IN MEXICO CITY FOR GRACE & FRANKIE

L-R: Linda Cardellini ("Bloodline"), Michael Kelly ("House of Cards"), Charlie Cox ("Marvel's Daredevil"), Netflix's VP of Original Content Cindy Holland, Jane Fonda ("Grace and Frankie"), Selenis Leyva ("Orange is the New Black"), Gaz Alazraki (director, "Club de Cuervos"), Miguel Angel Silvestre ("Sense8"). Photo Credit: Victor Chavez for Netflix.

L-R: Linda Cardellini (“Bloodline”), Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”), Charlie Cox (“Marvel’s Daredevil”), Netflix’s VP of Original Content Cindy Holland, Jane Fonda (“Grace and Frankie”), Selenis Leyva (“Orange is the New Black”), Gaz Alazraki (director, “Club de Cuervos”), Miguel Angel Silvestre (“Sense8”). Photo Credit: Victor Chavez for Netflix.

A bunch of stars from various Netflix series came to Mexico City to promote their shows. Mine, of course, is “Grace and Frankie” which streams on May 8th and you can watch the entire first season in 6 1/2 hours!

We all stayed at the Four Seasons which was very nice.

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My first morning I got up at 4:30am (3:30 in L.A. which is where my head and body were at!) to get ready for a very popular early morning TV Show, the equivalent, I think of “Good Morning America.”

(Photo credit--Primero noticias)

(Photo credit–Primero noticias)

Some of the staff at the station wanted their pictures with me.

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That night I took my team to dinner. I remembered when I spent 5 months in Mexico shooting “Old Gringo” with Gregory Peck in 1988 I was surprised how different the food was in the best Mexican restaurants than Mexican food is in the U.S. I found the same thing to be true of Italian food. So much better in the best Italian restaurants in Rome, Milan or Venice than in even good North American Italian restaurants. I wanted my team to see what I meant.

We picked Dulce Patria and weren’t disappointed.

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The architecture inside is clean and modern

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Here we all are, left to right: Matthew Shields, my hairstylist, Collier Strong, Makeup artist, me and Pearl Servat, my publicist.

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We started off with an assortment of appetizers that had wonderfully unique flavors

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I ordered my usual vodka martini instead of a marguerite and was surprised how small the glass was . . . so of course I had 2!!

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For my entry I got braised short ribs with chamomile sauce which I shared with Pearl and she shared her duck mole with me. The short ribs were the best, melt-in-your-mouth I’ve ever had and with no fat. Here they are:

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And here’s the duck mole—also delicious

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The desserts were spectacular: a plate of unusual Mexico candy that arrived on a platter with the restaurants logo horse

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And an assortment of custards and sweets that somehow told the history of Mexico although I was unable to write down what the chef told me about this . . . and only partly because of the 2 martinis.

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The chef came out to see us and I was happy to see it was a woman, Martha Ortiz, who is also the owner. Isn’t she beautiful!

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The next day all the actors got together for a press conference with journalists from all over Latin America.

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Following the press conference we went to separate hotel rooms where one by one, the individual reporters came and interviewed us. Most of them had seen the first 5 episodes of “Grace and Frankie” and they all appeared to really like it. They commented on how there really isn’t anything like this series on television; they mentioned specific moments that made them laugh or cry. They said they found the series much more real than they’d expected given that it is described as a comedy. I don’t like to call it a ‘dramady.’ That term feels boring and stereotypical. But there is a lot of poignancy in it. It’s the most challenging thing of all—finding that fine line between funny and serious, and, given that Grace and Frankie find out right at the start of the first episode that their husbands of 40 years are leaving them to get married—to each other—, there’s a lot of pretty painful stuff that goes on.

At the end of the day, I had a dialogue on-line with Linda Cardelinni who is a star of the new Netflix series “Bloodline” co-starring Kyle Chandler, Sissy Specek and Sam Sheppard. Gotta watch that one! Linda and I had a good time asking each other questions about our shows, our work and how to balance work with personal life—she has a 3-year-old girl.

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I’m posting this picture of me just to show off my necklace, which is made of recycled tires.

The work day ended by 4pm so I still had time to go to the hotel gym for an hour and to meditate for an hour.

One reason I’ve written this blog is to show you how much work is involved with making a series or a film. It isn’t just about the actual shooting which is hard enough. Afterwards you spend something like a month or two promoting what you’ve done, and that usually entails traveling to foreign climes. There are some actors who refuse to do the promotion part of the work (I won’t name names). I’m part of the old school—promotion is part of the job. Besides, if you believe in your work why not do your best to get people to see it?

A final question: There’s a lot about food in this blog. I sometimes take pictures of what I’m eating but not sure you like that. Should I continue to do that sometimes? Tell me the truth.

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36 Comments
  1. I take pictures of my food sometimes too. I love seeing the lovely things you’ve been experiencing. Keep ’em coming! 🙂

  2. Well, I can’t speak for others, but for me, it’s kind of blah. I don’t mind it, but I liike reading your blog for your opinions on… well, everything. I’m just such a big fan and I’ve learned so much through your blog. I love the fact that you are a Jennifer Lawrence fan for example. I also love your travelling documents, like this and the one from Miami and especially the one with France and Switzerland. Because then you described your work and how you interacted with other actors and that’s what I like, personally, yeah for example you and Russell Crowe getting to know each other – that was fun to learn.

    Not to mention all of the political activism that clearly is so at the heart of what you do. You have very clear and interesting points of view on things and it’s interesting to learn how you feel about matters of the world. I feel like you have a lot to say on those kinds of matters as well, so that’s what I’m interested from you. But I still cherish your opinions, even if it’s concerning food, especially how to eat right enough to stay well, as you clearly have. You look great!

  3. Hey Jane:
    Good for you for going. I like people who really believe in their work and I think a most don’t realize how much work it takes to do what you do…successfully. Longevity in your biz looks like a hard gig, but you’re making it happen. Not that what I think really matters, but I’m proud of you for continuing to fight the good fight to continue working. Keep up the food pic’s please! You’re eating where I’ll probably never be so this way I can eat vicariously through you…ok?

    Patsy

  4. Hey Jane:
    Good for you for going. I like people who really believe in their work and I think most don’t realize how much work it takes to do what you do…successfully. Longevity in your biz looks like a hard gig, but you’re making it happen. Not that what I think really matters, but I’m proud of you for continuing to fight the good fight to continue working. Keep up the food pic’s please! You’re eating where I’ll probably never be so this way I can eat vicariously through you…ok?

    Patsy

  5. I love your food photos! Some people never get the opportunity at “fine dining”, and so seeing another person’s experience is wonderful. Anyone reading your blog, does that, because they are interested in you. (At least that’s why I do.) And you always seem to love the experience surrounding the photos you take. It feels like your food photos are an experience you’ve had. I love them. xo

  6. And, it’s almost ?? disappointing ?? that you would ask in the first place. You enjoy your food, and you share that. Why would that ever be a bad thing? You came to me when I was 11 years old; not Chelsea Thayer; but some unfelt, but completely felt image of Jane Fonda. I love you; and think you are wonderful.. Post whatever you want; that’s kind of why I love you.

  7. On our end we see the cars, houses, dresses, jewelry and many other material things associated with fame. On your end, you live the early mornings, late nights, auditions, retakes and other activities required to get the product out. Like you mentioned, we could watch your entire new series in 6 ½ hours but probably many months of work went into getting that show to us. I really enjoy the behind the scenes perspective you give us – whether it’s the hotel you stayed at, the meals ( we all seem to be foodies these days) getting the “gal” ready (dress / makeup / hair) so I hope you keep them coming. Reading you blog is like reading an e-mail from a friend on a trip – it’s never “look at me” it’s sharing and very often inspiring and thought provoking. Keep it up- please! Love ya!

  8. Many artists try to maintain their careers by making themselves scarce. It appears many hide behind this Garbo-esque pose in the belief that it will perpetuate the longevity of a career. Perhaps this works in the case of the truly talented but in others it’s a bore. You have never been one to hide behind the curtains and that’s why it’s terrific that you use social media to connect with your fans and give us a glimpse of what it takes to be the artist you are… food pics and all!
    XOXO
    Steve C.

  9. Regarding your final question: blog about whatever you want Jane, we will read along with pleasure.
    Do you know if you’ll be doing any promo for Grace & Frankie in the UK?

  10. I like the food addition to your blog… you give a display and make intimate a material world most of us dream about, and we can then attempt to create by example: like a great recipe ;)… you also break myths of certain places by doing this… Your blog is an easy read, informative, engaging, holds warmth, and honesty. Yes, you do promote but we get that, and I agree ‘hawk your wares.’ 😉 You are real… and not just a ‘star’ power to many of us.

  11. Can’t wait for Frankie and Johnny! And I love the food pictures, Jane! I’m 10 years into recovery from an ED and I still appreciate every bit of encouragement I can get that it’s possible to be completely normal with food. You live such a balanced life and it’s so nice to see it in pictures. Your books and blog have been a big source of help and hope to me.

  12. Oh no, I meant Grace and Frankie!! EDIT PLEASE! 🙂

  13. Yes, talk about the food and the drinks and the smells and the joys of eating and drinking. Your photos are wonderful. I like the visuals, too: photos tell so much. It all adds different dimensions to the storytelling. I do still hope — after listening (audible.com) to “My Life So Far” — that you’d just take your iPhone and record a few of your musings in an audio format. Listening to someone’s voice describing something, as well, from time to time, adds a whole other dimension.

  14. Jane
    Congrads on your new series. I have worked in Television, as well as YouTube, so I totally know the intense work that goes into a production. I love your blog. You are kind and generous to share your experiences. I am your newest subscriber. Looking forward to following your adventures.

    Blessings
    Bob Hickmam

  15. Jane
    Congrads on your new series! I have worked in Television as well as YouTube, so I totally know how much work goes into the production. I love your blog. You are kind and generous to share your adventures with us. I am your newest subscriber. Looking forward to following your adventures.

    Blessings,
    Bob Hickman

  16. Hi Jane! To answer your question, I love it when you share pictures of your food…please continue to do so. Mainly because I love food and you share some really good food! But also, there is the element of “Jane Fonda” sharing pictures of really good food and drink and desserts. You who have been the model of health and wellness for so many of us over the years are letting us know that it Is ok to enjoy yourself while still looking and feeling great. I hope that makes sense…in my head it sounds brilliant! Anyway…please continue to share. Those ribs made my mouth water!
    Rock on, Jane!
    Mel

  17. Yay! I can’t wait to see “Grace & Frankie”!!! I am going to try to spread out my viewing so that I can appreciate each episode more and have a little anticipation for the next one! It is great that you promote your show. It seems logical that if you put so much time into a project that you would then see the importance of promoting it to be seen. I can see, though, why some people opt out of that part of the process. It has to be absolutely exhausting.
    As for the food question, I am probably not the best person to ask because I seem to be curious and fascinated by almost anything. That is one of my problems. My interests are so vast that I can’t seem to concentrate my efforts fully into just one thing. That being said, I think people should post pictures of food if it falls under one of the following categories:
    A. The food is a good representation of the city or country they are in.
    B. The food is unique.
    C. The food was excellent.
    I enjoyed your food pictures, because they definitely fell under all three of these categories. I actually found the appetizer picture cool, because I thought the dishes/bowls that they were in were neat looking. By the way, I also think it is great that you post pictures of people that you meet along the way, such as the television studio employees and the chef at the restaurant. I am sure you make their day by not only taking pictures with them, but actually including them in your blog.
    I have a few questions, but you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to. I recognize that your hair stylist has been with you for a long time. How many years? Does he also work with other celebrities? I would imagine it would be difficult to juggle the schedules of different people with so many important events. I believe that is your same makeup artist and publicist that have been with you for awhile? How many years have they been with you?
    Thanks for another great blog to read. I thoroughly enjoy them and always look forward to reading the next. I also enjoy reading the comments people from all over the world write too!

    • Matthew has styled my hair for many years. He works in the Sally Herschberger salon in West Hollywood. Someties, for photo shoots someone else will style my hair.

  18. About the food pics . . . why not!!!! It’s your blog and you obviously enjoy what you are about to eat or are eating . . . and, for me, it’s like reading a friend’s blog . . . a little bit of everything . . . friends . . . associates . . . martinis . . . necklace . . . and the business of what you do. Thanks!

  19. Dear Jane, God that’s a wonderful name so simple yet so effective, both strong and elegant just as you are. Like mixture of Greta and Katharine two women I admire and respect greatly. I was really happy to find that you opened this blog so you can get in touch with people all around the world, or at least the ones who understand English.
    Knowledge is a powerful and precious thing, especially know in this fast consuming world. I can’t help but to feel a great privilege for this chance to write few of my thoughts and in some foolish way hope you might catch it with your radiant eyes and think of it as “something”.
    Yes I believe in that one man or woman can make a difference, but you have to work hard, just as you did to get to that point where you will be taken seriously or just taken in any way to be seen and heard. No one looks at the so called average normal people, or does care for them. Think you will agree.
    Now I saw so many of your interviews on YouTube, TV and in more than few biographies like the ones dedicated to life and work of Marlon B(on which you spoke so truly, so tellingly that I felt it like I was experiencing it through you) Montgomery Clift, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Redford and of course your legendary father Henry, just to name a few I really like.
    I find your openness and free will fascinating, you really are one of a kind. True inspiration not only for women but men also. I don’t know from where you get your energy (I bet it’s through love and family) but it’s just mind blowing the effort you put and positive thoughts that I get stuck in my mind each time I listen to your wonderful, clear eloquent voice.
    I would like to know what kind of books on life and motivation you tend to go back to, and you like and find sensible.
    I got so off the topic here ahaha probably because I’m generally overwhelmed by the thought that you might read this, I feel so self-conscious right now…
    Anyway I like your description especially the wittiness of it (vodka part lol) Once again your creative clever side shies through every paragraph. Thanks you for sharing with us your for some people unusual day at the office ahaha..
    PS Keep the food, let people know that they can have some real food and still look and feel good. Big hug for you, you wonderful human being. ☺

    • Valter, you ask about what books I read. I read about 3-4 a week and they vary from Charles Dicken’s “Tale of Two Cities,” to novels by Mary Karr and Anna Pachette and Anne Lamott’s books and “Trying Not To Try,” and “Hand to Mouth” which I blogged about. All sorts of fiction and non-fiction

      • Yes, Dickens of course I also like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I meant on some ultimate inspirational one/s, like your personal favorite the one you find most helpful. Maybe my question was a bit tedious, sorry.
        I’m really interested to know when you were in that Barbarella phase, with a long big silky hair (which I know was yours) and that sexy outfit, well you were more beautiful than Brigitte Bardot on my opinion, so what was the moment you realized you can’t go through it? Was it against your inner being, the person you were discovering or just all that baby doll objectified part that came with it? I really appreciate you even more for it, you proved that you can be more sensual than Monroe, Bardot, Welch Andress though it wasn’t in your nature, at least your mind was clearly objecting, realizing early on the emptiness of it all.
        Correct me if I’m wrong, that’s just my theory.
        I really admire your brain and the depth you found in your life, that’s why I think that you are the most intelligent actor ever. No one bothers so much to dig deep into things that are so hard and often painful for us all. We all have past and we have seen black days, some admit it some just run from it. Humans are not that comfortable with pushing capacity of their brains to a higher, more effective level. So my hat goes off to you Jane. Thank you for existing and making be believe that we can live happy and still deal with our life issues.

  20. I LOVE the food photos and the related story of when the food was enjoyed. It’s great seeing a gathering at small or large tables, as well as seeing food from around the world. Keep posting food photos!

  21. I enjoy the pictures of food, and reading about all of your wonderful experiences. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Renown photographer Aroon Sikind wrote:

    “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever, it remembers things long after you have forgotten everything”

    I am a photographer and I love photographing food I eat in restaurants. Please Jane do continue to inspire us with photos of you travels, events you take part of and even the food you eat why not especially when it’s as beautifully presented and appetizing as it is on the photos in this blog!
    Best wishes
    Xx
    JF

  23. Jane, if it’s beautiful, yes take a picture. I’m always taking a shot of something. Ha, Ha! Also I keep telling you we know each other. Look me up on Linkedin!

  24. I’m curious to know how much you pay for the various luxuries that you write and post about on your blog. Listing the prices would be cool. Do you get free meals and lodging in exchange for the publicity provided by your blog? What are your true motivations? Is it a matter of “this made me happy, so I’d like to share”. Or is it more “look at me, look at the fabulous life I live”? Or is it a combination of both or something entirely different? (The Oprah effect? Synergy? The Illuminati? Boredom? Obsessive Sharing Disorder?)

    Hey, we all have our L’Oreal “because I’m worth it” moments! LOL. Some of us just happen to get paid for them.

    The other night, while on my 2 AM lunch break at Wal~Mart (where I earn more than I have in the past 8 years — $10.75 per hour for stocking the fresh produce department), I spent a few of my bucks on an issue of “Vanity Fair” magazine. I wonder if, in some parallel universe, celebrities perusing clothing boutiques and food emporiums, pick up issues of “Hum Drum Existence”. (If they do, it’s probably research for a role that will put them in the running for a gold statue.)

    You mentioned that you thought NPH did a nice job hosting the Oscars (I agree) — I was wondering what you thought of his observation: “Here’s a fun fact,” he said. “This year’s nominated actors will receive gift bags containing $160,000 worth of merchandise, including two vacations, makeup, clothes, shoes, and an armored car ride to safety when the revolution comes.”

    Jane, I don’t begrudge your success. Certainly it was hard-won. I cannot imagine being thrust (involuntarily) into the limelight from, essentially, the time of one’s birth. (Which calls to mind your son Troy’s comparison between being the son of Henry to being the son of Jane.) Also, you’ve worked for what you have.

    You are a strong, intelligent, curious, talented woman committed to leaving the world a better place for your having been in it. You regularly use your visibility to give voice to the invisible.

    We all have our paths. I’m sometimes criticized by others for my fascination with celebrities. I’m approaching my fortieth birthday. I’m hoping to return to school and continue working to improve my own situation. (I’m still not entirely sure how or in what direction to head — but, I’m taking a spiritual and rational approach.) Still sober (more than two-and-a-half years now) by the grace of God.

    We all have our egos. And we all have our pleasures. I guess what irks me sometimes is when people (seem to) compare your life more favorably to their own. It’s all relative.

    I’m grateful for my fabulous life. Just the way you seem to be grateful for yours. (There are more people in this world that have less than me — materially — than more.) Thanks for letting me share — honestly.

    • Peter, where to start? I share on social media because I am a sharing sort of person; I do sometimes over-share; I do tend to have a smidgeon of the “Oprah Effect” as you call it if, by that, you mean wanting to tell everyone when I have come upon something I find smart or interesting or valuable or just fun. I also try to share the non-celebrity aspects of my life just to show that we are human and it’s not always about glamour and stuff like that. But it’s true, I am very priviledged, being white, upper middle class (though I have to keep working because I support a lot of people and non-profits and I do worry whether as I continue to age, the work will dwindle).Wow, the swag bags at the Oscars are now worth $160,000!!! They used to be $20,000 and I thought that was out of whack. In fact, all my life I wondered how come rich, famous people got given so much free stuff. It didn’t seem right. I remember during WWII, my dad was given one of the first TV sets and a Studebaker car. “Why didn’t they give those things to someone who couldn’t afford to buy them?” I wondered. Then, later in life I learned about marketing…wanting famous people to own your product in the hope that others would then want it.
      One more thing, when I write about a restaurant it isn’t cause I’m getting a free meal. It’s because I thought my readers might want to know where I went to eat. When celebs go to, say, Mexico City to promote their show like I just did, their hotel rooms are paid for and a certain number of meals in that hotel (the amount is limited) but if you go out to eat it’s on you.

      • I don’t really understand the problem here, Jane. What you’re doing is so far from over-sharing. A blog is to share things in your life, whether you’re a teenager, a young adult, a real housewife of Beverly Hills or a legendary movie star. There’s this blog, which we, your devoted fans, read with such happiness that our favorite actress shares some parts of her life with us. As the great Dame Elizabeth Taylor said “I never pretended to be an ordinary housewife.” You lead a beautiful life and you’re blessed with many things and you don’t deny that (acting “ordinary” is just obnoxious), but you share them tastefully and we can see your gratefulness and we see every attempt you make and your fights to give to those who are less fortunate than you. We also had our “barn door” conversation about luxury if you remember and you know I like looking at nice things, but you show everything so tastefully. No problem here. We hope to hear more from you. 🙂

  25. You are one busy gal! Your energy is a testimony to your healthy lifestyle. The food looks wonderful! I hope you enjoyed yourself. Incidentally, I think I will get Netflix! Take care. Cindy

  26. Jane, I know it is very unlikely that you will see this, but I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I adore you. You are a huge inspiration to me and I just love everything you do. You’re a beautiful person, inside and out. Thank you for always keeping me inspired. xo

  27. I’m sure I should read the entirety of the back and forth of you and Peter, but I’m not going to. I really am not a reader, and too bad, I’m sure your books would me enlightening. I’m just not, not even lengthy “posts”. I’m going, day after tomorrow, to see my counselor, and so make it back to the beach, to find whatever it is I am looking for, for you. If I don’t find it, I’ll keep looking. When I was there the last time, it was Spring break and there were tons of people there. Not even Jane Fonda is worth tons of people to me. It’s supposed to rain; but I’m putting it out there that while I’m there, it won’t be. Or if is is, it will warm enough to just be in the rain and comfortable. I don’t mind rain, but I mind cold. I really hope I find whatever it is…

  28. Jane, and fellow Jane Blog Enthusiasts, please accept my apology. Since mid-February, I have been without my anti-depressant. Without insurance, I could no longer afford to see the psychiatrist I was seeing. Because he worked hard to earn his credentials, he was unable to keep providing me with his services (including filling out my prescriptions). This also has been the case with many of the therapists I’ve seen sporadically throughout the last quarter century. Like some others, I also look to you, Jane, as a healer — an Honorary Doctor/Mother-figure/Icon/Role Model/Inspiration. (I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THAT, IN ORDER TO BE ALL THESE THINGS, AT THE FOUNDATION OF IT ALL, YOU ARE HUMAN.)

    And, when I DON’T MAINTAIN THE STEPS NECESSARY FOR MY OWN HEALING, I fall into the trap of saying to myself (and “out loud” on-line), “It’s their fault. It’s your fault. If they/you really cared…”

    What we share in common is striving to find the right balance between (in alphabetical order) Doing good work Enjoying life Making a macro- and micro-difference in the world.

    Now, I am covered by Medicaid. I will stay on my medications and have them regularly monitored and adjusted by my growing team of doctors. (Dear God, I need to have that statement imprinted into my brain — it’s so easy to say, “I’m strong enough to go off my medications…” I am the relatively quiet face of insanity — doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.

    In addition to mental and spiritual health, I am going to try exercise and dietary improvements. I’ve been Blessed with good genes — I can eat whatever I want & do practically nothing and still “look” good. On the inside, though, I am atrophy / wither / rot / die. Jane, I’m gonna join the local YMCA.

    All I want is to replace the scowl on my face (almost permanently etched) with a genuine, sincere, expansive and abundant smile.

    Also, I am smart and compassionate. I SEE EVERYDAY SO MANY STRUGGLING. We ALL just want to be heard. I want to figure out my way in the economy — I know the need, now I have the obligation to figure out how to fill it.

    What do you think of the theory that we’re all aliens from different planets and that the stars who attract a following are able to do so because they were somehow deities from our original place in the universe? I know that you aren’t Shirley Maclaine…but, you’re of the same ilk.

    I’ve abused your generosity. I will try not to do so in the future. So many of us who cheer you on, through all the phases — which make up the totality — of your life need to believe that you cheer us on too. What an awful burden that must feel like for you. Please, accept this observation: You carry that burden — and so many others — with such dignity, strength and style.

    Post or, better yet, don’t post. Just somehow (so I don’t waste time worrying that I have hurt or offended you) please say you “heard” me.

  29. Hey Jane, any chance for Gracie and Frankie to be available on DVD after May 8th? I’d buy it in a heartbeat!

  30. lol …… ATE Aye 😛 <3 <3 <3

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