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Ann Brenoff

Boys in the Attic

George Heymont | Posted 04.19.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Two recent Bay Area productions included characters whose lives were haunted by the suicide of their son. The ghost of one son appears onstage; the other is never seen.

How A Black Fake Fur Couch Became A Life-Changer

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.18.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Many moons ago when I was moving into my very first college apartment, I spent what was at the time a small fortune on a black fake fur couch with padded arms and a low back. The aesthetics of black fake fur not withstanding, I selected the couch for one reason: When my boyfriend and I went out furniture shopping, I laid down to test it out and within minutes, passed out asleep.

Playing The "When Will I Die?" Numbers Game

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.10.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

We all die, right? Some of us do it the long way, chipping away at life slowly until there is nothing left; others check out abruptly with a sudden heart attack or accident. Some of us do it when we are old and others do it when we are younger. It's them -- those younger people -- that get under my skin.

Self-Written Obit Becomes Ultimate Way To Have The Last Word

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.03.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

There was a time when the obituaries were the best read part of your daily newspaper. That was, of course, back in the days when you actually had a daily newspaper. But as news moved online and the people producing it skewed younger, writing about someone's death -- or more accurately someone's life at the time they died -- became less of an art form.

Take A Minute To Smell The Beach Glass

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.27.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Susan Cosentino, a Malibu Realtor friend with six kids, is one of those crazy busy working moms who is legitimately crazy busy and not the 'must-catch-my-pilates-class-after-lunch-or-I'll-die' kind of busy. I like being around Susan for a couple of reasons, chief among them is that she's one of those people who manages a boatload of bananas without ever tipping over.

The Day That Made Me Realize I May Be Too Old For Shopping

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.20.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I once suggested to my visiting 80-year-old aunt that we could spend the afternoon together shopping. 'Why?' she asked me, 'I don't need anything.' It was a generational disconnect of the first degree.

The Recession's Permanent Wounds On My Generation

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.13.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I went through the first 35 years of my working life having to look up how to spell 'laid off.' For real. It was just one of those brain twerks; to this day, I never type the words 'meditate' or 'environment' right the first time either. But I sure learned how to spell 'laid off.'

6 Things We Learned This Week From Goldie And Kim

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.06.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

The Academy Awards appearances of Goldie Hawn, 68, and Kim Novak, 81, triggered a firestorm of fan reaction. Both actresses appeared with what were perceived to be dramatically altered faces and the Internet was quick to harshly criticize them. Can we pause a moment and reconnect with reality -- both theirs and ours?

The 14 Fantasies I Can't Stop Thinking About

Ann Brenoff | Posted 02.27.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I am probably the most responsible, stay-the-course, do-the-right-thing person you have likely never met, and I admit that even I don't quite understand this pounding drumbeat in my head telling me to throw my pick-up sticks in the air and see where they land. I'm 64, not 24, and really don't have time to erase life mistakes if I make them this late in the game. Still, the temptation is there to just rewrite my script.

7 Reasons Why 2014 Sucks So Far

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.15.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

We are just seven weeks into 2014 and already I am annoyed, verklempt if you will. Here's a list of the top 7 things pushing me -- and others -- over the top.

The Best Valentine's Day Gift Ever

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.08.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

No sooner did my husband drive down the driveway last week when one of the smoke alarms in the house started blasting. Blasting as in ear-splitting, migraine-inducing, scare-the-dogs-off, hurt-your-molars blasting.

If People Came With Warning Labels...

Ann Brenoff | Posted 04.01.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Long before Apple's iPod Shuffle came with the warning that it should not be eaten, companies hoping to avoid litigation have been bombarding us with the obvious. These warning labels have proliferated like bunnies and spilled over to direct-to-consumer advertising.

Fleeing The Coop While Preserving The Nest

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.25.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Camille's life is the life shared by a generation of women who are now in their late 60s. They were stay-at-home moms who missed the women's movement by a few years but rejoiced in the doors that it opened for their daughters. They drove carpools, kept house, had dinner ready on the table when the breadwinner came home, and were the glue that silently kept the family together.

The Importance Of Hiding Your Inner Crazy

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.25.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I bumped into a woman the other day who I hadn't seen in a while. I knew from word on the street -- or, more accurately, word at the school bus stop -- that she had caught her husband running around with another woman, or maybe it was that she had been diagnosed with Lupus, or possibly it was that her over-achieving-never-tasted-failure kid didn't make the all-star team and is now in counseling for his grief-induced migraines.

The One Job I Need An Alpha Male To Do

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.18.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I have two small dogs, one extremely brazen coyote, and a need for an alpha male eager to urinate in public. Anyone up to the task?

The Magical Experience I Hope I Never Age Out Of

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.11.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Dancing is one of those magical experiences that I hope I never age out of. With enough wine in me, I really don't care what I look like, although I acknowledge that my teenage children might.

How I've Been 'Done In' By Facebook -- Again

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.09.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Recently, a real estate agent who I once wrote about added me to a group on Facebook without asking my permission first. The group was for supporters of a political candidate who I know nothing about, including whether her views are even aligned with mine. Yet I woke up one day and found myself in a position of publicly 'supporting' her.

Making Resolutions That Have Real Meaning

Ann Brenoff | Posted 03.04.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Some people like to make resolutions this time of year -- you know, the stuff that makes January the happiest time of the year for Jenny Craig and Gold's Gym. There won't be any 'lose weight, exercise more' on my list -- not because I don't need to do both but because I'm feeling more introspective as we flip the calendar page into a new year.

When Life Gives You Peas, Make Peace Soup

Ann Brenoff | Posted 02.18.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Los Angeles has been experiencing an uncharacteristic cold snap. The temperature in my canyon has dropped precipitously into the 30s at night. (It actually happens every year and every year we insist on calling the idea of cold temperatures in the winter 'uncharacteristic.' It's an L.A. thing.)

Why Life Is All About Finding Your Wolf Pack

Ann Brenoff | Posted 02.11.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

For the past 35 years or so, I have been part of a wolf pack. Don't panic, it's just what I call my collection of close women friends.

The One Thing You Need To Know When You're Having 'One Of Those Days'

Ann Brenoff | Posted 02.04.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

Our credit card number has been stolen at least three times in the past six months. I blame it on my husband who regularly leaves the card at various scuzzy food joints. He blames it on me for shopping online. It's probably both or neither or just the fact that credit card theft is on the rise.

Why I've Finally Graduated From 'Comfort Shoes'

Ann Brenoff | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

I have apparently taken my final step in comfort shoes and have entered a new realm of footwear: Orthotic-friendly shoes.

Who's The Adult In Your Family?

Ann Brenoff | Posted 12.10.2013 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

In every family, there is one person who bubbles to the surface and becomes the family adult. Adults are the ones who bear the responsibility. It's being the person in the room -- or the family -- who wears the sign 'The buck stops here.'

How My Daughter Drove Me To Early Stage Empty Nest Syndrome

The Huffington Post | Ann Brenoff | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty

August marks the start of a painful time in the lives of some mid-lifers: The Empty Nest Syndrome. It's when our kids pack up and leave our homes for ...

Why I'm Trying To Be More Spontaneous

Ann Brenoff | Posted 10.08.2013 | Fifty
Ann Brenoff

One of my all-time favorite movies is the 1991 'L.A. Story' where Steve Martin plays a confused TV weatherman who takes his life cues from a talking freeway sign. In that same vein, my wine bottle just spoke to me. When the cork popped out, it said 'Plan some spontaneity.'