Generous by Nature

In his best-selling book, Five Languages of Love, Gary Chapman describes the five primary ways people show love. One of them is by giving gifts. That is my way. I love giving gifts. I mean LOVE. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. Find me whistling through the mall and boutiques looking for hours for that perfect gift for my cousin’s new love interest who I barely know. Find me shopping online ordering that specialty item for that specialized hobby of one of my siblings. I stuff stockings to the brim and I wrap presents like a painter paints a watercolor at sunset. I consider it an art.

And I know that I am not alone here. Giving to others is part of our nature as humans, I believe. At our core, every human wants to love and be loved. Giving is a way of showing love. It is also a way of showing appreciation, a way of saying thanks, and a way of caring for another if they are in need. The item given is irrelevant if the intention is sincere.

I was tickled recently when a new friend burst into my hotel room clutching so many bags and boxes he could hardly manage them. In front of me was an enormous pile of beautiful and obviously carefully chosen gits and a man with a mile-wide beaming smile saying “I really love doing this. I just enjoy giving beautiful things to people.” He delighted, like a child, as I opened each one. With that I knew he was my people, as the saying goes. He was one who showed his affections through gift-giving.

I don’t expect gifts from any of my clients. Not at all. Just coming to see me and spending time with me is a gift, a great one. If I tout a wishlist, it’s for  those who love to give gifts so they have an idea where to start. It sure helps when you know what the person you are buying for likes.

Often I wish my clients had a website with a page called GIFTS outlining their sizes and favorite material things. If you are one of my extra, extra special clients (and I hope you know who you are) feel free to drop hints or leave a list on the hotel desk come December or your birthday month. (Seriously)!

Music Tells Our Story

One thing that I have always found curious is our habit, upon meeting new people, to immediately ask them what they do for a living. Why is this? Does someone’s job or career define them or is it the most telling clue to knowing who they are, at their core? I doubt it, even in cases with people who work all the time, are “married” to their job, or are extremely passionate about what they do.

One thing that is very telling about a person is the music that they listen to. Are they stuck in the era of their high school years (we all are in part, I know); do they know about the latest and greatest pop sensation six months before everyone else; do they exclusively listen to classical music, or blare thrash metal from the mini van speakers as soon as they drop the kids off at band practice?

What is the sound track of your life and what story does it tell?

Not one for ITunes $.99 singles, I have always loved the full album: the sequencing of the songs, the printed lyrics, the cover art, the feel of it in my hands while I am listening to it. Here are my all time favorite albums:

Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon This is an album best listened to turned up loud, eyes closed, with the lights out. You decide if “enhancements” are needed for this experience but I doubt it! What an emotional, musical journey! This album has it all: harmonies to make the hair on your arms stand up, eerie and beautiful backup vocals suited for a haunted Medieval church, alarming, perfectly placed sound effects, apt lyrics that can change your life or at least get stuck in your consciousness for days or years. The song that really speaks to me on this alum is “Time.” It’s about wasting precious time: “kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town, waiting for someone or something to show you the way” that ultimately is wasting your life: “and then one day you find ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.” We can all learn a lesson here. Topics not often explored in rock n’ roll like mental illness, greed, the passage of time and our use of it, are all covered in this album and- let’s not forget that epic cover art:

Linda Rondstadt, Greatest Hits Volume 1  Disclaimer: this album is pure nostalgia to me. I remember my mom and my aunts playing it, singing to it, and holding me and dancing to it. But decades later, I still listen to it regularly. Maybe it is the wanna be singer in me, happily belting out “Love Has No Pride” or “Love is a Rose” or the old school rock lover inside of me delighted by “That’ll Be the Day” (written by Buddy Holly) or possibly I do love country music, or at least the song “Silver Threads and Golden Needles.” From country to Motown, this album has something for everyone, delivered by the powerful, emotional, and distinctive vocals of the stunningly beautiful Linda Rondstadt.

Metallica, And Justice For All  This album was released before Metallica turned pop, cut their hair and became crusaders against free music. This album is pure metal, and it basically shaped my world outlook about everything. Every teenager has that aha moment when they realize that the world is more than their friends and the protective nest provided by their parents. It’s the moment when they realize politicians are not really protecting the best interests of the people, that war is perpetual, that there are more ways to live than as a self-centered consumer, and that while it is crisp and delicious, Coca Cola has been known to destroy small ecosystems, and McDonalds is basically death wrapped up in paper and served on a plastic tray. I was listening to this album when that moment occurred in my life. This album is also the first heavy metal album to have produced a hit single complete with a video. “One” went on to earn the band a Grammy and went on and on and on in my mind with its unforgettable lyrics about a man who has lost all of this limbs, his hearing, and his voice in war. The topics covered on the album range from war, to global warming, to the corruption of government, and the many problems of our justice system. This album is not for the faint of heart or for those who prefer to live in their own personal fantasy lands, not seeing or considering a world beyond their own field of vision. Not much of a feel good album, though a big emotional release as long as you crank it up.

Beach Boys, Pet Sounds I feel like I could say that this album inspired the Beatles and that would be enough. But also, it was completely ahead of its time and called everything from art rock to progressive rock to psychedelic rock and unlike other rock n’ roll of this era, you could not dance to this album. It was trippy and conceptual and it changed the rock n’ roll playing field. Often cited as the best album of all time, this album seems to age quite well, like a fine wine. I should also note that Brian Wilson, circa 1960’s, is the object of my famous person crush. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” if I would have been born twenty-five years earlier?

Greyboy, All Stars, Live!  This album will forever define my college years. I went to college in San Francisco, this band was formed in San Francisco, the album was recorded in San Francisco, and the cover art is a San Francisco scene complete with the Golden Gate Bridge. Robert Walters plays the keyboards and he has been regarded as the best living jazz keyboardist. Karl Denson is on the sax and the flute and he is a force to be wrecking with when he is on stage. This album is pure funk and wholly danceable from beginning to end. If music is medicine, this album is a cure-all. I have been known to put it on, turn it up, and dance to it in my living room. If I am feeling stressed out in the car, I put this album on (autographed copy of course but whose bragging?) and magically, everything is ok again. The Greyboy All Stars still tour and there was a time when I planned my life around their tours. These days I still will go out of my way to catch one of their shows. Sometimes I get asked doesn’t traveling coast to coast get tiring and it does, unless I have a Greyboy All Stars ticket in my hand, which I often do.

And I’ve saved the best for last…

Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Greendale This is a lesser known Neil Young album that even hardcore Young fans sometimes miss. They are probably caught up in his other gazillion wonderful albums but this one is so worth checking out. You can also watch the Greendale movie or read the graphic novel, all by the insanely prolific, living legend, Neil Young. I love Greendale because it is a true album in the sense that the songs tell a story which can only be understood when listening to it from beginning to end. They don’t make ’em like that anymore! The album takes place in Mendocino County, CA and tells the story of one tragic event that affects three generations of a family. It contains characters like the free-spirited Sun Green and her uncle who is a big time marijuana seller, Grandma, Grandpa, a CA Highway Patrol cop, aggressive local newscasters, and a cat who gets killed by local police. It deals with heavy subject matter like police brutality, media consumption, corporate greed, legalization of marijuana (indirectly), and growing generation gaps. I won’t spoil the end. Ever the Flower Child, Young manages to break from these tough topics to remind us to “sing a song for freedom, sing a song for love” and to keep “a little love and affection in everything you do” in order to “make the world a better place” in the song Falling From Above. I’m working on it Neil! I miss Crazy Horse too!

What are your favorite albums?  ms.tabitha.layne@gmail.com

Tabitha’s Top Three for 2019

It’s genuinely been a great year, one of my best to date. I’m counting blessings by the dozen but here are my top three for 2019.

#1 – I committed to a new fitness routine that has me feeling stronger and sexier than ever! The first time I took a HIIT Bootcamp Class, I thought everyone there was insane, including the friends who had invited me. The instructors were encouraging people to sprint 10, 11, and 12 miles per hour on the treadmill, going UPHILL. Three sets of 25 hammer curls and we’re just getting warmed up. No squat was complete without a jump at the end and a push up to start.

Nine months later and I feel that high intensity interval training is just what the doctor ordered for this long time yogi! Yoga has definitely made me flexible, strong, and calm, but things get old and I was asleep at the altar. This bootcamp workout has launched me to new fitness heights and I look forward to going to it every time.

#2 – I completed my reading list this year! In January, I whittled my much too long list of books I want to read to ten essential titles. I finished the tenth one earlier this month. This was the first time I ever followed through on a reading challenge, so it felt extra good.

I won’t bore you with the entire list but I will say that The Secret History by Donna Tartt was easily the best novel I’ve read in a decade (even more thrilling and readable than her Pulitzer winner, The Goldfinch, in my opinion). I’m going to reread The Secret History during Christmas break by the light of the tree!

#3 – I went back to work temporarily in the real “civvie” world and it was amazing. I never thought I could ever again fit into 9-5 culture but I did and I felt right at home. Being part of a team was a fun challenge and wearing suits and pumps everyday felt empowering (and damn sexy!). This short term corporate gig is over but it really woke up a desire in me to be more professionally diverse and creative.

After the holidays, I’ll be launching a new company that helps providers with marketing and branding. I’ve met too many amazing and beautiful ladies in this industry who were not as successful as they could be due only to poor marketing skills. I want to change that and help ladies realize not only their goals, but their wildest dreams.

May 2020 bring more blessings to everyone!

Why you have to meet Jeniveve Delacroix

She is the young woman in the corner of the cafe engrossed in a  latte and a Foucault book. She is the one you can’t keep your eyes off of as you wait for your coffee. She’s the reason you decide to drink it at a table as close to her as you can get rather than run out to your next meeting which you are late for. You notice her long blonde tendrils as she twirls them through her fingers. Her tanned legs are crossed denying you of any further view. Her face is smooth and youthful, yet so engrossed in the book, that she doesn’t yet notice her admirer. You wonder how any man could be so lucky and you think your day would be so much brighter if you could just see her smile at you, if only… And when she looks up and does just that, you are momentarily breathless! Her smile is sincere and full bodied, with- was that a deviant twinkle at the end? Her eyes are warm and expressive and inviting- and looking right at you!

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Your day has noticeably brightened.

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She’s quick with a smile; her heart is a vast as the Pacific ocean that she lives near, she’s as sweet as her name implies, though her physical beauty says: untouchable! A divine conundrum! An approachable angel!

Speaking of touching, Jeniveve’s skin is so soft and smells so sweet, it’s like sweet tea on a hot summer day or sweet chai on a cold winter’s night . And did this woman invent the squat? I do think so; just take a look from behind. Her curves are really one perfect curve that starts with her perfect lips, ending only with her petite, perfect feet.

Jeniveve is a woman to be savored. She’s like a great work of literature. Read her again and again and always you will find something new. She will challenge you intellectually and physically, over and over.

Tabitha in San Francisco caught on videotape

Enjoy these stills from my NEW video.

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In this video, I stayed home, in my own fair city. San Francisco is so photogenic.

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It’s a more up close and personal video; it’s a look into my typical days, and into me.

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See the glamorous me who loves to dress, dance, dine and who, of course, enjoys:

the finer-things-in-life.

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And the me who sometimes stays home with my feline soul mate to read, write, drink tea and cook on the weekends.

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And that other me who gets all around town, around the Bay Area, around the world at times,

but who always arrives right back to:

YOU.

Truly Yours,

Tabitha

The Paradox of Our Age

“We have bigger houses

and smaller families:

more convenience, but less time.

We have degrees but less sense;

more knowledge, but less judgement;

more experts, but more problems;

more medicine, but less healthiness.

We have been all the way to

the moon and back,  but have trouble

crossing the street to meet

the new neighbor.

We built more computers to hold more

information to produce more

copies than ever,

but have less communication.

We have become long on quantity,

but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods,

and slow digestion;

tall man and short character;

steep profits, and shallow relationships.

It is a time when there is much in the window,

and nothing in the room.

–His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama