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April 2010

This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...A Season of Unlikely Happiness

This book was just what I needed to read, right when I needed to read it.

The pain and struggles the Author, Laura Munson, goes through as her husband tells her he doesn't love her any more and their subsequent life together after is poignant, thoughtful, insightful, and loving.

I felt like I was hearing this from a good friend and mourned right along with her.

She's such a deft writer it's a real pleasure to read it slowly and enjoyably in order not to miss anything.

I almost feel like my new friendship with her has come to an end now that I've finished reading it.

I also loved reading about Montana because I lived there right after high school and have such fun, vivid memories of that experience.

Kinda makes me want to go back and visit my old school and go horseback riding again.

There was such freedom in my life back then and there's a part of me that is craving it now.

I'm tired, but just felt like sharing this delightful book with you because it was so refreshing to see someone fight to keep her marriage by doing nothing. You'll have to read it to see what I'm talking about.

Have a good one. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Only one woman on the panel

Sorry, it always bugs me how sexist this industry is, but at least there were more women featured in the doc.

Are men the only good storytellers? Or are they only ones who have the thick skin to last through the "creative" process?

Just curious because this hasn't changed much in the last ten years since I was deep in this. Is Superman, Iron Man, and those types of films the only ones which define this industry?

Whoo hoo, a woman won the Oscar. What a nice pat on the head to my gender. Lol Right up there with the lone African American recognized. Way to represent America Hollywood cuz you know there's only one good script, film, director of each minority and we should feel happy we at least got one.

I don't buy it. Stop running scared and take a risk. Maybe you'll be surprised. Now there's a story.
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Eloise Goes to Moscow - fave book of all

I have always loved the bookstore "Every Picture Tells a Story" because of the original artwork from some of my favorite childhood favorites.

I have never understood why Eloise Goes to Moscow has never been made into a feature length animation because it's absolutely, completely brilliant storytelling (and has a pug - what more could you ask for?) Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Privacy, sharing and memoirs "This Is Not The Story You Think It Is... A Season of Unlikely Happiness" #in

By Joy A. Kennelly

Real quick, cuz I have to run...

What has been interesting to me reading Laura Munson's memoir, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is...A Season of Unlikely Happiness, and also listening to the four funny single women on the memoir panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is their ability to write about very personal things as it relates to the people in their lives (past and present) and their own life experiences with them.

As I deal with friends and family in the hospital and realize they aren't as open as I am about their personal stories being shared with strangers who read my blog, I wonder how I will ever write my own memoir. lol I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I just know I'm very comforted and encouraged reading the struggles Laura Munson experienced with her marriage and hope one day my own personal story will also encourage and provide hope to those I'm trying to reach too. 

In the meantime, I am choosing to keep these hurts and issues private because contrary to popular belief, I don't always share everything all the time.:) In fact, quite often I don't share what's really going on at all, and for good reason. 

In case you didn't know this, bloggers are regularly attacked by small-minded people who disagree, or want to hurt the person stating their truth. I find it funny when they do it anonymously because it shows how cowardly they really are. At least I state my truth with my full name attached and deal with the consequences as a result.

Doesn't it make it any less painful, but it comes with the blogging territory. You can either hide controversial or personal posts, not share in the first place, or just deal with the fall-out - I've done all three.

What I've also been discovering over the past few weeks is that blogging has created a wall of separation, rather than comfort, between friends and myself. When I share what's going on here, they read it and feel they know everything and don't bother to be a real friend by calling or asking me to coffee to hear my heart in person.

It's a one-sided "conversation."

By not writing everything here I've had the privilege of seeing who my real friends are. Those who know what's going on and have taken the time to reach out and check in in person, not virtually.

Then there's those who reach out, but also want free PR advice almost as a trade-off for caring and that only indicates to me this person really doesn't understand who I am at all or what I'm going through. Perhaps they're so used to reading about my feelings and offering free advice that when I don't they think everything's fine or status quo.

Or maybe I put up a good front? I don't know.

I do know I'm much happier this week than last and feel like I'm finally getting balance back on numerous fronts (emotional, physical, spiritual, professional, relational) which is good. I've also heard really good news about one friend in the hospital will be getting out this weekend which is always encouraging. Thank you for your prayers. He has had an amazing recovery.

So, life has it's hills and valleys. Right now I feel like I'm coming out of a valley which feels good. I hope you're having a great week too.

Want to grab a cup of joe and talk about it? I'd love to.:)

Memoir: All the Single Ladies seminar

I've heard Amy Alkon before, but Julie Klausner, Giulia Melucco and Sascha Rothchild I haven't. Should be good. "Amy writes the award-winning nationally syndicated advice column 'The Advice Goddess' ... and is also the author of 'I see Rude People.'

Check out her blog at Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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How fun! My Author friend, Allen Zadoff, is on YA Stage

Go Allen! His book is called "Boys Will Be Boys."

Here's a quick bio: Zadoff, a former stage director, is the author of the memoir for adults, "Hungry" and his latest title for young adults, "Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have."

So wonderful when you see friends find success because you know how hard they've worked. Congratulations again Allen!
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#Daily Breeze coverage of #Steve Poizner's #Hermosa Beach campaign stop

I wasn't able to attend, but just found this article I thought some of you might enjoy. Interesting to me that Steve Poizner is gaining on Meg Whitman. Should be an interesting race now...

Since someone I once considered a friend recently called me a political operative (whatever that means, but totally laughable), here's an excerpt from the Daily Breeze article posted earlier this evening entitled

Poizner campaign stops off in Hermosa Beach

By Nick Green Staff Writer

"In a campaign appearance that at times had an evangelical flavor, it was clear Poizner was preaching to the converted as he hammered home his familiar themes of stopping illegal immigration, cutting taxes and eliminating the state deficit.

Among his platforms: exporting 40,000 nonviolent offenders to out-of-state jails to cut costs and eliminate jail overcrowding, growing the economy to offset the lost revenue from tax cuts and cracking down on employers who hire people in the country illegally.

'There's only one real conservative in this race and you're looking at him,' said Poizner, flanked by twin bright red signs that read, 'Tax cuts for everyone.'

'If you want a third term of Governor Schwarzenegger there's someone else you should vote for," he added. "I do believe in across-the-board tax cuts, she opposes them.'"

I hope that was enough political operative for you.:)

#Hermosa Beach green, Mayor Michael DiVirgilio & Parolee caught

By Joy A. Kennelly

Just thought you might like to read the excellent coverage The Beach Reporter gave to the Upper Pier Ave project and PCH/Aviation which explains exactly what's going on in the City of Hermosa Beach and the reasons why the streets are torn up in case you weren't aware.

So happy to see the PR company the city council hired has done a great job of focusing on getting the message out which will hopefully help business owners gain more business now that the project's benefits have been adequately explained.

Also happy to read there will now be a ribbon cutting ceremony to start educating the public on accomplishments to date and to provide a more realistic completion date for the entire project.

Here's a blurb from last week's paper:

"Work on the Strand Infiltration Trench portion recently finished up and a ribbon-cutting will take place to commemorate it April 22 at 11 a.m. Meanwhile, the Pier Avenue Storm Drain project is currently being worked on and will be acknowledged at the completion of the Upper Pier Avenue renovation, now scheduled for August due to weather and various minor delays in construction."

This is one of a few articles on the greening of Hermosa Beach which Mayor Michael DiVirgilio is pontificating on, City glows green with eco-friendly Strand infiltration trench and storm drain projects

Click on the link and you will be lead to all the other articles too. Probably helps that Michael comes from a PR background and is using this position as a stepping stone to greater political ambitions which is why his name is mentioned out of everyone on the city council, but then again, he is the Mayor...

Wonder if his boss, Rep. Jane Harmon, will be participating in President Obama's visit to Los Angeles, CA tomorrow to support Barbara Boxer. I would assume so. Will be interesting to see if Michael manages to get a photo op there too.:)

Sorry Michael, but I love teasing you (if you're reading.) You do love the spotlight and having represented celebrities in the past I can see one in training in you.

Just saying... That said, congratulations. It's a huge accomplishment and I wish all of you all the best. May it be timely, cost-effective, not ruin local small businesses and ultimately bring new business to Hermosa Beach to rival that of the bar traffic.

And I'll close with this because there might be other crime victims who need to hear this guy has been caught and are unaware of this story: BREAKING NEWS: Parolee arrested in Hermosa Beach robbery, kidnapping

Hermosa Beach City Council Meeting discussing Upper Pier Ave, Green, & other things

By Joy A. Kennelly

Here's a link to the most recent City of Hermosa Beach City Council Meeting held on April 13, 2010. Skip the roll call, pledge of allegiance and click on "Sound Starts here."

That's where you'll hear the Hermosa Beach resident's speaking out on the actual Pier Ave construction, the "Big Brother" water ordinance that is rather extreme and not well-known (be careful if you water your lawn at the wrong times, or too much = tickets are expensive!)

Just teasing a little about the water ordinance. I remember sitting through the city council meeting when this passed and wondered how many residents really knew what was happening to their watering rights. I figured this would be an issue and have been proven right again.

What I love about what's going on here in Hermosa Beach is that this is a total microcosm of the larger environmental agenda being pushed at a national level which I have always been concerned about because the current Mayor Michael DiVirgilio works in Jane Harmon's office and has a political agenda above and beyond normal city politics.

I hope you clicked on some of the links I provided in my last couple blog posts because then you'll see Michael in action on pushing his "green agenda." Now I'm all for going green and grew up with my father creating composts, using solar energy, and other conservation ideas way back in the 70's!

In fact, my father was so ahead (or behind the times depending on how you look at it), we raised rabbits for food. Now growing up as a 2nd Generation Native in Manhattan and Hermosa Beach and knowing these areas today, you wouldn't expect to hear that, but we did.

Yes, we were hippies. Guilty as charged. What's funny is back then it was called cheap, but now it's hip. Totally cracks me up.

I totally get the eco/green mission as a result, but at what cost to those who must bear the brunt for the initial implementation? I have yet to read or hear any cost benefit to these efforts, only added costs. That includes Pier Ave Re-development.

Wait, here's one. I love hearing raspy Carla Merriman, the director of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce. She always reminds me of the type woman from years ago who hung out at bars smoking and drinking. She just explained that certain business men made a very detailed analysis and I believe she called it a "bang up job" if I heard correctly.

Apparently she plans to wait until this entire Upper Pier Ave project is completed to do a Grand Opening too. This makes sense in one perspective, but I hope they realize communication is key and announcements, ceremonies etc along the way will go a long way to raising positive visibility and communication as the project unfolds.

Just curious if the City Council will listen to the Gum Tree owner? And others who are beginning to realize they need to speak up or lose their businesses.

I also wonder if anyone else noticed that City Council Member Peter Tucker apparently presented the first step in turning the Upper Pier into another Pier Plaza environment (if I read the initiative correctly?)

Granted, it's a small thing, allowing people to have tables and chairs in front of their businesses, but that's exactly what everyone was concerned about happening when the sidewalks were widened on Upper Pier.

Maybe I've been away too long and maybe I'm totally misreading this unjustly, but kind of makes one wonder when certain businesses are closing and selling to what? Who knows?

Who's to say that the entire Upper Pier doesn't become designated as an outside shopping area this referendum refers to now and opens the door for more bars and restaurants in this already saturated one mile city.

I really, really, really wish I didn't care about the Upper Pier Ave project, but I do. Maybe I should just forget it and let it go because I probably am not returning to live there any time soon.

I haven't decided yet.

I find it fascinating to observe from afar, yet sad too because I know many of these businesses will continue to go out of business due to the lack of support of the chamber and inertia on this issue with the city council.

I have always wondered if there wasn't some type of mafia influence because of the inability to move things through in a timely fashion. Don't the mafia bribe and manipulate builders in NYC? Wouldn't it make sense then that the reason for the slow progress of Upper Pier may be tampering too?

I can't prove it, but my woman's intuition is rarely wrong. Plus, I have a tendency to wake up with epiphanies that are accurate too. We'll see as this progresses.

Hopefully I'm wrong, but maybe since the ABC is watching the Sharkeez transfer of the Il Boccaccio liquor license very closely they might inadvertently stumble into something else as well. I believe the FBI was watching Hermosa at one time for some drug issue or something.

Who knows? If anything, I'm providing a screenwriter/writer with good fodder for the next TV show or film. LOL

That's all for now. I think I've pontificated enough for one night. I need to relax after today. Good day for my mom, but think I'm coming down with something.

Hermosa Beach City Council Goals for Upper Pier Ave and PCH in case you missed it

By Joy A. Kennelly

I can't decide if residents don't watch the Hermosa Beach City Council meetings, don't believe what's being decided, or haven't heard of this, but apparently The Beach Reporter (the paper most the South Bay reads over The Easy Reader because of the quality of reporting and advertising) had an article on the City Council's goals last month concerning Upper Pier and even PCH, the red-headed step-sister of Downtown Hermosa.

Council begins talks to refurbish PCH and sets multiple goals

(Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 6:36 PM PST)

Maybe the Hermosa Beach small businesses might want to curry the favor of this paper to get coverage on their issues since this explains things fairly well from the City Council's perspective and balance is always welcome.

Just a thought. Gotta run.

Thanks for praying for my mom and John. They both continue to improve. It's still hard, but that's life.

Hermosa Beach - great marketing suggestions in The Easy Reader

By Joy A. Kennelly

I always love reading the Letters to the Editor in The Easy Reader because sometimes you hear from some really smart people, and then sometimes you hear from some really dumb alcoholics. I like the dumb ones the best, have to admit, but do enjoy a smartly written one too.

Here's a sampling of recent letters I thought were interesting. I'll let you decide which category they fall in yourself.:)

Hermosa Isn't Leisure World = Read the first letter with that as the title after you read this letter entitled: Freeze Bars, not Police and the rebuttal to another similar letter here.

Note to Benz, it's been proven over and over that the Hermosa bars don't pay their fair share of taxes, they create a heavy toll on the police and fire leaving the rest of the city at risk, and the trash clean-up alone from all your fellow drinkers adds to the cost.

Why we have to keep repeating this over and over again is beyond me. Perhaps when you drink a lot you forget things or lose brain cells like we were warned about in elementary school? Hmmmm....

And I'm copying this letter in full because I think this woman is right on the money.

"Pictures, please
Dear ER:
As one of the many small business owners (Gum Tree Shop and Café, Pier Avenue) we are already being greatly affected by the street landscaping project. My husband Will and I are here everyday and, when we have customers, we are constantly being asked the same question: What is happening outside? We talk about the project in a positive manner every single day, all day. We have given our staff all the info we have about the project so that they can answer questions.

But people need visuals of what the project will be when completed. I have seen the renderings and they are beautiful. I know that people would love to see them too, and it will generate excitement for the locals to know what they have to look forward to in their new downtown.

I would like the city to produce a flyer that the local businesses could show to everyone who comes in their shops.

I would also liked a poster of the renderings and an explanation of the project to post in windows around downtown, ads in local newspapers and a big banner at Valley Drive and Pier Avenue, as is done for Fiesta Hermosa.

We opened in the midst of the recession just over a year ago, and the last couple of weeks have been the worst since opening. Other business owners are coming in to talk and commiserate with us, everyone down here is feeling it. I am getting calls daily from customers who are asking if they should bother coming down because they think there is no parking. Meanwhile I am staring at blocks full of empty parking spaces all day long.

Lori Ford
Hermosa Beach"

So! Despite appearances, all Downtown Hermosa businesses are open and there is parking! Get it while it's hot. Pretty soon, with the new Pier Ave configuration there will be more bus stops than parking because we know Hermosa is green and EVERYONE rides the bus down here.

Right? Yeah right....

Oh, and if you haven't read last week's Easy Reader, there's a letter from a long-time business owner who runs one of my favorite cafes, Java Man. Interesting observation and something I saw while I was driving down Pier Ave too just today.

Too bad that new office complex across the street will most likely have to claim bankruptcy, and the place that was supposed to be built on the old Alta Dena Dairy has supposedly run out of money. It just looks like all my predictions (and others too) of this soon becoming a ghost town if this project was started in the middle of a recession were right.

I would just once like to be proven wrong about Hermosa, but it's so easy to be right it's not even funny. I wish all my friends the best of luck and encourage all of you to go shopping there. They need your support since they're not getting any from the city.

And that's my honest opinion.:) Take it or leave it.

I'm saving my opinion on the Six Man VolleyballTournament or as it was covered in the Beach Reporter: "Crowds, drinking threaten future of Six-Man", this summer in Manhattan Beach, for another editorial.

Hermosa Beach's latest Pier Ave attraction

This project was sworn to be completed by July 2010, but now is scheduled for September.

With only three men working on it consistently from I've read and seen, December is more like it.

And the Chamber thinks waiting until after this is done to do anything to bring people here will be best for the local business community.

Pretty soon there won't be a local business community.
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God continues to stretch and teach me through this experience with my mom

By Joy A. Kennelly

If you're not on my Facebook page and have only been reading this blog, then you might not know my mom's pains were deadly serious and she almost died last week. Fortunately, they caught the puncture in her heart and the subsequent fluid filling her lungs the 2nd trip to emergency performing emergency open heart surgery to repair it that same night.

Never doubt a woman's intuition is all I have to say. I knew something drastically wrong was happening because I've never seen her have such severe pain and inability to breath like that before. I kept pressing for her to go see her doctor and despite my father's thoughts that she was exaggerating, by the time the last episode happened even he couldn't deny it.

Although it was a hard phone call to receive when he called to tell me she'd been re-admitted, it was also comforting because I could hear in his voice how sorry he felt for dismissing her earlier pains. He's still very stoic and unemotional which is what I've grown up with.

Last night however, I just needed to talk to someone and let down my guard and cry I felt so overwhelmed. Despite feeling like it could be the wrong thing to do, after church last night I drove straight to her hospital room to share my true feelings with her.

I've been so strong and not let her see me cry, but last night needed her to know how I really felt. She's always been my confidante, my best friend, my spiritual adviser. While I sat next to her hospital bed while she lay on her side, we held hands and I just dumped. I told her everything I felt about this entire experience and she was just like my old mom before her heart procedure.

She comforted me with words of wisdom, love and understanding despite her own fears and pain as only she knows how to do. She told me maybe God is trying to strip away everything I normally go to when I'm stressed out and bring me to Him only.

She told me to put my trust in God because that's the only place I'll find peace. I had felt so good earlier praying for her and her room-mate to encourage them, and now, here she was encouraging me.

Her nurse was very encouraging too and told me she will arrange to let me speak to case manager to advise me on where I can find support at the hospital. I realize rather than continue to blog, or seek support only through my own resources, I must reach out and have personal contact with others who are going through what I'm going through.

After a bit, my Mom and I prayed together and then I left to allow the nurses to give her a blood transfusion. I was so encouraged this morning when I called to check in on her to hear her sound like her old self and ready to get out of the hospital.

Before she used to tell the nurses, I'm never leaving which scared me. She wasn't feeling very strong before, but now that she's had this blood transfusion she is on the real road to recovery. I had to arrange with the nurse to prevent any more guests coming in to visit because although mom loves seeing people, she doesn't know how to tell them she's getting tired and over-extends herself.

Although Mom has never understood why I love to have massages, she has really enjoyed the back massages I've given her. I am going to see if we can have someone professional come in to help soothe her pain when she gets out of the hospital too.

I have faith again that my Mom is on the road to restored health and am so grateful to all my friends and others who have been praying for us. I know God answers prayer. I just needed a boost and today's answer to prayer has really helped.

If I've been short tempered, I apologize. I've been under a tremendous amount of stress and don't handle it well, although I'm trying to get better at it.

When I told my Dad I was looking into support groups at the hospital his response was "Why? You don't need it. You're not dealing with Alzheimer patient. Now those people really need support." That's why I don't share much with him what's going on with me. My pain is never valid, nor my feelings. After awhile you realize that's just him and he'll never change.

He's yet to break down, nor admit his fear, but maybe he does it with the many men's groups he's involved in. I don't know. I hope so, but I kinda doubt it. He's the type who likes to pretend nothing's wrong and he never needs any help until people offer it and then he's grateful.

Men and women are so different sometimes, don't you agree?:) I'm just glad today's a new day, a new week and a new beginning. I'm going to go have a massage to relieve more stress and then am heading back over to the hospital.

Thanks again for your prayers. Means a lot and are definitely felt.