For the Love of Lindy

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I’ve always loved the charm of the 1920’s. It just seems like a classier era and nothing is as smooth and classy as the Lindy Hop. It took a little convincing to get my husband to agree, but soon I made him a Lindy lover too. Let me explain. The Lindy Hop is a dance that evolved from the Jazz era in Harlem, NY. It was named after Charles Lindbergh “hopped across the Atlantic” in 1927.

I started dancing because my Grandmother loved everything “Swing,” and she made me go with her to the Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association, with the Steven’s Sisters. I even got to meet Frankie Manning, one of the founders of Lindy; not once but twice! But as an awkward middle school girl, I became too self-conscious to dance with the rotation of partners so I stopped. When my husband and I started dating, I asked him to join me in lessons. It only took us a couple of lessons to figure out that most people learn by NOT dancing with each other at first. If you make a wrong move or your significant other steps on your toes; it’s only a matter of time before you start blaming each other for the wrong move. Not Fun. No one wants that. So, you rotate partners and learn with everyone. Then you can appreciate dancing with whoever you came with. Don’t worry; if you can count, then you can dance.

Not only will you dance with many people, but you may find yourself with a female lead, or a male follow. Some of the best leads that I have danced with have been women (no offense men, she just knew what a follow needed in a lead). The Jazz era and SwingKids were always ahead of the times for the LGBT community.

Swing dancing is a social dance and even if you came dancing with someone, the likelihood that you will only dance with that person is slim. This is your chance! Social dancing is all about having someone lead you to the dance floor like Ginger Rogers as you feel the centrifugal force of this fast paced dance and then lead you back off the dance floor for you to dance with someone else or take a much-needed break. It’s all very Cary Grant-Esque feel to it. Dance has become my #MondayMotivation, my #WorkoutWednesday, my #FunFriday. ­­

My husband and I usually have to travel to Pasadena, Whittier, or Irvine to take lessons – which we love. But recently, we found Swing Dancing at the Metro on Wednesdays in Pomona. If you are not familiar with Pomona, it is where Fred and Ethel Mertz had plans to go when Ricky Ricardo needed someone to keep Lucy out of shenanigans when the couples traveled to Los Angeles. What did the Mertz’s do in Pomona? I’d like to think they went swing dancing…

Pomona’s Art District has old Hollywood charm. It’s the perfect venue to learn Lindy! The lessons are taught by Josiah Keagy, and you will learn fast! The Metro has a beautiful dancing floor with sparkly chandeliers to remind you of old Hollywood, free parking and inexpensive lessons at $5 dollars per person an hour before social dancing. There are all age groups spanning the dance floor, so awkward women like myself (I haven’t changed much) don’t feel self-conscious.

This Wednesday, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five perform for the Social dance right after the lessons. You can swing every Saturday at Disneyland, Clifton’s Cafeteria, the Queen Mary, and countless other places in Pasadena, San Diego, and Irvine. Once you start,  you will end up learning more variations of swing dancing. My hubby’s personal favorite is the Balboa, which originated here in California just as the name suggests. Mine is West Coast Swing or the 8 count Lindy Hop. Now get out and come and swing with me! Links below!

SwingDance LA

Atomic Ballroom

Lindy Groove


Third Saturday Swing

The Frankie Manning Foundation

Thanks for Reading…

-La Vida Verde


#SkipTheStrawDay Xperiment, Brought To You From My Friend, Mary & Whitehall Middle School

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There have been many people who have been upset in California when they are charged for plastic bags after a long hard day of grocery shopping. I’m not one of them. I don’t want to brag, but I have been carrying those reusable bags for a few years now. It’s pretty much a habit now. It started a few years ago and I am pretty proud to have made some really good changes and have even got my younger cousins to rethink. Now, I’m not the type of girl willing to give up her frou-frou coffee for the sake of a plastic straw but in August 2011, a friend of mine (Hi Mary Jane) in Hawaii invited me to her Plastic Project Xperiment. Her mission was simple — to not buy anything plastic for a month. Her journey is one that I never forgot. I decided from that moment to try to conserve as much as I could. Her project was a huge butterfly effect in my life. One that I hope I can share with you to have the same effect.

First of all, I failed at not buying plastic. I went straight to the 99 Cent Store and purchased small lunch containers that I put in a bag under my car seat. But I was thinking about reducing my impact on the earth. I thought this was a great purchase because I hardly ever finish a meal at a restaurant. So, on my next dinner out with my cousin at one of our favorite restaurants, while waiting for a to-go container, I remembered that I had that bag under my car seat and went to get it. The next thing I know, my 18-year-old cousin was cracking up. So I asked him what he would do if he was on a date and his date brought her own to-go containers. His disposition went from laughing at his cousin; to hell yes; he’d love to date a cute hipster girl with the bento box; small sacrifice. Mary said on her blog “it’s the social awkwardness that makes me want to give up this project.”

Mary said on her blog “it’s the social awkwardness that makes me want to give up this project.” But the most difficult part of this whole project was that pesky straw! Most places have straws and cannot use reusable tumblers that most of us already have for sanitary reasons, restaurants will automatically put straws in glasses, and dare I mention any fast food joint?!

The WMS Coral Keepers; students at Whitehall Middle School in Whitehall, MI. founded today, (the fourth day in February) as #SkipTheStrawDay. After seeing a sea turtle with a straw up its nose, they wanted to bring awareness to how many plastic straws are being wasted and polluting our earth. I couldn’t help but think of Mary on Hawaii making her own laundry detergent to reduce her plastic consumption, yet had far too many restaurants bring her a reusable glass with a plastic straw ready for the trash before it got to her table; Proof that we need to change our cultural norms when it comes to recycling. Straws are not likely to be recycled like plastic water bottles, or aluminum cans. You may not choose to give up your frou-frou drinks either, but maybe you can have a car cup or paper straws and reduce other areas of plastic consumption to do your part.

I still, use my plastic doggy-bag to-go container under the seat of my Prius ready for use. I have added a soup container, a reusable plastic drinking glass, and straw. I will rewash plastic silverware like everyone’s granny! I have a filtered reusable water bottle. I recycle all shampoo and conditioner bottles and am a big advocate of the handkerchief. Anyone wanting to do their part need only to search the internet to find plastic saving pay dirt; Pinterest can direct you to your conservation needs. Mary’s Plastic Project Xperiment is still up and you can read her daily struggles and suggestions in one day to get inspired. And please, sharing is caring in this department! Let us know how you have started to reduce using plastic. I don’t worry about that social awkwardness anymore; we all have other awkward traits that make this plastic prevention plan seem normal, and in the words of Mary, I’m using “survival skills yo. Survival skillllllssss…”

Thanks for reading ~

La Vida Verde

The Sisterhood Of The Traveling PR Girls

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(Curtiss Cook and Rob Morgan at the IndieLounge. Photo courtesy of Jade Gem, Tina Mahler Curtis)

Park City – Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival. Also home of Power and Industry’s IndieLounge. The IndieLounge is what brought me to my first visit to Park City. I want to write about how this trip was more like a retreat – a spiritual experience that I cannot fully describe. We were there to work but we ate, slept and did everything with each other this week.

The first thing I did was over pack, and by over pack I mean I brought too many shoes and coats because I was expecting a blizzard. I also took my laptop and some other electronics that inexperience helped me decide to take. The TSA at the Burbank Airport was suspicious. Not only was my suitcase 5 pounds heavier than it should be but my laptop was inspected. Did I mention that we were in the wrong terminal?! So we had to go through TSA again. Thankfully I was not inspected a second time. After getting on the plane, we were hungry but had to wait till our layover.  When we got to our layover, again we found ourselves ten minutes too short and we needed to go to a terminal in the opposite direction.

At last, we finally arrived at Salt Lake City Airport. From here we took an Uber to go shopping for some essentials for the rental house we were staying at. This first night we ate pizza and beer and enjoyed each others company.  Every night we would discuss work and how we would make things smoother for the next day, and then get in full on girl mode watching movies and talking. We could have gone to sleep or ventured out to the city, but this was our time to really bond. Besides, you really get to know someone while watching Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet running all over a cruise ship that is sinking.

IMG_4358 (1)

(Photo courtesy of Jade Gem, Tina Mahler Curtis)

Maybe next year we will go out, but this was my first year and spending it with a group of strong diverse women was just the pow-wow I needed. While this was for me a week with the ladies, we also had some great men surrounding us too. These men are motivational and did not feel the need to typecast us. I’m talking about you Max Tucci and Zachary Jaydon! Each morning, we had coffee and bagels while getting ready for the day. I was taking pictures in the gifting suite of the Indie Lounge and posting on social media. I met with great people with great products while talented guests came and left.


(Photo courtesy of Jade Gem, Tina Mahler Curtis)


At different times, there were documentary shorts, movies, and book signings in the theater room. At one point, Jade Gem Bethlehem, AKA Baby Jade, let me go to the Indie Lounge theater to see Severus Snape and the Marauders where I not only got to enjoy the film but got the opportunity to record the cast Q and A for social media. This is, after all, is what Sundance was all about – independent movies and what game changer they are for storytellers, actors, writers, directors, and artists. The Indie Lounge had great movies too! Stronger Than Pretty and In His Own Words were two movies that everyone should see.

T-Rex snowball fight? Why not. Repost: @yourenotridofme

A video posted by Sundance Institute (@sundanceorg) on


(Photo courtesy of Jade Gem, Tina Mahler Curtis)

Once the gifting suite was closed and the movies were finished, Jade Gem Tina and I went out in inflatable T-Rex outfits and had a snowball fight. This was probably one of the best ways to blow off steam from the chaos of business. The last day was a little melancholy. We do not get to run around together often as we all live in different cities, but we should.

Thanks for reading ~

La Vida Verde



A Patron for 2017

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st_joanofarcGrowing up Catholic, to become an adult in the church one must go through the sacrament of confirmation.  This is when most Catholic youths research a Saint. I picked Saint Joan of Arc. She was the badass of all female saints – a pig farmer’s daughter, age 14, and led her country to battle. She had not one saint visit her, she had four. But now that I am older I don’t relate as much to her. I still have her fiery side of a soldier, but I have had to learn to pick and choose my battles. I wonder how the great Joan would have handled war if she had rent and bills to pay. I wasn’t burned at the stake for my life choices and now I have other issues to deal with.


c022248e9115d33678648c9365f90804Patron saints are beloved to Catholics. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of newlyweds; St. Lawrence is the patron saint of chefs. I joke that St. Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats and those who are afraid of mice, should be my new patron saint, or St. Rita the patron of impossible cases.

Still, I love the concept of these saints and what they represent. Catholic art is treasured to me. It is part of my youth, culture, and tradition.  No doubt that you have seen some of these candles. By now they have become part of pop culture.

There are candles on sale through and on You can find images of David Bowie, Beetlejuice, Cindy Lauper, and all members of The Golden Girls. Friends have given me many catholic gifts that some may consider sacrilege but I don’t care. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.


2016 has been a difficult year. Not just for me, but for a lot of people. We have lost so many celebrities who have only brought hope and love to our society; Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds are just two of the many to shape my Generation X life. To describe my 2016 in one word it would be patronizing. However, this year has also had many silver linings. I became part of the Jade Umbrella team who I love, I actually have been exercising regularly and am in the best health of my adult life, and my husband and I fall deeper in love with each other no matter how hard life has been.

America has gone through its own ups and downs. No matter where you fall on politics, most Americans agree that we need more jobs, more peace, and safety for all. So For 2017, I am picking our confirmation saints for the year; to help us with a positive attitude and set the tone for the coming New Year.

sveronicaSt. Veronica was not on my 17-year-old radar when I made my confirmation. She is not mentioned in the Bible although being alive at the time. She is a saint for just wiping the face of Jesus. An act that did not seem that significant to me when I went through my own confirmation. Now, I find her to be the most unpretentious saint providing the greatest act of compassion. This is how we need to treat our country – with compassion! St. Veronica did not change the fate of Jesus and we cannot change the fate of anyone, but we can be there with a box of Kleenex and box of wine and simply wipe away tears of anyone suffering. Our coworkers, neighbors, and perfect strangers – all need your compassion as we ring in the New Year. Channel your inner saint in 2017 and let’s make great things happen!

Thank you for reading,

La Vida Verde

Christmas and Chill? Yippee-ki-yay!

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I can’t sit back and chill on Christmas when there is a debate about the movie Die Hard being a Christmas movie or not! Everyone has their own thoughts about what makes a great Christmas movie.  We at Jade Umbrella all have our own favorites and unfortunately for Die Hard – it didn’t make the cut. Not because of any twitter debate about the authenticity of its being a Christmas movie, but because we have a pretty good list going for us already.

Our list, in random order are: Bridget Jones Diary, White Christmas, Christmas Vacation, Bad Santa, The Grinch (both versions), The Holiday, The Family Man, Nightmare before Christmas, Four Christmases (So bad but so good), The Family Stone, Elf, A Christmas Story, Krampus, Gremlins (I stand by it being a Christmas movie and so does Google), Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (Yule Ball for us Potter fans), Yogi’s First Christmas, Six Weeks (it’s a tear jerker), Hallmark’s The Good Witch’s Gift, Lifetime’s Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, The Christmas Ornament, Home Alone, When Harry Met Sally, and Love Actually.

These are just some of the suggestions we have for you, but let’s get back to that debate! Why not let someone claim Die Hard as their favorite movie? Who are we to judge? Somehow the Christmas police came out to arrest anyone that tried to use Die Hard as a favorite Christmas flick, and I am here to put that debate to an end.

Christmas has many traditions. If your Christmas tradition is to watch Die Hard, that makes it a Christmas movie. I do not care if the release date was July 15, 1988 (as was Die Hard). I do not care that there is not any centralized holiday message of love, joy, and peace on earth (we have plenty of those already). I do not care that there is a lack of snow (I’m in flip-flops in southern California as you read this). It has Christmas elements. It is set on Christmas Eve at an office holiday party.  John McClane is not trying to be the next George Bailey. John McClane has his own ways of helping others.


If you need further evidence, just Google “Die Hard Christmas” and you will be flooded with the evidence, instructions on how to make your own Die Hard Christmas ornament, and many justifications to its Christmasy authenticity. The ornament alone is reason enough I’d add it to my own list.

So let’s put this debate to rest. Let’s watch Die Hard, make a Die Hard Christmas ornaments, remember the late Alan Rickman as one of the best Christmas villains ever, bake some Christmas cookies, and “we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”

A Very Merry Christmas to you all.

Thank you for reading,

-La Vida Verde

Silence to Safety Pin

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Being in public relations, we know how to survive pretty much anything life throws at us. But the world of Politics has shocked us to our core. The 20th Presidential election has exposed the ugly in both political camps while the media has exposed the most random and horrible acts of violence. This does not represent us. We do not believe that is what our society is; there has to be some silver lining coming from this election. (No Millennials, it’s not you getting days off from college and spending time drinking hot cocoa in crying rooms with coloring books on college campuses around America.

Somewhere in cyber land, the humble safety pin has emerged as a new symbol for us to unite. Somehow this small piece of metal has become a sharp distinction of who will stand up for anyone feeling unsafe or discriminated against. It does not matter who you voted for. We are still the same country that elected President Barack Hussain Obama…Twice!rosa_parks_booking

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a seamstress got off of work as many of us do today. She was tired and taking public transportation home. How many of us take Uber, Lyft, or the Metrolink home from work too? This woman, Rosa Parks (I’m sure you have heard of her), was bullied out of her seat and arrested. There was no one around at that time with a safety pin that was willing to stand up for her. At least not anyone who was not equally intimidated as well or willing to pay the price she paid for standing her ground.

How could history have changed if someone did stand up with her? Not just other African Americans either; someone else – someone who would have been willing to get arrested beside her. For a society that considers itself more evolved, consider the outcome today. It is not out of the ordinary for someone like Rosa to not get arrested, but someone would have likely added live Facebook video, gotten arrested for recording, and then shot for being held in contempt of that officer.

We live in a country where we have the freedom of speech to start speaking out and making others feel safe. No one should ever feel as alone as Parks did on that long evening. We should never let anyone feel that way now.  It is a sad fact that the squeaky wheel gets replaced first. Sometimes silence is more powerful. And that is where we at #TeamJade leave you. Pin that safety pin to your hearts. We may be silent but we will be deliberate. Deliberate with our vote, with our thoughts, with our actions. We will stand in silent solidarity with anyone who feels threatened so no one has to be

Thank you for reading,

-La Vida Verde

Let’s Cry About Pregnancy and Infant Loss Together.

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When I was in High School, my aunt suffered a miscarriage. I naïvely tried to console her by saying that she had her first born. At the time I did not realize that she was mourning a whole different person.  As a teen far too long ago, the youth pastors where I went to church suffered infant loss. I will never forget the small casket holding a baby that I had held just 7 days previous (with far too many plastic tubes attached to a newborn).  It was an experience that I never want to relive.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, but most people know about Breast Cancer Awareness. While both are important, most people do not talk about miscarriages or infant loss. So when my husband and I got pregnant after 8 years of infertility, we heard the news that no one wants to hear; “I’m sorry, you can try again.” The truth is that we couldn’t try again. We have been told the odds from our specialist, but the Physician’s Assistant who told us did not know all the information. I wanted to write this at the beginning of the month, not the end. But I just could not express how our loss will never have a new beginning.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” President Ronald Regan said this when he declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October 1988.

People try to tell me “oh you can just adopt.” Even mothers who have experienced pregnancy say that to me. My own short pregnancy, I felt so much that I will never forget ‒ I didn’t have any tension headaches, I craved mint chocolate, I felt a strong sense that the names that my husband and I picked out were not what this baby had in mind. Now going into our 40’s, we know our chance of becoming parents is pretty slim. You share watching kids grow up, seeing your beloved’s eyes merged with your grandmother’s personality. Things that you will never see with adoption ‒ feeling your baby kick and hiccup inside you, feeling that baby move closer to your spouse when it hears their voice.

We are mourning the loss of a family. So many of our friends have kids and are going through a divorce. These friends are mourning the loss of their family, but life will go on for them.  We will have no one as we age. Even in my large family; parents, children, and grandparents are exclusive. I constantly worry about being an “Elder Orphan,” (but more about that later).

So much we have picked out will go to waste like a 4 slice toaster that we purchased with the dream that kids would be using now. Being economical all 11 years of our marriage, he and I have never had a Christmas tree. Why would we? No one comes over to our home for Christmas. Do I sound bitter? I am.

I was just “childless shamed” last week at the gym. Someone said they saw me too much and that it must be because I don’t have kids. I would adore staying home with my children and teaching them the recipes my great grandmothers taught me! Most the time I go to the gym as retribution to my body for betraying me and my husband so badly.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss is a topic that we need to be more open about in our society. It is heartbreaking. If we can be empathetic and compassionate instead of being passive about it hopefully, just hopefully, those who have suffered this type of loss can begin to heal and open up to their options instead of feeling bitter about how society treats us.

One day, after a lot of healing, I’ll be comfortable to adopt. Until then, please talk about infant and pregnancy loss. A small “I’m here if you need someone to cry with” is all someone may need. And by all means, ask us for help with your kids. We love spending time with them. The best I feel when someone does see those positive pink lines and they think of telling me personally. Not over social media but a call, message or text. It lets me know that they were thinking of me. I know that I mean something to them and they did not want to hurt my feelings and wanted to include me in their joy. I cry every time! But they are tears of sorrow and joy.

Thank you for reading,

-La Vida Verde

#BrokenRelationships; Because Our Feelings Are Important!

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img_6061We didn’t plan it; it just was the day we could all get together. It just so happened to be my late grandfather’s birthday. So it was ironic for my aunt and me to take my grandmother to The Museum of Broken Relationships on a day that would indefinitely remind us all of him.  My grandmother and grandfather got divorced after 30 years of marriage. She could arguably be the patron saint of broken relationships.  It was not a mutual decision.  I am sure that they both loved each other in their own flawed way up until the day he died. We recently found letters that my grandfather sent her. She wrote in-between his declaration of love; words that reminded her of why their relationship did not work. These are now destroyed.

Every relationship that ends leaves pieces that are difficult for many to let go of and some that are downright impossible to keep while starting a new relationship (I’m talking to you; women who keep stuffed teddy bears from exes).  People flock to Burning Man to burn things in effigy but if that is not your style, the Museum of Broken Relationships may be the answer.

The Museum is located in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard. Not only do they display these past trophies of sentimental value, but they take donations and display the collection anonymously. Each display holds its own story. There were collections of mixed tapes, bras, and even an engagement ring.  One display (silicone breast implants) is a good reminder to never alter one’s body for someone else. Another of old cologne bottles, a painful reminder that some relationships are broken by death and not a mutual parting. A stuffed Betty Boop doll from a same-sex co-worker who received the gift from a crush. She knew that her crush was heterosexual and an intimate relationship would never work. 20160823_155315

So, if you have been holding on to the past and do not know where to start to let go, you can donate your memories to the museum. I have not had any bad breakups. The only thing I consider is a small stuffed dragon that I took when I moved from my mother’s home. My mom and I have never been close. I took the dragon in hopes that one day we could mend and have a meaningful mother and daughter relationships that are the scripts for movies. Alas, I have found that there are so many other relationships that mean more to me because of those willing to work together. My aunts, cousins, friends and anyone who invests time in a relationship. I still have that stuffed dragon, and know I should let it go.

One of the most  powerful donations is a tiny piece of paper with the words “Pay attention to me” written on it. It was donated by an artist who’s former girlfriend slipped him the piece of paper but he was too busy to look. It took him two years to find it. In a world of #Selfies, let us strive to love more often, forgive more often, and “pay attention” to those who matter the most.20160823_153551

Click The Museum of Broken Relationships for more information.

Thank you for reading,

-La Vida Verde

Forty & Fabulous? #thestruggleisreal

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Happy Birthday to me…. even though I am not where I would want to be. Certainly not where I thought I would be when I was a teenager, but that’s not a good or bad thing. When I was in high school, I thought that I would be living abroad somewhere with lots of kids. Instead, I have had a horrible year and it was made worse by some jerk infertility doctor who thought it was his personal mission to make me feel like shit; by not being able to get pregnant on my own by harping on my age despite my medical numbers. Nope, this was definitely not a good year. So leaving 39 to go to 40 seems like a death sentence. #Adultingishard

I completed my bachelor’s degree, had 5 failed Intrauterine Inseminations, and have had a difficult time transitioning from massage therapist into communications. I had a miscarriage three years ago that another doctor waited over 5 months to treat. My husband and I have male infertility factors to deal with but all this doctor seemed to do was bash my age. I have no kids, my family has gone from fighting to avoiding each other, and my magic 8 ball says “outlook not so good.” Being hard on myself is a talent and I can take being a Negative Nancy to a professional level. We all have some bad years and 39 just seems to be mine, but there are no do-overs. And I keep feeling helpless and lost.

school(Me going to Catholic School and I am still just as vulnerable as that day.)

But this blog is not just about me, it’s about the pressure that society puts on women. I could be a cheerleader for any woman in my situation and tell that particular doctor to take a flying leap, but I cannot seem to tell myself this. The truth is that I am in way better shape and health now than I was for the last five years. I have been going to the gym, eating clean, and trying to stress less. Newsflash Dr. Dickhead, this is why women get pregnant now after 40. We learn to treat ourselves better. I have a wonderful support team of friends and have met some of the most fabulous women this year, many over forty who are just all inspirational! I don’t want to grow old, I want to blossom at every age. Women like Betty White, Helen Mirren, Carrie Fisher, Queen Latifah, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler — these women are ROCKING no matter what age they are!

People say “Forty is the new, thirty” and I have to disagree. Forty is a stage of life that is going to be just as important as your teen years, your twenties, your thirties. Both of my grandmothers are alive and still seek the latest fashion. Age has not changed their desire to look fabulous. Their children are grown and both of my grandfathers have passed away, but they are still putting on makeup and dressing fashionably. Life has ups and downs. This bad year is coming to an end. We don’t count our worth by our waist size so why our age? Life is a journey and age is just another unimportant measurement. We’re still learning to fly at forty.

Thank you for reading,

La Vida Verde


On Tuesday, We Wear Black

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Out of all the places to visit in Los Angeles, a cemetery is probably not your first pick. No one wants to think of death but it is easily the first place you should start a tour of Hollywood. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is not just a place for funerals. The cemetery has concerts, festivals, movie nights, and even its own tour guide who will teach you all about the cemetery’s rich and scandalous history. Dressed in vintage from head to toe, two different eye colors, and a large folder containing many pictures and Film Noir posters – Art Deco Diva, Karie Bible is passionate about history and Hollywood. When you put that combination together in a cemetery, you have a recipe for eccentric magic.

(Photo courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of

Bible says “It perhaps one of the most creative and innovate cemeteries in the world. I’ve been to cemeteries in many other countries, but none of them can compare to Hollywood Forever.” She started the tours because of her love of the cemetery’s Hollywood history in 2002. Her tour is not only about its famous residents, but as much about the cemetery history, and the lives of some of Los Angeles’s notorious residents NOT buried on the grounds. It is an easy-to-follow tour with the only difficulty being retaining all the information and trying to not step on someone’s grave. Bible mentions so many films and stars from the cemetery and says, “I would like for people to leave the tour and seek out these films! With TCM, DVD and numerous online viewing portals, it has never been easier to learn about classic Hollywood!” Her tour is really a tribute. While there, I learned about Actor Rudolph Valentino and his infamous “Lady in Black” visitors.

If you are unfamiliar with the actor, Bible suggests starting with the movie “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse,” her favorite of the late actors as well as his big break.  Valentino passed away at 31 years old and is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Every year on the anniversary of his death he has been visited by a “Lady in Black” bringing a bouquet of red roses. There have been three “Ladies in Black” and several imposters.

Preserving history is very important to Bible; the reigning “lady in black.” Bible says “The original “Lady in Black” was named Ditra Flame and her appearances really helped to fuel the continuing interest in Valentino. I decided to carry on the tradition in 2002 and I’ve been a “Lady in Black” ever since.”

(Photo courtesy of Brian Donelly of

(Karie Bible dressed as the “Lady in Black. Photo courtesy of Brian Donelly of

Tuesday, August 23rd is the anniversary of actor Rudolph Valentino’s death and his 89th memorial service. The Memorial starts at 12:10 pm and will include clips of the late actors work, music, poetry, and as Bible says “It is really not about his death as much as it is a celebration of his life, career, and legacy. You can expect to see a large number of Valentino fans who are there to pay tribute.” This year, I may just pay tribute myself as a “Lady in Black” imposter complete with a Jade Umbrella.

If you would like to take one of Karie Bible’s tours go to

For more information about the cemetery and concerts go to

You can find out about the movies at

Thank you for reading…

-La Vida Verde