Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
I was told I was gonna fall in love with this award winning city. I was told the food, history, shopping, and charm would embrace me as would the extreme heat and humidity. I was not over-sold. When I arrived at the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel in the heart of Charleston, I was eager to study the historical roots of the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. After a night of indulging in crab cakes and watching my fiancé’s work crew devour fried green tomatoes, raw oysters and hush puppies, I contentedly walked back to our hotel listening to the Cicadas. O.K. for all you Pacific North Westerners, like me,
Cicadas are insects, best known for the songs they sing. This night, they had a full on chorus!
Full disclosure- I was born and raised in the PNW. A fly, spider, or beetle are likely to send me into orbit. This girl is not ready for anything that can make such noise and leave shell casings like the apocalypse was coming.
The next morning as Eric and crew were in meetings, I found myself alone in the Charlston museum. As my fortune would have it, a curator was on hand doing an exhibition, so I folded into the group.
Historians estimate that nearly half of all Africans brought to America arrived in Charleston. Looking at the artifacts and remnants of our ancestors, it was hard to comprehend that I was standing on soil where the Civil War was fought. Slavery was the major cause of the Civil War which was fought between Northern and Southern states between 1861-1865. As a Menopausebarbee, I had to reckon that this was only a century before I came to be. I imagined the exhaustion from the heat tilling the rice plantations. I imagined, our ancestors in a foreign land, with a foreign language, and utilizing their skills to create immense wealth for plantation owners.
Seeing is believing… So, I wondered off from the tour and snapped these few photos and artifacts from the museum.
Wherever I travel, I make a point to visit the museum to see what lies beneath. Back at the confines of the beautiful hotel, surrounding by Designer shopping, million dollar homes, and horse drawn carriages taking tourists on exhibition, I couldn’t help but feel the legacy of our ancestors. Charleston is indeed beautiful. But, we must remember never to forget how it came to be.
When my friend, event and celebrity manager Lars Koehl invited me to this event taking place last Friday, I had no idea what to expect. Not sure if I wanted to go because of my broken ankle, I decided to rally and go anyway–always up for seeing things I’ve never seen before.
Am I ever glad I did! This cultural experience was awesome!
The Nibelungen Festspiel (festival) is one of the top theater productions in Germany. It takes place in Worms, Germany (population about 83,000) at the open air theater of the historical Wormser Cathedral which is adjacent to the Heylshofpark, said to be the most beautiful Theater-Foyer in Germany. For this premiere event, the park pool was scarlet with the blood of the dragon…
The Nibelungenlied is a German epic poem. The stories are comparable in importance in Germanic history as the Homeric legends are to the Greeks. It belongs as a matter of fact to the UNESCO documentary list.
The roots of this work of art began sometime around 453 and were assembled together by the unknown poet (that in itself is captivating) sometime around 1200. The title means “Song of the Nibelungs.” “Nibelungen” is the plural of “Nibelung,” which refers to a dynasty conquered by the hero or protagonist of the epic, the dragon-slayer Siegfried. The characters are very, very complex.
What makes the piece so fascinating to me is that The Nibelungen sagacombines elements of many different historical, legendary, and mythological tales.
It encompasses themes such as heroism, feudalism, justice and revenge, honor, loyalty, deception, dreams, and the importance of keeping up appearances.
The legend of the Nibelungs arose from the historicaldestruction of the Burgundian kingdom on the Rhine River by Etzel’s army of Huns (later identified in legend with the army of Attila the Hun) around the year 437. Many other characters in the Nibelungenlied have some historical basis as well. The events in the poem, however, were altered by oral history and combined with other legends when the story was first written down for a medieval audience around 1200.
This saga also attracts study and commentary on the basis of its accomplished literary features, such as its structure, character development, and the use of foreshadowing. The foreshadowing is extremely helpful because the stories are complicated. The unknown Nibelungelied poet combined disparate material and stories into a comprehensive whole that captures modern readers not a bit less than the audiences of eight hundred years ago. 800 years!
Since 2002, authors have been competing to have their interpretation of the saga presented on this stage.
The premiere of this year’s event began with the red carpet. Lars guided the German actors Sybille Nicolai, Simone Rethel Heesters, Dieter Gring and myself across, stopping long enough for photos and autographs.
Inside the entrance hall we received our tickets and were handed plastic raincoats because the skies threatened. Once we stepped onto the grounds of the park we were greeted with champagne and wine and mammoth sized pretzels of which I ate one (or two) too many; various finger foods and live music. The theater piece itself began at eight thirty. It did rain, but fortunately not for long. No one moved from their seats, they simply donned their rain covers–umbrellas weren’t allowed–and the show went on.
Intermission lasted 45 minutes and by then it was dark and the park was beautifully and serenely lit. I ate another pretzel–I was out there by then– and enjoyed a glass of chardonnay. It felt almost other worldly. By the time the show was over it was midnight. I thought that we’d be bidding farewell to old friends and new acquaintances–I had no idea that there would be a feast of a meal fit for a king prepared and waiting for us! Everything, absolutely everything from roast beef to fish to couscous to various salads to…pretzels.
This was a cultural experience like I’ve never experienced before. A night to remember indeed.
Thank you again, Lars. Pretzels and legends forever!
I am honoured to have my book, Incompatible with Nature-A Mother’s Story accepted into Harvard University’s Countway Library.
The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the largest medical libraries in the world.
It serves the Harvard Medical School (HMS), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston Medical Library, and the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Countway houses the Center for the History of Medicine, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Archives, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Archives, and the Warren Anatomical Museum.
My story is meant to encourage doctors and the future doctors of our world to be conscientious, competent, and compassionate in their service to their patients and the dynamics of their profession and to never underestimate the impact they can make in the fascinating world of science and medicine.
And it is meant to encourage them to not let familiarity or comfort keep them from achieving their goals in their quest for cures and answers; to believe that there “ain’t no givin’ up and no givin’ out.”
And to believe in miracles.
Now, I have a broken bone in my ankle, but I would have crawled to the Montreux Jazz Festival to visit Menopausebarbee uncle Quincy Jones and see Elton John perform for the very first and last time at the festival.
His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was historic as it was the Festival’s first-ever open-air concert in a stadium and a part of his final global tour. He wants to take time now to enjoy his family he told his adoring fans. It was due to the phenomenal demand to see him that the venue was changed to the Stade de la Saussaz, the 15,000 capacity stadium as opposed to the previously planned two nights at the 4,000 capacity Auditorium Stravinski Hall.
Uncle Q’s guests were picked up in the heart of the city in front of the Belvedere Lounge across from the Palace Hotel. Bus #20. We were then driven up into the hillside passing wine fields and rolling hills. We disembarked the bus and walked about 10 minutes to get inside the stadium. We found our way over to the platform where uncle Quincy was sitting. The platform was for standing only (except for him). I spotted him through the throngs of heads and made my way over to him. We all embraced and I squeezed in to sit down on the platform next to him. Dana and Patti, our sister from another mister beside me. Best seats in the house! Shortly after sitting down, a woman, also sitting down beside me, leans across uncle Quincy and extends her hand. She says, “I’m Shania.” And I say, “As in Twain?” She started laughing and said, “Yes,” and the magic of this phenomenal evening had begun.
I looked around the filled to capacity stadium. The locals living around the stadium were taking it all in from their terraces–backdropped by the Swiss Alps. Elton entertained us for two and a half hours, with a 15 minute encore and only left the stage once for ten minutes. He DELIVERED!!!
Both of these men have received the highest French order of merit–the Légion d’ Honneur. Their musical careers, significant achievements and philanthropic contributions will leave a lasting mark around the globe.
Legends. Enough said.
Now, take a look at this video and hear what Mr. John said to Mr. Jones.
On Saturday, June 29th, my sister and co-blogger, Tracie and my sister by choice, Patti Savoy and I arrived on a platform as the guest of our uncle, Quincy Jones at the 52nd Annual Montreux Jazz Festival to watch Elton John. We summoned the sold out crowd. The energy was palpable as we took notice of a petite, attractive woman with a big red hat and large sunglasses, and an energy that drew everyone to her. Tracie leaned in, “That’s Shania Twain.”
Full disclosure, I have been a life-long fan of Shania Twain. Like me, she is a Menopausebarbee, Virgo, mother, divorcee, who sings songs that empower all that encompasses this journey we are on. It should come as no surprise that,
“She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and among the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of Country Pop“.
Despite her tremendous God given talent, what truly was the most gratifying exchange was how genuinely kind, authentic, and loving she is. Later that evening at the Montreux Jazz Café, Shania embraced us over French fries, sliders, and vodka, and we reveled in stories of laugh, love and resilience. Her strength is empowering as she has known heartbreak, but found the faith to find love and more importantly give love.
All I can say is, Man! As the evening concluded, I felt like a WOMAN.
Shania will be performing in Las Vegas starting in December. You better believe I will get tickets – she’s still the one!
It took three attempts and over the weekend, I finally braced and willed myself through a mandatory viewing of the painful drama mini-series, When They See Us. My sentiments echo actor, Levar Burton, who earned an Emmy nomination for his performance of Kunta Kinte when he proclaimed, “I had to keep breathing,” he wrote. “Episode #1 nearly broke my heart, however I’ll keep watching. This is essential viewing for EVERY American! As essential to your understanding of America as was, ROOTS! Brava, @ava.”
When They See Us, a saga of stolen youth, which morphed into stolen adult lives, racial discrimination and profiling at it’s highest degree, police brutality and corruption is an epic journey through our dark reality. Shame, anger and pain are the emotions I felt as Ava DuVernay brilliantly portrayed the stories of these EXONERATED FIVE. These young men, really babies in my vision, from the ages of 14-16 were accused and convicted of the brutal Central Park rape and beating of a 28-year-old white woman named Trisha Meili. The victim was left near death, however lack of DNA and police obstruction of justice should have proven their innocence.
Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise.
Not only do I SEE YOU, I weep for you and us all.
Ava DuVernay- bravo and keep shedding light on the darkness. Tune in to Netflix – When They See Us… you will see through your tears.
The Menopausebarbees with Ava DuVernay
Ava Marie DuVernay is an American filmmaker and film distributor. She won the directing award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere, becoming the first black woman to win the award. For her work on Selma, DuVernay became the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Director, and also the first black female director to have her film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
I just wanted to take a moment again to express my gratitude to all those who supported the Menopausebarbee fundraising efforts for the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s Seattle Walk for 1 in 100 in Seattle last Saturday. I especially want to thank my sister and co-blogger Dana and our friend Betsy Bolte who walked alongside me and the 250 other heart warriors who attended this event.
Having the honor of being named the honorary chair of the event gave me the opportunity to speak to my fellow heart warriors and supporters from my heart. The core of my message was in these three words: Never Give Up!
We raised nearly $35,000 which will go towards advocacy, research and education for those of us who were born with a heart defect and their loved ones and the medical community that cares for them. The fundraising website will be open until July 15, 2019 so if you’d still like to donate you can do so here: secure.achaheart.org
There are more walks coming up across the country over the next few months in Minnesota, Boston, Nashville, San Diego, New York, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Arizona, Houston–you can even register for a virtual walk and raise funds if you’re interested in participating that way.
Walking towards improving and extending the lives of millions! Helping these warriors not only to survive but to thrive! This is why we walk! We are on a mission!
Yesterday in honor of Father’s Day, I posted how I fervently believe a father’s job is to set a foundation, and a child’s job is to build on it. I also said that daily I ask myself what would daddy do, and I find my answer. So today, I’m building on my father’s legacy of being a pioneer black developer in the Central District and using his platform as he would to call on you to support bringing black business back to this area.
I’m volunteering my time to get the word out. The Central District of Seattle was populated by nearly 75% African Americans in my childhood. Today that could be less than 10% according to a recent article in The Seattle Times.
I’m imploring you to join us tonight for a community discussion on bringing black business back to this community. The Midtown Center wants your input. You may be an established or inspiring restaurant owner, postal service, fitness center, pet store, or medical clinic or you may have thoughts on what would be a good fit.
Mon, June 17, 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
Black Dot Underground
1437 South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98144
The 2019 Seattle walk for 1 in 100, for which I am proud to say I have been named honorary chair, is happening day after tomorrow which means we’re getting down to the wire everybody.
All I’m asking you to do is donate five dollars.
The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is the ONLY national nonprofit organization devoted to supporting the full lifespan of millions of people impacted by congenital heart disease.
The only organization… for millions.
The Walk for 1 in 100 for the ACHA is a fundraising event that will generate funds and awareness meant to empower adults to take an active role in their cardiac care, to educate parents on the lifelong specialized care their young child will need in the future, and to support young adults through the transition to adult CHD care. It supports the person with a newly diagnosed heart defect, as well as the patient who’s seen it all, and everything in between. In other words–and I hope it never happens–but it could affect you or your loved one. It has impacted me and mine.
So have a heart and follow these 5 steps to donate your 5 dollars:
1. hover over DONATE
2. click DONATE TO INDIVIDUAL
3.Type in Tracie Mayer
4.Search and click DONATE NOW
5. Feel good!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!