Sunday, August 27, 2017

SURPRISED BY JOY ~ LOUISE PENNY, SOBRIETY and MIRACLES

Surprised by Joy

Mainly sunny, though light snow falling now, temps minus 10

Michael and I went into Knowlton for breakfast this morning - scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms, fruit and toast with spiced blueberry and rhubarb jam. Yum.

Michael's back - which has long been vulnerable - started giving him grief last night. So it was back to the little red pills, a couple of big blue ones, a massage with a special cream and a hot water bottle. This morning he woke up feeling much better, and even did his exercises. Then off to Knowlton.

This is a special day. In fact, when we returned we lit the fire, made a tea and while he got down to writing his book I did more editing on mine. I'd put a special CD into the player. The music from the film, The Piano. An old film, and I can tell you exactly how old. 15 years.

I only listen to it once a year. On january 2nd.

And as I listened to it, I felt the tears come. I sat in the living room, with Michael, and the fireplace and the dogs asleep at our feet, and the cold outside, and cried.

With relief. And gratitude. With amazement. And joy.

This is my anniversary in AA. Fifteen years. Sober. Fifteen years ago, at the age of 35, I knew the best was behind me. I'd staggered to a stop. Not so much weighed down with years of drinking, but hollowed out by it. Empty.

What brought me to my knees wasn't alcohol, but what it did to me. What it stole. My self respect, my laughter, my ability to make and keep friends. Eventually even my desire to have friends.

I was on an island, looking at the mainland. And slowly, the mainland was sinking, like Atlantis. Until there was no hope left. Just me. Alone.

I think I could have sustained the anger, the self-pity, the victimhood, even the pain. What I could no longer sustain was the loneliness.

And finally, on January 2nd, after trying for years to stop drinking on my own, I got help. I went to my first meeting. And a miracle occured. I don't use that word lightly or often. But I know it happened.

I walked out of that meeting no longer needing to drink. I worked hard, and continue to work hard, at AA. Doing the steps, going to meetings. But in that instant I went from wanting to die, to wanting to live.

In my books I write about Clara's painting of Ruth - as the old, embittered, forgotten Virgin Mary. And that Clara painted her in the instant when despair turned to hope. It was just a glimmer in her eye, barely there. But there. Clara captured Grace.

All my books are about that. About despair, yes. But ultimately they're about hope.

Gamache is kind, compassionate, thoughtful - not because he's too innocent, too naive, too stupid to understand how cruel the world is...but exactly because he does know. He knows the worst, and chooses the best.

I learned to do that. The world didn't change - I did. I wanted to die, was going to die. At 35 there seemed nothing but a chasm. And no way to sustain that loneliness for another week never mind 40 years.

Now, 15 years to the day later, I look at my life and marvel. At the love I'm given and the love I give. At the friends, the family. At the people who helped me. At Michael who I met 14 years ago. At the puppies. At our home. At the books I get to write and the people I get to meet.

But mostly I marvel at the inner landscape. At the island that became a mainland, that became a continent, that became a lovely, kind, caring world. Inside.

At 2 years sober we're given a medallion by our sponsors and asked what phrase we'd like engraved on it. I thought about that and chose - Surprised by Joy. A phrase I used deliberately, with gratitude, in Still Life. I keep that medallion with me always. To remember.

Tomorrow I'll be going to an AA meeting - making coffee beforehand, setting up chairs. Someone will give me a 15 year cake. And I'll have the great honour of giving Janet, a woman I sponsor (mentor) a cake celebrating her 10 years of sobriety.

I don't often talk about this. It's called 'Anonymous' for a reason. But once a year I talk about it in case there's someone out there who believes their life is at an end. In case there's someone reading this who feels on that island, yearning for the mainland. In case there's someone staggered by loneliness.

I want you to know, you're not alone.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

LYDIA CORNELL BIO 2017





About Lydia Cornell

Lydia Cornell, whose great-great grandmother was Harriet Beecher Stowe, has been Invited to contribute her writings to The International Museum of Peace, which houses letters from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou & Sir Edmund Hillary. Known for her knife-sharp wit on HBO, standup comedy, social media, concerts, public speaking and morning-drive radio, Cornell has been called: “A female George Carlin and ‘the new Tina Fey.’ A fresh voice; one of the most original voices in America today. ~ Cindy Pearlman, Chicago Sun Times and New York Times syndicate

With 18-34 million viewers Tuesday nights on ABC primetime, and millions more in worldwide syndication, AFI Best Actress nominee and People's Choice Award winner Lydia Cornell grew up in America’s living rooms. Best known for her starring role as the daughter of TV legend Ted Knight  (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Caddyshack) on the hit ABC series Too Close for Comfort, she is an international celebrity with a fiercely loyal fan following whom she interacts with daily on social media.  Starring in over 250 TV shows & films in 27 countries, including HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, she costars with Robert Downey, Jr., Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Oldman in indie films at Sundance; Variety’s Power of Comedy with Rebel Wilson and Russell Brand and The Kelsey Grammer Comedy Hour. Her fan base exploded last fall when she shot onto Google’s Top Trends[1] and Yahoo! Finance News’ Most Viewed News Stories[2] right behind William Buffet. Yahoo! Finance News: Lydia Cornell interviews World Leaders, Pulitzer Prize Winners, White House and Presidential Candidates for new morning drive AM radio show

Cornell is also a writer, director, talk show host, women and children’s advocate, teen mentor; mother and inspirational public speaker. In 2017, she was honored by the Los Angeles Movie Awards for directing the SAG film It's My Decision and received the Southern California Motion Picture Council's Golden Halo Lifetime Achievement Award. As co-host of a radio network with Hell’s Kitchen chefs, MTV stars and CLNS Sports Radio personalities, she hosts a top-rated podcast on itunes, which was nominated for a Stitcher award. She is currently working on a series of humor and spiritual recovery books. She is producing docuseries with an astrophysicist  from NASA-JPL and a Naval Intelligence officer, as well as her own comedy TV series. She wrote and directed the indie short Venus Conspiracy, which will soon be a feature film. Her articles have appeared in Herald de Paris; A&E Biography; Editor & Publisher; Huffington Post; Macon Daily, People, Us, Yahoo, New York Post, Script Frenzy and Lone Star Icon. Too Close for Comfort airs daily on Tribune Broadcasting’s new comedy channel Antenna TV. Cornell took a sabbatical from Hollywood in order to get sober, raise children, write books, and find her soul in a pornographic world.

  • Cornell's blog is a triple Koufax nominee for best writing, recipient of the Thinking Blogger Award and winner of the Freedom Award and three World Report Awards, is “a consistently thought-provoking firecracker of pointed socio-political commentary and observant, caustic wit.” (Yahoo News; Shotgun Reviews.)
  • Despite rumors on TMZ and in the tabloids, Cornell did not sue Kelsey Grammer. Cornell is currently helping the FBI alongside Kelsey Grammer in a major criminal investigation. This will be revealed in an upcoming expose.
  • Has been invited to contribute her writings to The International Museum of Peace, which houses letters from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou & Sir Edmund Hillary.

Triumph over Tragedy: A children’s advocate, Cornell raised a child with brittle bone disease is an inspirational speaker on domestic violence, and teen suicide prevention — as well as on drug, alcohol and Adderall[1] abuse. She endured a shattering personal tragedy when she found her younger brother’s body after a drug overdose.

Recovery Expert: Sober now for 22 years, she speaks to recovery groups of 200 or more. She spoke at Texas A&M for Domestic Violence Prevention’s 30th anniversary luncheon. Her talks are laced with poignant stories of transformation with an innate sense of humor and comic timing. Cornell speaks at charity fundraisers, hospitals, high schools, colleges and women’s centers on overcoming loss, grief, unemployment, sexism, ageism, depression, self-sabotage, suicide, raising aliens (teenagers) and every imaginable hardship. Her triumph over addiction was the result of a ‘catastrophic spiritual awakening.’ “There is a reason so many celebrities are in rehab these days,” she says. Her experiences in overcoming a string of failures and humiliations inspired her to assist others with their own demons. “My ego was so big, it had an apartment of its own with a walk-in closet.  

Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Lydia has been invited to speak in Florida on Osteogenesis Imperfecta or brittle bone disease. A mother of boys, she raised a stepson whose bones broke every time he fell. “Raising a child with brittle bone disease has been one of the most precious gifts of my life.” she says of her stepson.

Public Service

Military: Received the USO Distinguished Service Award for trip to Beirut war zone
In 2015, Lydia went to Lincoln Nebraska to support the troops for the Big Red Challenge.  She will be in Santa Barbara for a celebrity golf tournament to benefit “Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People.”  She has worked with the Red Cross, Firefighters, Autism Awareness, and High Hopes Ryan’s Reach — Pat Boone’s charity for traumatic spinal cord injury.

Domestic Violence: She hosted a documentary for Safe Passage Home, an organization that gives extreme life makeovers to victims of domestic violence, for Oxygen network. She housed domestic abuse victims and cared for their children throughout the school year. With the help of the police, Cornell helped rescue a battered woman from a predator. 

Teen Mentor: As a teen mentor, Lydia works with L.A. Team Mentoring (after school programs for underprivileged kids) and is developing a site for troubled teens called The Answer Room.

  • Currently in talks with Dancing with the Stars
  • Opened for Paul Rodriguez at Pechanga 1500 seat theater
  • Seen on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm; costarring with Robert Downey, Jr., Steven Tyler, Jon Bon Jovi and Gary Oldman in Me, Miami and Nancy Sundance; Kelsey Grammer Comedy Hour; Host of Variety’s Power of Comedy with Rebel Wilson, Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Melissa Etheridge, Aziz Ansari, Lake Bell, Dylan McDermott, Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman; co-stars in director Jordan Alan’s Cats Dancing on Jupiter with star of The Mentalist.
  • Too Close for Comfort is back daily on Tribune Broadcasting’s comedy channel Antenna TV, on WGN and in top markets nationwide. The show has been in worldwide syndication for over 25 years.
  • She has her own award-winning podcast and radio show and is co-owner of a network Beats and Eats on iTunes with Hell’s Kitchen chefs, Sports Radio and MTV stars, and was nominated for a Stitcher Award.
  • A humorist and comedienne, Cornell has been called the “female George Carlin.”
  • She is currently working on a series of humor and spiritual recovery books, which will be out in 2018.
  • Despite rumors on TMZ and in the tabloids, Cornell did not sue Kelsey Grammer. Cornell is currently helping the FBI alongside Kelsey Grammer in a major criminal investigation. This will be revealed in an upcoming expose.
  • Lydia Cornell's blog is a triple Koufax nominee for best writing, recipient of the Thinking Blogger Award and winner of the Freedom Award and three World Report Awards, is “a consistently thought-provoking firecracker of pointed socio-political commentary and observant, caustic wit.” (Yahoo News; Shotgun Reviews.)
  • Has been invited to contribute her writings to The International Museum of Peace, which houses letters from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou & Sir Edmund Hillary.
  • Received the USO Distinguished Service Award for Middle East and Beirut war zone trip to visit the troops.
  • Venus Conspiracy – written and directed by Lydia Cornell, costarring Deborah Van Valkenburgh, who played her sister on Too Close for Comfort
  • Pain is Inevitable, Sex Optional – on stage in her original three-woman show
  • Political Voices of Women Best Writing Awards ~ World Report Award, Thinking Blogger Award; Weblog Award and Double Koufax Nominee.




[1] Google Hot Trends: Google Hot Trends: What is popular/what is hot Lydia Cornell in Google’s top 100 trends when a cover story on Cornell coincided with the news that her show was coming back on the air. Cornell wrote over 175 spiritual-political articles on government, politics, Obama, the election, sex and religion.
[2] Breaking Yahoo! News: Too Close for Comfort actress Lydia Cornell interviews world leaders, presidential candidates and Pulitzer Prizewinners for new radio show.

Monday, June 26, 2017

ROCK for RESEARCH ~ CEDARS-SINAI REGENERATIVE MEDICINE INSTITUTE BOARD OF GOVERNORS ~ BENDHEIM FAMILY

What an amazing party at Lisa and Joshua Greer's estate.

Lydia Cornell with John Bendheim
https://giving.cedars-sinai.edu/bog/events/rfr/about
Lydia Cornell, Harrison Held







Thursday, June 22, 2017

RED CARPET ~ FACE FORWARD Helping victims of Domestic Violence at Comedy Store


AFI Best Actress nominee and People's Choice Award Lydia Cornell is best known as the star of the hit ABC series Too Close for Comfort as Emmy legend Ted Knight’s daughter ‘Sara’. Cornell has been invited to contribute her writings to The International Museum of Peace, which houses letters from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou & Sir Edmund Hillary. Also seen on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, Variety’s Power of Comedy, and the Kelsey Grammer Comedy Hour. An international star of over 250 TV shows and films in 27 countries, Lydia received the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Golden Halo Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. She directed the SAG film “It’s My Decision” now on the film festival circuit, for which she was honored as Best Director by Los Angeles Movie Awards. One of TV’s most popular sex symbols, she is now a writer, director, mother, comedienne, talk show host, women and children’s advocate, teen mentor and inspirational public speaker. She has a book series due out in 2018. Her articles have appeared in PEOPLE, US, Herald de Paris; A&E Biography, Huffington Post, Editor & Publisher, Macon Daily, and Lone Star Icon. 
Tonight is "Laughing It Forward" at the Comedy Store. Still time to buy your tickets. https://t.co/oYl8qWx0b7 #FaceForward #ComedyStore — w…

Face Forward's mission is to provide emotional support and reconstructive surgery for women, children and men who have been victims of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking or any Cruel Acts of Crime.  This is the 3rd Annual "Laugh It Forward" comedy show to raise funds to help Fac
BIT.LY/LAUGHITFWD


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

BREAKTHROUGHS IN QUANTUM PHYSICS

The rules of the quantum world — where everything is probabilistic, until observation fixes it — may be a lot less indefinite than we thought. A new experiment shows that liquids have properties that physicists once thought were confined to the quantum level. And this could be a big breakthrough.
Essentially, it could change how we understand the behavior of quantum particles, by revealing the kinds of waves that control their seemingly-chaotic movements. Over at Quanta, Natalie Wolchover has a terrific article explaining the fluid experiment, and why classical mechanics might shed some light on the quantum world. 
Writes Wolchover:For nearly a century, "reality" has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.
This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality.
The experiments involve an oil droplet that bounces along the surface of a liquid. The droplet gently sloshes the liquid with every bounce. At the same time, ripples from past bounces affect its course. The droplet's interaction with its own ripples, which form what's known as a pilot wave, causes it to exhibit behaviors previously thought to be peculiar to elementary particles — including behaviors seen as evidence that these particles are spread through space like waves, without any specific location, until they are measured.
Particles at the quantum scale seem to do things that human-scale objects do not do. They can tunnel through barriers, spontaneously arise or annihilate, and occupy discrete energy levels. This new body of research reveals that oil droplets, when guided by pilot waves, also exhibit these quantum-like features.
To some researchers, the experiments suggest that quantum objects are as definite as droplets, and that they too are guided by pilot waves — in this case, fluid-like undulations in space and time. These arguments have injected new life into a deterministic (as opposed to probabilistic) theory of the microscopic world first proposed, and rejected, at the birth of quantum mechanics.
"This is a classical system that exhibits behavior that people previously thought was exclusive to the quantum realm, and we can say why," said John Bush, a professor of applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has led several recent bouncing-droplet experiments. "The more things we understand and can provide a physical rationale for, the more difficult it will be to defend the 'quantum mechanics is magic' perspective."


Read the rest at Quanta