laurie kendrick

The Fascinating CBK

Many incredible world events happened during my 30-year career as a newscanchor/reporter.   The Berln Wall came down and capitalism came tumbling in.    O. J. Simpson’s murder trial,  the lengthy Korsech stand off in Waco, Hurricane Katrina, Tienneman Square, The Gulf war  of course, September 11th and all the world changing procedures and processes that became commonplace afterwards..

I might have covered them by proxy, from safety of a studio a thousand miles away, but when you report on a story long enough, you come to know the characters.    Even the terrain where the stories happen.

I felt that way about John Kennedy, JR’s.plane crash.    From an age perspective, I fall between John and his sister , Caroline.     I grew up with them, basically.    I have vague memories of the frolicking in the Oval Office.    But their mother’s desperate need for privacy kept them out of the limelight for most of their our childhood.  I saw even less of them after Jackie married Onassis.   Years went by and I don’t remember hearing or seeing a thing about either sibling, then all of a sudden, John John as he was called as a child,had grown up into a very handsome man.   And his photos were everywhere.

In 1994, I was assigned to cover the Houston Rockets NBA finals match up with the New Year Knicks, not covering the game per se, but doing whacky slice of life, fish out of water stories in the big .  But I went to Madison Square Garden for one of the playoff games and with my media access badge, I could go almost anywhere.  So, I was standing near the corner of the court and sitting mere feet from me in his courtside  side, is John By God Kennedy..   He had on a awhiye button down shirt, sleeves rolled up and he was drinking a beer from a plastic cup.    Like an Everyman, but trust me, he wasn’t.   He was probably one of the best looking men I’d ever seen.   Like a Shiele portrait.      Security told me to step back which I did, and that ended my 13 second relationship with John John.Fast forward five years.

I was sad to learn John’s  plane had crashed and it was apparent to everybody even though it was never mentioned on the air, that all three passengers were dead.   John, Carolyn and her sister, Lauren were flying to Martha’s Vinyard for the wedding of John’s cousin’s  Rory Kennedy, a documentary producer with whom Ethel was pregnant when her husband, presidential candidate Robert Kennedy assassinated.   But the Kennedy family know a lot about death.     JFK was killed in Dallas, two family members  killed in plane crashes in the 1940’s.   Teddy had then deadly crash at Chappiquidic.     He didn’t die, but his passenger died.     Several Kennedy cousins (the third generation) died  various reasons, from illness, a drug overdose and playing football while skiing and catching a 30 yard catch while slamming into a tree.    The Kennedy family has to have grieving down to a science.

I remember doing a few stories on John’s marriage to Carolyn Bessette.    Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed.  We all know the stories about the lusty Kennedy men and as far as that goes,  she was typical Kennedy female fare, blond haired and blue eyes.   I really didn’t think that much of her.    I mean, she was attractive—-it’s not as if John John would marry a dog.    She was petty, from a well to do family and of course, she was as mandatory, a Catholic.    Other than that, it was just another Kennedy wedding.

But it wasn’t until I watched a documentary on the 15th anniversary of the plane crash that I actually noticed Carolyn…almost as if for the first time.

That lead to me becoming a voracious reader about all things CBK.      You rarely hear or see anything about the couple anymore, but I’ve kept her memory very much alive this past year.

If she were alive, I’d love to have a beer with her at some hole in the wall.   I don’t know how I know this , but I firmly belive that underneath the wealthy private  school girl demeanor, the designer clothes, the tony NYC address, the upper crust balls, the cotillions,  high dollar fund raisers, the forced  magazine smiles that never seemed all that easy for her to make.   I just somehow know She was a fairly regular girl who probably didn’t brush her teeth every night and wore unwashed jeans from time to time and farted and burped and laughed at the even the dirtiest jokes.

So, in getting to know Carolyn, first by photos, I thought she  was prettier as a younger woman.  She did some modeling early on and she wore well what was left of her baby fat.

Then she got a job doing PR for Calvin Klein and as the story goes, John came in for a his bespoke suit fitting.    They met and fell in love and maybe a year later, they had a small, secret marriage on an island off the coast of Georgia.

They went to Turkey on their honeymoon and upon their return, John escorted Carolyn out of their TriBeCa apartment, dressed in a sleek brown pencil skirt and black boots, in front of hordes of photographers and camera people, and he begged them to give her her space.  The new Mrs. Kennedy was new to all this media hullabaloo.  Did they oblige?     Oh, hell no.

She was photographed doing everything, everywhere from attending galas to picking up dog doodoo after walking their dog, Friday.   And you could tell it bothered her.   The gorgeous clothes, the pretty long blond hair, piercing blue eyes and long, coltish legs couldn’t hide the “I’m so annoyed look!”.     She was hounded.    Hunted.    Stalked.  And absolutely miserable I would imagine.   And not only that, her father in law, a much loved president assassinat s in such a public…..her  other in law a style and fashion icon.    It was almost a blessing they both died before her relationship with John began, but their ghosts still haunted her.  The media made sure of that.  I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been had she been forced to be a perfect show pony in front of her in laws, much less the surviving Kennedy clan..   Carolyn was pretty snd probably poised and mindful and tactful, but a show pony?    Nope.

I suppose that’s why I began to appreciate her.   John had inherited a lot of money from his mother and from the Kennedy side.      As his wife, Carolyn had had all that money, too….all that access to excess, yet she didn’t seem like a snob.    Her friends and coworkers would tell great stories about her kindness and humanity…..sometimes demonstrating all of these virtues even while wearing a $5000 vintage Valentino gown and uh, that’s in 1998 prices.

Her Patrician profile kind of tells it all.      See the above photo for proof.   It was a perfectly linear as if honed by hand. She would have been an artists’s dream.  Definitely not Dora Marr.

Then, there were rumors flying around that the marriage was in trouble.  She had affairs,  he had affairs.    She and her fashionista  friends were doing a lot of cocaine, a habit which John apparently abhorred.    He wanted kids,  she didn’t.   They were separating one minute, divorcing a week later, recommitting their vows the next day.  It seemed to be a circus inside a carnival ( and one of those thirty traveling kinds) within a circus.    Chaos  and tumult at every turn.    For John, it was no big deal.   He was raised with cameras thrust in his face.    But did he fully understand how absolutely foreign this life was to Carolyn?    Was he frustrated at her inability to cope?

As the years progressed, I can remember seeing Carolyn looking very pale and thin.  Her face had gotten very angular, hollow.  She was pale.   People Magazine published candid shots of the couple walking along New York streets, she looked perfect….even in jeans and little make up , but it was the fact that she and John were holding hands or her arm tucked around his, that almost seemed staged.   They  didn’t look happy and again, keep in mind, that’s Just a very unprofessional opinion.

That said, I’ve probably seen every photo and every video short of the private things the i f family have and would never release to the world.     I’m ordinarily not an obsessive person, but when I find someone who interests me for whatever reason, I’ll read everything I can about them, study every photo and video and these days, one can enter someone’s paycheck by readings every twitter entry, Instagram story, Facebook and Vimeo video.     Narcissism and smart phone filters make this kind of sleuthing so much easier.    You see all their entries and can tell so much about that person.

But I digress.

Carolyn seemed unemotional in most post marriage photos.       I never met her,mint know hervheart or soul, so , anything I say is a presumption, but I doubt she would have taken constant selfies, posed with an archaic book and some foreign coffee drink posting it somewhere and calling it her daily breakfast routine.    She had every reason to be pretentious, but I don’t get the feeling she was.      Perhaps as emotionally skewed as she might have been, she seemed to be the real deal.  Not a poseur.

And with Carolyn, I began to realize it wasn’t that she was  just married to JFK, Jr.,  I was more curious about Carolyn’s life under the microscope of being in this man’s life, which also means being in his big dynastic family.    Her fish bowl existence, all tthe  articles about her good hair days, weight loss rumors, there was this bombardment of her self esteem that she might not have been strong enough to fend off.     Reading all things truly credible and all things completely incredible, I surmised that life for,Carolyn despit all the Kennedy perks, couldn’t have been easy.   I got  the sense that Carolyn became very tightly wound after getting married.      Life had become a prison and freedom, or what little she had, always had to came at a price.   Not unlike Princess  Diana,but then again, doesn’t one have an idea of what one is getting into when marrying royalty, be it British  or even an American version?

If all the authors of all the  books and articles are to be believed, there were abortions, affairs, public arguing, depression, and a separation right before the plane crash.

Like I said, obsession isn’t in my lexicon, not in the classic sense.   I studied Carolyn Bessette Kennedy not to immulate  her—-hell, she was almost six feet tall, I’m practically that in width.   But I know what her favorite parfum was, what her favorite Bobbi Brown eye shadow was and that she liked Bud Light and had large feet, but knowing these things only sated my curiosity.     The sullen eyes told me a whole other story.  I’m not obsessed with CBK, I still feel sorry for her and her life, cut too short.

When she married John John, she married the handsome man AND the media, the gossip mongerung and a very wealthy and mythic family that doesn’t like nonconformists to their ways and means. I feel as though there exists a secret Kennedy Code.    It is a flawed family and almost  as Scotch Guarded as the Clintons.

Where’s the happiness in bei?

What  did that chunky little Italian host of that show all about the seedier, tragic side of  Hollywood say at the end of each show on E!??

“Fame–ain’t it a bitch.”

Carolyn, I’m somsorry that tag line became your reality.












































AHS: Season Five, Episode One & Two


At the beginning of every season of American Horror Story, I pray to St. Cecile of B. de Mille that each episode will make sense and offer logical and proportioned story telling.   And for the previous four seasons, I’ve been sorely disappointed.   The show never fails to fail me, but like my inability to watch a young Hollywood starlet spiral out of viral control. I can’t help but watch the descent.     I’ll watch season numero five if for nothing else, to keep a running tally of every production rule broken before the first commercial break.

The Hotel Cortez is lavishly decorated; Art Decor splendor with a cast of characters that are all delightfully broken souls.     Failures, addicts, fringe types— Denis O’Hare portrays bellhop/bartender with a fetish for Liz Taylor (the caftan years).

Th production is equally lush with Kubrickian camera glides down hallways and use of special fish eye lenses on cameras the elevate in height—the kind that makes TV fangoria even more…well, goriia.

Sex, drugs  sex, ambitious career dreams doused with lighter fluid, sex, homosexuality, murder, mayhem, rape eith pointy conical spheres, gratuitous ass shots, sex, vampires, a ghost or two, kidnapping, ornate dildos and violence all displayed before you imagelike a horror buffet.  Kathy Bates plays Iris, the stern, never smiling hotel manager.   She fights with residents and guests and she works at the hotel to keep tabs on her wayward son who happens to be an addict, a boy toy and a vampire.   Fortunately, son Donovan didn’t seem to inherit his mother’s vision.  Those glasses???    She can kill dreams AND ants from 60 feet away.

I must confess–my first look at her prompted me to think of the result of a genetic commingling of Brett  Sommers (the  Mrs. Jack Klugman) of Match Game game fame and of the late Hollywood super agent And Odcars after party host extraordinaire, Mr Swifty Lazar.image

Sarah Paulsen returns for her fifth consecutive season. She plays Hypodermic Sally, a drug addict with a hairstyle that looks a lot like the unconditioned bob I sported back


in ’84.  She “lives” at the hotel and has a tempestuous relationship of some kind with Iris.   Apparently, they’ve loathed each other for the past 20 years.    Nancy is a drug addict that lured her teenage son Donovan into the Hotel Cortez for a vein full of China White. He must have been an at risk kid, because Iris had been spying on them from her car.   Iris bribes Liz Taylor, looking lovely in fuchsia, and he tells her the room the two junkies are in.   Iris goes upstairs, enters the room; the son is out cold, Nancy is loaded but coherent.    The two women exchange words.   Nancy flounces out of the room, into one of the hotel’s six hundred looming hallways, then finds an open window.   Iris pushes her out, she falls several floors, we assume to her death.

This event happened in a flashback from 1994,     Two commercials later, Nancy is back In the present day, looking haggard and all Nancy Spungeon-esque, but still part of the story line, we assume, as a ghost.  Fast forward to present day and iris and Nancy are still at the hotel, mainly because Nancy might be a ghost.

There’s a police detective, a Jon something or other, who plays his part a lot like Kyle MacLochlan portrayed FBI Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks.    He’s investigating s number of murders that involve rape with conical-shaped metal dildo strap-ons.    He’s crank called by the murderer who lures him to a house, which I swear is the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright Hollywood home of the doctor who’s been linked to the vicious murder of the Black Dahlia in the Forties.    He find  two men brutally murdered and in suspended cages.     But just after that, we learn i the flash back contained in a flash forward that his son had been kidnapped from a carousel on an amusement park on the beach.   This happens when he turns his back for one minute.   And as familial trauma is want to do, this creates a problem with his pediatrician wife( Chloe Zevigny)

Lady Gaga stars as the countess and own of the hotel.   Her acting consists of some dialogue, but mostly crafted profile shots and pouts I perfect keylighting, but she’s a singer first.    She’s a vampire, apparently over s hundred years old and she needs the blood of children to keep,her looking good in a meat suit.   But fear not, not one member of the four basic food groups was harmed in the costuming of her character.   She wears rather fabulous closes, incredible gowns with trains, Bedazzled elbow length gloves with their own special scalpel sharp nail on the index finger.   She has four Hitler youth looking children, who stay in a special game room behind s secret door….that is when they’re not stealing a scene from The Shining, appearing at the end of the hall, then sprinting  off Hussein Bolt down one of the hotels 347 hallways.

Behind this secret door, the kids sit quietly while attached to machines that collect or purify blood (or both) while playing an ancient version of Mine Sweep.   After only two episodes, we’ve learned that one of the kids is the cop’s kidnapped son.   I guess they feed on the blood of addict murder victims (and those are a dime a dozen in this hotel), th blood is then removed of additives and Gaga and Donovan (Iris’ son).

But the CoUntess  wants to sell the hotel to an ascot wearing clothing designer from the East Coast. He’s flamboyant yet has a son with enough of an Asian gene pool to make him looked like a perfectally coiffed Sanjaya from American Idol, 2007.

This is the best pic of young Lachlan Drake I could find.

image image

There’s a heaviness to this season; more so than Asylum (Season 3).    It’s darker, more morose.   The hotel s clean as a whistle, dark in the places it should be.   Just enough ambient lighting to create shadows. I get the sense that love is a culprit this season—-and so is vanity.   People have killed maniacally for both.  And in a hotel where police tape is considered devor, we’re talking about victims, ripe for the picking.    And they pay for their sins in painfully gory ways.

More familiar actors from years past will return over the next several weeks.

Oh yeah, I almost  forgot—Hume Cronyn is back.   Well, Hume C. The actual,noted actor jettisoned this mortal coil several  years ago, but the same actor who played the crazed reanimated Montgomery baby that often lived in the basement of Murder House I. AHS’s first season one of many ghosts of ha returned as some sort of creature that spears in walls and can often be found in s crudely stitched mattress.

See what I mean?

image image

The first episode of Season 5 left  me yawning.    The second episode was better, or rather good enough for to commit to watching a third episode.    One motivation for doing so, is seeing Finn Whitrock.  He played th the murdeereous inbred psychopathic Dandy last year.    in Season 5, he’s a bad boy model really into snorting “Columbian  Marching Powder”. He walks out in the middle of a fashion show and falls under The Countess’ spell.   One romp in the  sack and he too is a vampire, but not only that, he’s replaced Donovan as her boy toy.

Here a scene of the pair in a post coital make up application session.


And here’s Gaga in one of her basic housdresses. Lovely.   Now, I don’t know if this crock proves shoulder pads are coming back…………OR…………

She oddly wears Maxi Pads on her shoulders.

Either way, I hope the look comes back.   I’ll be back for episode tres.

The Political Cause Celeb For Kim Davis

The Kentucky County Clerk who was arrested for refusing to issue a same-sex marriage license due to her religious convictions,  is home.    She spent six days in an uncomfortable, cramped jell call, perhaps with Brawny Big Sal in the other bunk.     Wow.   Kim Davis is made of strong stuff.

But Kim Davis is also in violation of the law.  I say that feeling certain she shouldn’t have gone to jail for it either

Same sex marriages are on books.    The Supreme Court says marriage is an equal opportunity for all.      As someone elected to her post, she swore she to uphold the laws of the land, not her creed.   This isn’t s theocracy.

What it is, is her job as an instrument of the U.S. Constitution.  She has to put her religious paradigms on hold.    I don’t care if she’s a cloistered nun who’s a rabbi on the side with a son who’s a mullah.

If the possibility of Sharia law governing this country is appalling, overt Christianity should be a concern as well as.  The same applies to any other religious or societal factions, whether they be in the form of Kim Davis or for that matter, Morey Sclechtman, Mohammed Alabaster or recently engaged Misters James and Brad So-In-So.    There are some things you can decide for yourself…and some things you can’t.

Davis can be a conscientious objector, but to do so (in my opinion) means she must be willing to reach a compromise of some sort.  Well, the reason why Davis is out of jail is because she asked for and was granted an accommodation—-she’s not requesting same-sex marriages be outlawed, she simply doesn’t want her signature on any legal documentation.  It’s against what she personally believes, but that belief is an obstruction.

It didn’t need to get to this point.   It was completely unavoidable and its exhausting to watch.  It’s been a situation of extremes.   The judge who put Davis in the Bastille over-corrected.    The punishment didn’t fit the crime.   Plus, her past has been brought up and dragged through the mud.  She been married over and over, divorced amost  as any times.  As best I can tell, Davis Is a fairly recent convert to Christianity, Born Again as they say.     Some find solace and centeredness at the gym, in therapy, others find it in religio, all viable entrees to finding inner peace.    Groovy.     She, like everyone else, she deserves a life edit, a do over.   She has that— for now—but no doubt, someone will enter the picture and either politicize the shit out of it even further or shame and guilt society into seeing his or her version of moral righteousness.

But the long and short of it is as follows:  she didn’t have to go to jail, neither did she have to turn this into a statement which now has been polarized.    She should have respectfully disagreed  to sign the marriage certificate and if it possible, “deputize” a willing coworker for the brief time it takes add a signature to a document.    I don’t know how this got so crazy, who complained to who or what was the motivation.    I’m all for religious freedom, part of the constitutional bedrock of this country, but I don’t like martyrdom in any form or fashion.

This is why Non-politicians are being heralded this election season.    Everyone is tired of the rhetorical narrative spewed by the opposition.  I am this, I am that.   America needs this, it needs that.    PPfffffft.   Republican POTUS hopefuls, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are both in Kentucky, Huckabee on on stage, arm in arm with Davis.   Cruz is somewhere in the crowd, taking selfies, to post if this mishegas becomes generally positive; or to delete just in case it all goes south.   Personally, I feel they’re making a vast political mistake by even contemplating a jump on this constitutional defiance bandwagon.  How can one legitimately run for a position which is  contingent upon upholding the  established laws of the parchment all the while saying it is bollocks to being with????

Then again, what the hell?   I personally don’t think either contender has or will ever have a realistic shot at winning the primary.   Maybe deep down they know this is true.   If Cruz or Huckabee are going down, they have a right to pick their blaze of glory, but invariably, these guys also have to know to they’ll burn someone  in the process.

Finding Joy

I’ve returned to blogging recently.   I love my need to write but I hate my need to be read.  So, in trying to shake off the conflict, I’m reading more.   It’s an attempt to expand my mind as opposed to narcissistically dwelling in it.

Step away from the table of contents.

Today, my reading material consisted of the Holocaust and the  upcoming 14th anniversary of 9/11 (hard to believe).    To lighten the mood, I got caught up on the Bolshevik Revolution.  And now here I sit, sleepless and questioning so many of the things I once knew as certainties.

Question du jour:  is joy a spiritual reward?

Or is access to it innate and then once realized, must it be practiced regularly?   Or is it results oriented?   Do we earn joy like old school S&H Green Stamps or bonus points for knowing the proper way to pronounce Ibiza in Catalan?? How closely is it related to faith?    Does an atheist experience the same kind of joy as a Levite Jew?    As a war-weary Syrian hell bent on seeing her homeland from an infrequent over the shoulder glance?       As a one one percenter in America?  As an ambidextrous Portuguese butcher who’s also a vegetarian AND a Scorpio????   Can a scholar sense joy as someone unschooled, lay people as opposed to a proverbial keeper to the flock???

i can’t help but feel that joy is as ironic as it is elusive.  For some people, anyway.  It’s a conscious effort that has to be based on life experience.   Can you exist in a death camp simply for being Jewish while still being as devout as you were before imprisonment?     Can Mass be celebrated on a battle field?

Life experience must play a part, right?   It has to be.   I don’t know what it’s like to drink Cristal on my own Lear jet, heading to exotic ports of call.   I don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager in Peshawar.    I don’t know how it feels to be an Israeli who must make daily trips to a bomb shelter, a Katrina surviver, a gay firefighter in Poughkeepsie, a male model, a Vietnam vet or a red-head for that matter.

I think joy is a conscious effort, that try as you might, can’t be a constant factor.  Perhaps one cam claim to experience joy most of the time, la the Duggarrs, formerly on TLC, currently on every tabloid in every check out aisle.   Can joy run on a continuous loop?


Joy, I reckon, must have an opposing force, you know, like a certain duality such as sweet and salty, hot and cold.  It must be an emotion of extremes.   Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to recognize it as what it is (joy) or what it isn’t (sorrow).   Okay, fine but Is there a middle ground?  Can you be content but not necessarily joyful per se?   Is love a product of joy or a necessary component needed to experience it?  Are love and joy one in the same?

Do I attempt to answer my own questions by asking them?    A question is safer than a declarative, is it not?

Wow.   You do not want to have an existential crisis on a balmy Saturday morning when Mopheus ignores you and you have 600 TV channels, 579 of which pay their bills with early hour infomercials on over priced hair care products or something called “a giant ladder system”.

I’d rather watch a test pattern.

Oh joy.

Dear Laurie

My darling younger self,

What I am doing is nothing new.  In fact, writing letters to your younger self is downright hackneyed.   Everyone does it.   I guess I could also try to write your epitaph while I’m at it!!!!   Okay, but that’s for later in our therapy.

First, we’ll address us when we were 20.     Nice time.    We are/were was young and thin.    Still living in Austin before the severe leftist intrusion the late 80’s.    College was fun, like high school with ash trays.   It was a raucous time to be alive.   Back then, no one tried so hard to be different.   Uniqueness just was– not a lifestyle pursuit.

Remember how we moved every time the rent went up?   It was a hassle to be a  full-time student working at a crappy job that introduced itself to you as a crappy job.     We knew it when we said “Yes to the stress”.    But you’ll do just fine.   You’ll learn to live within your means and you already know about talking at a higher octave to buy a cheaper Happy Meal without the guilt.

Never forget get those insidious roach infested apartments we lived in.   They were and for some time, will be, tiny and cramped.  Lean to’ with shingles.  But you’ll appreciate that you have a roof over your head and indoor plumbing. But never forget, the DNA of a hundred previous tenants will always be swirling on every surface.   Avoid the petri dish that will be your kitchens.   Look into healthy ways of employing anorexia in your life, if possible.   You won’t want to place food, much less eat it, anywhere near most of your kitchen counters.

For a time in your  early twenties to age 30 or so,, the only letters you’ll receive will be returned check notices from your bank.   You’ll learn to hate that distinctive shade of pink paper that shouts  “welcher…..loser” behind the envelope’s cellophane window.   But I beg you, don’t beat yourself up about this. Why?  Because you will survive the “student experience”.   You’ll make those particular sacrifices while still young in life.  You’ll live in neighborhoods that were shady because like your neighbors, you didn’t have a choice.    At least not in the fiscal sense.   And yes, the chasm between you and “the haves” will exist, especially while still in college, You’ll look enviously at those rich, indulged sorority types who were on parents-ships, totally subsidized by mummy and daddy.  You used to think their only goal for four years was to pledge the right sorority, date the right guy from the proper Texas zip code and study, in between winters in Cabo and spring breaks in Gstaad.   But I want you to let go of any resentment ASAP.   It’s reductive and besides, everyone has a veneer, a lovely candy coating…..and consequently, everyone has a price to pay for everything.   The Big Mental Get Even comes later, I promise.    You’ll be amazed how once you’re in the real world, the playing field will be leveled.     Not completely, but more so than it was during your college days.  You’ll grow up, mature and see the error in your thinking.

Oh and while I’m at it, don’t date any jocks at while at The University of  Texas.   It won’t end well.

For him, as it turns out.

You’ll have a kickass career, especially at the very beginning and while the money isn’t flooding in, your star is rising and you will be heralded in ways you only imagined at age six.     On air, you are loved unconditionally and disliked with as much passion.   Learn to edit criticism from viewers and listeners and for God’s sake, run like hell from broadcast consultants.     All they know is resentment from an on-air career that went to hell or worse, never went anywhere.   They’re Satan’s spawn on a salad plate filled with nettles.     General Managers are generally full of hot air too, their hands still aching from all the knives they plunged into other people’s backs.    They will eventually stumble and fall as well.   You’ll learn that failure and disappointment are viable and unavoidable  facts of life.    Embrace them.  They are lessons indeed, but not necessarily pass/fail courses.    You can choose your mode of testing.

In order to do that, I urge you to avoid pilots, ignore the tall, handsome Canadian.   Stay clear of the lure of fame even if regional, even if it’s on lowest rung on the show biz latter.  Try to abstain from all the stuff that feels good and either sounds like, or actually includes the letter “x” anywhere its title.   Imbibe less.  Learn that Love is more, much more than a few commonalities,    A mutual love of chicken coop welding will bring  you together, but it’s not enough to keep you together.   Love is complicated, regardless of how easy it can feel.   Use common sense, don’t be a doormat.   Reinforce your spine.

Please let go of that precious little lion cub by 1975.    Trust me, your life will be easier.    Adolescent first loves are too often idealized and never a reason to seek a vacuum cleaner hose before shutting the garage door.  It just feels like the end of the world.   It isn’t.  There’s power in release.

Learn that donuts aren’t sweet bagels, don’t date co-workers.   Madonna will always be thinner than you AND might I add, always a year older.    Calibrate the mania in your life, keep stress on low and battle the inertia, where possible.  And please know this—it’s perfectly fine to be vulnerable, just not to the point of exploitation.

So, be kinder to yourself than I was.    I’m sorry for some of the decisions I made….not so much what I did, but who I did.   Had I been wiser, the tone of this letter would be far less cautionary.  But in spite of all the warnings, there will be good times in your life and yes, you will know joy, but understand that (unless you did an unscripted  180 and became a cloistered nun), it’s not a constant.    It should be, but it can’t be, no matter what bill of goods you or someone else is trying to sell you.   .    You’re an errant human and you’ll know joy’s varying degrees throughout your life.    Revel in its presence.     Use time wisely, it never seems to stop until it has passed.   Oy.   Enjoy your memories but stay focused on  your dreams and goals.      And uh….being the first female broadcaster in space, isn’t one of them.

Marriage and motherhood can be In the picture should you choose to form a civil union or procreate….providing the ovaries can produce anything but powdered eggs.    That’ll be an issue.   But  you’ll welcome menopause and be okay with aging, as long as you don’t attach anything numerical to the process.  Stay away from fun house mirrors and laugh, loudly and often.  Walk tall, learn to accept and respect your gifts. You have more than you allowed yourself to realize.  Avoid complex carbohydrates and refuse the urge to celebrate your birthday during Fiesta in San Antonio, 1991. The trip there will literally wreck your life.

Lastly and perhaps the most important thing Older Me can impart to Younger Me would be this:  your mother wasn’t Kreskin.   She was wrong about a lot of things.



You at 56.

My Tray of Randomness

I don’t know what this thing is called exactly.   I don’t know if this thing is even ‘a thing’ in the world of the  fashioned minded, but I was recently challenged by someone who made herself a tray chocked full of random objects that express her sense of style.   She saw something on Pintrest, copied it and supposed I should try to be tray cool, too.

As if a mere tray could ever really contain ANYTHING that could convey my essence.  

There are no rules to apply here, she assured me.   Nothing has to match, it can be as random as I wanted; as crowded or sparse as I wanted; nothing right or wrong about anything I chose to place on the tray. The only requirements were that a tray had to be involved to the hold all the stuff and  the stuff needed at least a brief explanation as to why it belonged on said tray.

Since I really have nothing to base my tray on in terms of design—my friend was of little help—I went with the old bridal theme, something old, something new, etc., etc., as a basis.

Here’s the finished product:

LK tray

I used a Lucite tray I found….standard issue, two handles and placed it in the corner of my service country of my kitchen, then went about my house looking for the things that screamed or whispered, “Laurie” .

Well, I does love me some pop art.   And nothing says pop, like Judy Garland in her the role that made her a famous gay icon para siempre,  Dorothy from the ‘1939’s  72 percent Technicolor epic, The Wizard of Oz.    Now, what’s cool about this particular photo?   Its made up entirely of repeated lyrics from the movie’s theme song, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.

If you look closely, you can see “happy little blue birds flying” right there on Miss Thing’s lips.  dorothy's lips

Color was added to the type, but its all there, the whole damn song.

The tray also includes an Ashanti vase (upper left hand corner).  It’s the turquoise gold make shift pencil/pen/magnifying glass/, groovy cheetah- handled scissors holder.     Truth be told, there’s actually more to the vase than I let on.   The actual name of this l’objet is the  Fortuny  Ashanti  Vase in Teal.      It’s the handiwork of a Venetian gad about, the legendary fashion and textile designer Marian Fortuny.   The Ashanti part of the name must be an homage to the traditional art from the Ashanti tribe in Africa… least I think so.   Educated guess, basically.   That’s real by God 24k gold you see there, but that  wasn’t the reason why I bought the vase,  nor had I heard ever hear of Señor Fortuny or his talents.    I liked it because it reminded me of a pencil holder I might have made for my mom out of an old frozen orange  can.   You know, as  in an pre-Mother’s day assignment in my third grade arts and crafts class.

Those are ordinary silk flowers in a vase I’ve had for years.    Near base of the vase  is a green crystal skull tea light holder.    A symbolic  a brand identifier good enough for Alexander McQueen tis certainly good enough for my tray.   My mother insists that I inform you that it’s a Kosta Boda product, which I think is Swedish for “ugly ass crystal tea light”.

A Buddha sits nearby.  Don’t wanna brag but it is Baccarat.    See,  I’ve always wanted to own some Baccarat crystal and while I applaud the deity and his teachings of peace, love and understanding, Id like to think he would have been a backer of frugality well,  because  The Buddha was the least expensive Baccarat item in the store.

A blue Cloisonne ball adds to the confusion.  I’ve had that thing since the mid 80’s.    I’ve wanted to throw it away time and time again, but I just wouldn’t make myself do it.  .  We’ve  been through a lot together.   So one day ago I freed it from its dusty prison.   It had been on a neglected shelf collecting dust where dust goes to collect dust and to no doubt hide from me and a can of Pledge, that oddly enough, also hides itself from me (have I mentioned??  I’m not exactly a fan of housework).

That matches are from Mexico and represent a very positive time in my life.     My  first TV job right out of college was at a station in Laredo, Texas, right on the Mexican border. This was the early 80’s when cartels were places tired Fords and Chrysler checked in for a good night sleep before hitting the road again the next morning.    I spent a great deal of time both working and playing in Northern Mexico.

Next to the matches sits, a pretty little yellow butterfly made from sea glass collected  the Gulf of Mexico.    It’ originates as a glass bottle tossed over board from a ship or from a motorist crossing a bridge.   It’s broken on impact, usually and the pieces bob around for a while and then was made smooth by the pounding waves.   It makes landfall on a beach and artistic types make stuff out of it, jewelry mostly, but I found a lovely yellow butterfly.  Since it came from The Gulf of Mexico, I inspected it carefully before buying at a gift shop down near Galveston way, didn’t want a hypodermic needed mistaken for am antennae emanate.      At the time of purchase the Gulf wasn’t known more for its combustibility and disease  communicability more so than its er…uh…well, loveliness.

That old rusted spurs signify I am Texas through and through–fifth generation, to be exact  and after being scratched by one of the pointy rowels on the heals of one of those damn things,   I am also a Tetanus shot candidate through and through.

The Spirit of Flight is a little book with that  includes wonderful inspirational saying from authors well known and completely unknown.    I’m really not sure; I bought it because it was cheap, small and the cover had the right colors in it.

The little bunny ring holder as been around a while.  It mocks me because I’ve never been married.   I will someday return the insult by making a ring out of at least 24 carrots and placing it millimeters away from the holder, just out of its reach, but still completely in that little pink oculared  bastard’s eyesight.

And lastly, the old lock in the corner is just that….an old lock.  I merely saw it for sale and slammed two bucks down for it.    It had a simple, unspoiled rustic charm to it, not unlike me

And like me, its stopped working a long time ago.

So there you guy,  my little random tray.

Tootles ya’ll.






Living Green

I could never live off the grid.   Indoor plumbing, a refrigerator, microwave,  air conditioning and my flat iron are all too important to me.  I know ease of living and vanity are hell on the environment.   And by the time, that old pine box with my name on it calls me home, I suspect my carbon footprint will be large enough for children to swim in it, providing if there’s any safe, clean water left anywhere in the world when my time comes.

Yes, my little tree- huggers, I WILL try harder.

And will do so by recycling more, walking more, dry cleaning less, hang drying my wet clothes more often AND  telling you all about my new love affair with the color green.  Or to be more specific, two particular shades of green:   celadon and green yellow.

Celadon is shade that’s more green than anything.   A nice, calming hue to be sure.   It used to be everywhere back in the early to mid 80’s.   These were the “Miami Vice” and “Dynasty” years, so women were always traipsing around in clothing that hid   shoulder pads as big as a baby bed mattress and the men would wear round collar t-shirts under a suit jacket and sockless…always sockless.   Their rooms were all decked out in this shade of  green mixed with peach shiny lacquer furniture.   Rounded corners.    You’d find  decorative borders adorning the ceiling line.

Remember this?



Pic courtesy of,  by the way.

See what I was talking about in terms of color combos?      Peach and various shades of green.     And why were there so many ferns in every room back then?

I couldn’t sleep in a room like this today.  Doing so I think, would actually give me ADD.  The heavy furniture would make me feel claustrophobic and the quilt effect of the comforter would make me yearn for corn pone and discovering ways  to sign up for

Furniture must also have a lightness of being, I think.   This isn’t it and oh my Deity, look at the hideous 80’s wallpaper border along the ceiling line AND baseboards!!!!!!

Oh the pain, the pain……

But back to my new found respect of green.   For the first time ever in my life, I like green-yellow.       Back in the day, this at was my least favorite color in crayon in Crayola’s  box of 64.     Here’s why:   I’m the baby of my family, but I had younger cousins.   I remember when they were  fresh out of the womb and watching their diapers being changed.  I stood here both repulsed AND convinced the Infamil formula they had for supper was performing somgreen yellow crayolae sort of  strange alchemy in babies’  stomachs.    The stuff  they drank went  in white and liquid—I saws the bottle myself,  but a short time later, came out greenish- yellow and liquid.    And the smell?       That particular smell was almost palpable.

As a result, I was turned by that color off forever.

Besides, the crayon itself was only good for coloring squash and how many times did squash come up in any coloring book,  unless its one produced  Burpees Seeds or Martha Stewart on a gardening bender?

And might I add, this is the first time I’ve looked at a crayon in years.   It’s multi-lingual!!!     How urbane.     But what a great teaching tool, as well.     More on green-yellow in the next week.

So anyway, I decided a few years ago to bring back celadon….in moderation, of course.

First,  I found this cream colored mid-century chest,  total reproduction (it would probably melt if left out in the sun long enough) but it was so cool, I had to bring it home with me.    I grew up in the 60’s, so I saw lots of this style.   I didn’t appreciate it then, I do now.

I put it in the corner of my great room, next to some built ins.

my room

I forgot where the art work is from or what its called or who the artist is, but i liked it because it reminded of the Earth’s  layers.

When I placed the cream colored chest underneath it, I noticed how much that brought out the lighter tones .    So, I found this big round glass plate in pure Don Johnson 80’s celadon and placed it on a bronze stand.

But needed more.    A statue or something and just the right dimensions.

A friend suggested I use Venus de Milo, but I sad “Nah, everyone has Venus somewhere in their home.  I want someone few people have”.        I remembered seeing this headless, arm less angel somewhere and thought it had a cool art- deco vibe about it.     So, while perusing a website for the famed Louvre in Paris, there she was.big nike

The Winged Victory of Samothrace (AKA  the Nike of Samothrace )  is a 2nd-century BC marble sculpture  and pure Greek.     Excavators believe she  formed part of the Samorthace Temple Complex dedicated to the Great gods, Megaloi Theoi, whoever they are.     It’s been prominently displayed at the famed Paris museum since 1884 .   Experts say  it represents a near perfect example of Hellenistic sculpting.

Yeah maybe,  but what about her head and arms?

No one knows where those are, but various other fragments have since been found Nike;’s initial unearthing in 1863.    Almost 100  years later in 1950, excavators found her missing right hand, but it was fingerless and check this out….it slid out from under a rock where the statue had originally stood.   Out of nowhere.  Right in front of the scientists.    Poof!!!!!    It  just slid on out, as if wanting to be found.

A subsequent dig at the temple coughed up the Goddess’s ring finger and her thumb.    Both are kept in a special drawer at a museum with a very difficult to pronounce Teutonic name, in Vienna, I think.    For those who are curious and with plenty of time on their hands, here’s a hint: the name begins with a “K”….maybe.  Not sure.

Fast forward to 2014 for a gander of the glass plate and Nike in the corner of my living room.

nike and plate

You cant see it in this pic, but in the painting above it, there’s a lovely celadon green veining that just makes the plate pop and when you mix the statue with it (which is just bronze paint over plaster,  but quite pleasing visually), it offers a tremendous overall effect. , I think.     The plate’s goldish-bronze  painted accents tie everything together..

I then chose to place a tall mid century floor lamp next to it with this oversized post modern shade that I’m sure t Sally Rogers  wouldhave sat near during one of of Rob and Laura’s many parties  for Alan Brady and well,  there you go.

If memory serves,  this entire to homage to the color green, Greeks and Geeky mid-century was well under $300.     And while it might not be your taste, that’s fine.   It’s not mine either.   At least it wasn’t.   I basically copied it from various design mags and websites.  How do you know what you like –and don’t like unless you investigate?  Do a little digging….R&D?    And besides,  isn’t copying in this way, the penultimate form of flattery?   I think so.

I like it, it makes me comfortable.    And that too is the essence of one’s own style.   Find what you like.    Screw what anyone else thinks.

I really like the warmth of the painting, married with the cool, aloofness of the chest.   Then there’s  that lovely plate with ol’ arm less Nike standing up there without a head, completely unaware of the vast design mistakes I’m making on the other side of the room.

Seeing here in her French element is on my bucket list and just as soon as Americans are better received around world and the terrorist develop lousier  aim, I am so going to Paris.

Until then, join me soon for more questionably  tasteless ventures down Style Street.



PS:   I really, really want shoulder pads to make a comeback.