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tv   Bay Area Focus With Susan Sikora  CW  November 14, 2010 8:00am-8:30am PST

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we'll ask the viagra diary's author if or when or book will become a film. she believes a zen approach can clarify today's toughest dilemmas. i'm susan sikora and that's on bay area focus next.
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welcome to bay area focus. i'm susan sikora. we chatted about her novel, the viagra diaries in which she dared to explore love and sex after 50. this is a book that screams to be a film. the story and barbara are
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challenging ageism head on. her age march has sparked similar events in l.a. and new york. >> so glad to be here. >> a lot has happened to you. >> so much. >> viagra diaries you have made some progress because you said there might be an option here and there. what is going on? who is interested. >> hbo is going to make a tv series. it is going to be like a sex and the city for superboomers. >> absolutely. when do you think this will start? >> probably not for another year or so. >> have you talked money? >> yes. >> you're smiling. it's good. it's worth while. >> it is all good.
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i'm thrilled because 60 plus people need to be out there and not stereotyped. >> i want to know who they are thinking of maybe to play the lead character. >> i can't even hint. >> nothing? >> i can't even hint. >> initials. >> d. >> dian ketoen? >> maybe. >> it is going to be a series and not one film. . >> >>: it is going to be like sex and the city. >> are you going to be doing screen writing on it? you are selling them a concept. >> they bought the rights to my book and they have their own writers. >> are you auto writing a sequel? >> i am writing a sequel. it is called do i sleep in his
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dead wife's bed? it is how relationships turn over and can love happen in the viagra generation. i say yes. >> for those of them who didn't hear when you were here the first time. let's get a quick synopsis. >> it is annie who is 70. and she wants love, fame and fortune. she wants it all. she breaks all the rules and she doesn't go to endings. she goes for beginnings. that's basically what it is about. >> she has this kind of relationship with this guy but then she finds out he is a serial dater. >> he is a serial dater. these guys who are 60 or 70 plus. they want to be young because the media pressures us to be younger and not older. what's wrong with being older and hot?
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so she finds out this man who is afraid of age is chasing these old dreams. he wants the 30 year olds. >> you see that a lot in life the guys want the 30 year olds. you have to have the check book. >> it is not like real people. >> do you think, thren, that older guywise they get in relationships, i'm talking about in the 50s or 60s or 70s, do they know anything more about behavior? >> i think viagra is a great thing since one of the greater ones out. and another hand it is also these guys who are popping out like candy. they are like me tarzan and you jane. they are having all the fun that they didn't have when they are younger. >> when they get to a certain
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age they have to start confronting their own mortality and the men have to do it sooner than women. it is that generally speaking women out live men and the loneliness factor is going to sink in. >> i'm speaking generally, of course, but so many men i have interviewed and i met are so i'm going to get out there -- >> i don't mean they can get a hot date here and there. i'm talking about after a while. >> they get lonely. >> because there is nothing substantial. >> i think this is true for lots of men. i meet lots of men who are going from one fling to another. they are not finding themselves. >> that is certainly an example of one form of ageism that is
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part of the piece of the pie you are dealing with. a lot of women who are grown up are looking at younger men. and i don't mean two or three years younger. 20 or 15. the cougar syndrome. is that ageism in your book, also? >> yes because i don't think matters whether they are 20 years younger or 20 years odoruu older. if you have your sense of self and you have a connection with a man who is 20 years older or younger age should not make a difference. it is the self that makes a difference. >> you have taken ageism on. you had an age march the first of its kind in san francisco. >> it was fabulous. i didn't know if 50 people were going to show up. over 300 people were going to show up. a woman was there holding up
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the sign. mickey mouse is still young. i'm not a senior. i'm a person. it was amazing to see these people. >> what do you want this movement to accomplish? there is job discrimination that is there. >> well, you just said the word discrimination. there is age discrimination and age segregation and age racism and age hate rud and shame. we don't seem to have the age pride in our country. so what i wanted to accomplish is that we all unify as people rather than segregated by age. >> you perform now. you perform from the viagra diaries. >> i am doing stand up. comedy. i'm 74. i want to be a movie star. i told you that. and i have been doing this and i did one last year and i do
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monologues. i become annie and i go out with superboomer men and i take you on the dates with me. and we explore all the issues. >> i have to go. she is going to be performing her standup at the commonwealth club in san francisco november 23 and i believe the performance begins at 5:15. the book is called the viagra diaries. it's probably unlike anything else you have ever read about people that age. enough said for a sunday morning. call oprah. we'll do a show. what to do if your life is falling apart and lately it has felt that way for a lot of folks. stay with us. [ male announcer ] life is indeed an incredible journey.
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job loss, home loss, money worries or hurtful relationships. if you are in the dark knight of the soul you'll find help in the book the ten things to do when your life falls apart. >> it is wonderful to be here. >> you had me on page one or two because you write in such a relatable way and i think for a lot of people these days when you are looking at your basic needs, your home, your job, your marriage, your relationship, your friendships, whatever, when all of those things come at one time it is overwhelming. it seems to me that there are more people dealing with this now than ever before. is that because of the economy? >> i think that is one part of it is the economy. it is the stress that we feel since 9/11. there is a vibe around that wasn't there before. we don't feel as safe in our world as we used to feel. everybody's has some form of
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personal crisis at some point in their life. it is many dimensions. >> you help a lot of people and you have written a lot of books about this. you went through this. you went through a little bit of help. >> i know where i speak. many things happen when i was starting to write this book i went away to write it. the night i got to my destination the next morning i got up to get my computer and my book outline out of the car and they vanished. want to write a book about crisis try this on. i went through financial things and i had a bad car accident and i had to move a lot. ended a long relationship that had gone through many stages and finally came to a conclusion. it was that range that people go through, financial,
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personal, heart ache and life situation. and i see this book was inspired by a friend of mine who came to visit and said my life is falluing apart. my life has left me and i lost my job and he was diagnosed with a disease that would probably be fatal. he came to seek sanctuary with me because i live in a lovely place. he lives in europe. he said what are the ten things i should do to get through all of this. i thought this guy is asking me to write a book. and i did. and i felt really that he was the spokesman for so many people. it's like how can we in the swamp of difficulty find some principles to hang on to so we can move through this. >> let's go through a couple. the ten are in the book. there are a couple that we can
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address this morning. first of all, you say cry your heart out. you start with that one. let the tears come. we resist tears. i have a hard time crying about something sometimes. >> you breakthrough. >> you say these tears are necessary. >> they are necessary. they are the process of healing. grief is the way we move through loss. and any kind of crisis experience is a loss. it's a loss of faith. it is a loss of something real, money, a house, a relationship. it's so un-american to cry. it is so un-american to grieve. because we live in this culture that says get control. do more. you can handle it. >> there are a million cliches for it. >> we do and they are deeply ingrained. it is amazing to me where even in my office where people come, they reach for the kleenex box
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and say i'm so sorry. it's like i should have a grip instead of have a release. that really came to me as the first thing people need to know. it's okay to let go with this grief process. >> i would think it would be harder for men. >> very much so. many men say it is never going to happen to me. >> and then they put up a hard show. you say once you get the crying out there is almost a space. what if you think you are not going to stop crying. >> of course, a lot of people feel that way. it is a biologically based process. it was given to us as a means of release. the body and the spirit naturally comes to a conclusion with it and then we can re- collect ourselves and take action. >> letting go. you say not just letting go of someone, for instance if you
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have a relationship with someone and your love is not returned. that is a hard thing to do. you are also letting go of who you were or what was, as well. how do you start that? >> do it anyway you possibly can. trick yourself. push yourself but know that this is a part of the process. and i think that is the information i'm giving here in this book is to say to people you will need to let go. we want to hold on to everything we have had, everything we thought. and so the message here is be prepared that in some way you will need to let go of a person, of an attitude, of a way of life, something. >> the last one i would like to get to because there is also live simply. go where the love is. a lot of times you say why does it take a nightmare to wake us up to the need for love. >> it is so true. because we really think control
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and having stuff and being on our path of whatever it is is so important. and that is the beauty. >> if you are in a crisis. if you lost a job and you have a good steady relationship with somebody, that is going to make it easier. if you lose a job and you don't have -- let's say you love someone and your love is not returnedu. >> or your love is lost at the same time your job is. >> you feel like everything is overwhelming. >> love is available to us in so many ways and places. we need to consciously reach out for it because it makes all the difference. and i think i was talking with a woman the other day who had been hit by a hit-and-run driver and completely taken apart on a physical level. power house of a woman who said i'm in control. suddenly she is finding herself
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asking for help, asking for support, asking people to bring her dinner, asking people to help her to the bathroom and suddenly she realized i'm connected. people are here to connect with me, to love me. and she said i never would have arrived at this had this crisis not happened. i wish i had more time but i'm having a crisis of time right now. ten things to do when your life falls apart. i sat down to skim it and i found myself reading most of it. it really is well done. a lot of the ideas in here are practical and doable. thank you for being here. >> thank you, susan. next maybe zen can help with your approach to what's wrong.
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get up to a one hundred percent scholarship to college. and up to sixty-thousand dollars in assistance.
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get paid to learn valuable job skills. maybe make an extra twenty grand when you join. all while you serve your community and your country. learn more at can zen practice offer help that works in 2010. doctor grace thinks so. a zen buddhist priest grace uncovered her wisdom of her predecessors which she believes is relevant today. details is in her book, zen women. >> thank you for having me. >> u grace will do. >> your first premise in this
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book is that and i guess this is kind of an pervasive attitude that many religions resist women having powerful roles such as there is not a lot of jewish rabbis who are women and there are no catholic ordained women priests and probably won't be as long as this pope is in roam. thisu is purveyusive. >> it seems that women and men are afraid of the power. it brings out helplessness to remember what it was like to being overwhelmed by the power. it seems like across the board in every civilization at all times men have tried to control women in the societies and giving them less power and less legal rights. >> are they afraid that we are
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smart or smarter? >> i don't know that they figured that out yet. i said to you, a couple of years back and i know people are going to get mad at me but when the davinci code came out people were saying jesus couldn't have a relationship with mary magdalen. >> there is something about power that is accrued and they separate themselves from the details of daily living, for example, taking care of the children and the house hold and someway holy men need to remove themselves and home life as a dusty not appropriate for spiritual practice. >> editor of a woman's magazine said to me women have to do the scut work. >> that's right. we are changing the diapers and
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in a certain way maybe buddhism in general is healthier because of the involvement early on. we didn't know anything about the history of women in our tradition. we brought the babies in very early on and perhaps that helps surround this practice. >> you were jewish and you became ordained. >> zen is the japanese word for meditation and buddhism refers to following the way of the buddha which they do in japan and thailand. >> you find this buried history of many of these women who were nuns at the time and contributions they made which were hidden or evaporated from the records? >> somehow what the women did was erased. i'm not sure why or who was responsible for that. now that we have women scholars
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they are interested in the accomplishments of women. what's amazing to me is that the women of prior days, whatever century confronted the same kinds of issues in relationship and self actualization that we face today and meditation is a powerful remedy. >> if we can bring back some of the older zen nuns and address the problems and the things we are facing today, what with would the nuns tell a woman or a man in terms of how to deal with this. >> in zen, the letting go that daff nee referred to is our stock and trade. it is the letting go. everyone is trained to hold on and accumulate. in zen we teach people letting go and we do that by following the breath and particular emphasis on exhalation. we start with following your breath and notice how your body
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tenses up. >> we are out of time. the book is called zen women. for more information about zen you can visit the zen center in san francisco. thank you. we leave you now with the tony a ward winning revival of west side story. it runs through november 28. i'm susan sikora. thank you for watching.
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