Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NVFF -Day 2

The screenings at the Napa Valley Film Fest (NVFF) are too numerous to mention with movies being shown in 4 cities - Napa, Yountville, St.Helena and Calistoga - and at more than 12 venues.  I watched the documentary, ONE CHANCE, about Paul Potts, the first winner of the Britain's got Talent Show.   It was quite inspirational as he had to overcome so many obstacles just to get on the show.    

It was such fun working the Fesitval Gala and with NAPA Valley being so well-known for its many fine vineyards, well, the wine flowed like water.   The former COPIA Center was resplendent with Hollywood like decorations and rocking with several bands spread throughout the venue.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At The Movies!

I'm so excited as I love working Film Festivals and I'm in NAPA right now working this event.  In the past I've worked both the Denver Film Fest and the biggest and the best, Sundance.   I've done everything from arrange transportation to cooking for the starving artists to working the Red Carpet.   At this one I'm a concierge for the the VIP patrons.

I just love the ambiance and the environment which makes me feel like I'm inhaling creativity everywhere I go.

Today I set a new record, 2 movies and 5 short films in 8.5 hours plus worked 3 events.

The Fabulous Ice Age is an interesting documentary exploring the popularity of the old skating stars like Sonja Heine and the extravagant shows -- like Ice Follies and Holiday on Ice.  I loved the movie as it reminded me of all the Saturday afternoons I've spent with my mom watching ice skating competitions.

Old Stock was a quirky picture about a young man who decides to hide out and live
in an assisted living home after a car accident.......so he starts acting as if he's 65 instead of 20.   


Friday, June 14, 2013

For my DAD!

As Father's Day approaches, I'd like to honor my dad with a few comments.

My dad was hard-working and always did whatever it took to support our family of 9 kids, born in less than 12 years: 5 boys - 4 girls.   There was always a baby around but he loved kids, so he was thrilled to be blessed with so many.   Money was scarce, but we were never on welfare--because like so many men of his generation he took pride in taking care of his family.

He was the baby of 6 children, born to Sicilian immigrants and did not even speak English until he was 9.   But unlike many of the immigrants of today who want everything handed to them and in many cases even refuse to learn and speak English, he fully recognized the importance of fitting into our society, to the point that he would not even allow us kids to learn Italian........which would have been so easy as we always lived near my Italian grandma Rosa.

My favorite piece of advice from him was:  
"Getting your education is like constructing a building.   You must have a solidly built foundation or the entire building will crumble."

From the first day I started school, no grade other than an A was acceptable.  I'm fortunate because  in the 1950s, he stressed education for his daughters an idea that was definitely ahead of its time because at that time, most women were getting married right out of high school.

Being the oldest, he pushed me so hard that by 27 I had a degree in Accounting and an MBA.  At that time, in 1976, I was somewhat of an oddity as there were not many women in the business world, but I was grateful as my strong educational background gave me a real advantage in finding a job.

There wasn't any problem he couldn't solve and he always had a helping hand for anyone -- family or friends -- who needed his assistance.  I also love that he taught me to always take in "strays" for the holidays.  So, no matter how many family members we might have at a holiday celebration (upwards of 50 with all my relatives), he wanted us to make sure our single friends had somewhere to go.

He was an incredible dancer and even met my mom in a nightclub!   I have many fond memories of our times on the dance floor -- whether in the living room, at a wedding or even in a nightclub.  He's the one who made me a concert junkie as he took me to see Bobby Darin when I was just 11 years old.   We had the most fun though going to see the Ike and Tina Turner Revue at Club Imperial in St. Louis.  We were regulars at the Nightclub.  This was was back in 1961 when I was just 13 and way before they were famous.

Check out this  Luther Vandross Video as it's one of my favorites and reminds me of the many times I danced with my dad.  For all of you who are missing your dad on Father's day, this one's for you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Attacked by my Microwave!

There are numerous articles and statistics to support the theory that over 75% of accidents happen right in your home and I certainly have helped to prove that theory.
I’ve had a few accidents in my home and until this microwave incident; the oddest accident happened when I fell while trying to get out of my recliner and broke my right foot.   While it hurt a lot physically, I think more than anything it hurt my pride because I just felt so stupid and careless.   And since it happened in September (off ski season), I couldn’t even make up a good story, “like I was flying down a double-black diamond” when I lost control.

But nothing prepared me for the injury I suffered recently when I hit myself on the left side of my head while closing the microwave door.  Yes, I know, it’s hard to picture that happening, but my microwave is elevated above the stove and again while hurrying, I slammed the door into the left side of my head.  I didn’t think much about it until 2 days later when I suffered severe episodes of vertigo. 

After much research and talking to nurse Ginny (my sister), I discovered I was suffering from BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) which is caused by the crystals in your inner ear being knocked loose.  See http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/DS00534/DSECTION=causes

I had to go to a therapist for a canalith repositioning procedure during which I was rolled off the edge of a table to try and knock the crystals back in place.   It’s so dis-orienting, that I felt like I was being rolled around in a washing machine!  
While it’s not life-threatening, it’s devastating because before I experienced this, I hadn’t really thought much about how important balance it.   And as we get older one of our biggest fears is our loss of independence and I learned first-hand how your ability to stay balanced affects everything – walking, doing daily chores and especially driving.
So, learn from me and slow down because the therapist told me this is not an uncommon injury, especially for older people.    It's so hard for me to break those habits, as I've been a fast-paced, type A person my entire life.   Also, protect your balance by doing some strengthening exercises.  Check out http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Strength-and-Balance-Exercises_UCM_307384_Article.jsp

It's a good time of the year to check out your home for potential accident areas, so for additional home safety tips, go to: https://www.westmetrofire.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/553