTW, read the reviews on this place - lots of references to over-crowding, dancing etc. Nice mix of opinions and obviously not written by bartenders who work there, just real people telling it like it is. Also, revealing how this bar consistently is breaking their Conditional Use Permit. Very interesting.)

Now here's my This is Hermosa post with some added notations:

"This letter was in today's Beach Reporter. I think what this "Wealthy Gener" is missing is that her bar, Blue 32 (click for my earlier post on them and others mentioned in her letter), consistently breaks the law and that doesn't seem to bother her which surprises me. Don't ask me why it does, it just does. I guess if it feels good, do it seems to be the message.

We're not disputing the good people who own, work and operate Blue 32, just the fact that when they moved into the neighborhood they said they would be a restaurant and all that that entails - 50/50 food, no dancing, no over-crowding etc etc. You know. A grown up establishment, not a Hollywood wannabe.

We don't need more nightclubs, just restaurants. I'm sure it's a grand place and may visit when I'm in town, but for now would appreciate it if it was simply a restaurant that abided by their CUP. That's all we are asking and that's all the Planning Commission is enforcing.

Is that too much to ask? Is that wrong? I don't think so and apparently lots of other people don't either. We're not "taking the bars down" just politely requesting that you don't take yourselves down by irresponsible behavior and allow illegal activity to occur over and over and over again.

No matter if you think it's stupid or irrelevant. It's what your owners agreed to abide by when they moved in. If they didn't like the terms, maybe they shouldn't have set up shop there. I know, it's been going on for so long why stop now.

Because maybe it's time for the law to be enforced and the residents to have a nicer place to live rather than be over-run with establishments that claim to be one thing when they're another.

Have fun, have a drink, or two or three, but also serve enough food to offset the alcohol like a restaurant does. Stop with the nightclub act and the dancers and over-crowding your tiny space and simply be a restaurant. It works for Mediterraneo, it can work for you too.

BTW, was Blue 32 listed in the Best of anywhere in the Easy Reader? If so, I missed it. Please let me know because I'd love to hear what Blue 32's claim to fame is other than a bartender's opinion of the establishment. Anyone? Anyone?

Now without further ado, here's her letter and I quote:

"Good people in Hermosa’s bars

It’s my understanding that the city of Hermosa Beach believes that Blue 32, Shore and the Dragon are “naughty, naughty” bars. I happen to be a bartender at Blue 32 and though the Planning Commission tries to bring us down, the people of Hermosa keep coming and enjoying themselves. So, dancing and popularity in a bar is a hazard according to the commission. I’m glad to work and live in a town where this is the biggest scare in my life. The eight assaults/violations stated were over a period of three years; I’ve had more problems with my loved ones in one week than this. It’s my opinion that having an upscale bar that provides fun and entertainment is something that Hermosa Beach needed and now has. Locals rave about such nice additions to their town. Having to drive to downtown L.A. for an upscale bar increases drinking and driving, and that’s something to worry and complain about.

I’ve been working at Blue 32 since it opened in 2005 and I can honestly say it’s where I usually start and end up on my nights off, out on the town. I’ve never felt like my life was in danger. The people who frequent there are good people and the people who own and work there, I’ve never felt more comfortable to be around. The commission would be mistaken to think anything else and to bring these bars down would be taking away what brings life to Hermosa Beach.

Wealthy Gener, Hermosa Beach"

The South Bay Professional Connection and the Holocaust memorial

By Joy A. Kennelly   

Last night's South Bay Professional Connection had a great turn-out. You can read all about it here on This is Hermosa. Next month we're moving to another South Bay location so stay tuned!

Now, on a more serious note, I received this via email and thought it bore posting.

Let us never forget.


  Please read the little cartoon carefully, it's powerful.

    In Memoriam

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This is being posted in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian Peoples looking the other way.

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is  imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.

Never forget.