Archive for March 2013

LOS ANGELES — On a recent sunny afternoon, Demi Lovato emerged from a black tractor-size SUV and made her way onto a stage set up at the Grove, an upscale outdoor mall here, where she was to perform at the opening of a new Topshop. As screaming Lovatics (as Ms. Lovato’s fans proclaim themselves) flashed iPhones and waved Magic Marker signs at the pop star, she looked a little sheepish. This was understandable: her right foot was encased in a black silver-studded cast that resembled a giant ski boot.

But as Ms. Lovato hobbled over to the microphone, dressed in a biker jacket and tight black pants, she overcame the awkwardness, her dark-painted lips breaking into a dazzling smile.

“I’m feeling great,” she yelled to the crowd, gamely kicking her injured foot into the air before launching into her chart-topping song “Give Your Heart a Break.” “I’m ready to rock!”

Embracing unairbrushed moments has become a defining characteristic of Ms. Lovato, 20, one that has helped propel her back into the spotlight after a sudden fall from grace (in late 2010, she entered rehab for issues related to an eating disorder and cutting) that brought her career, which accelerated on the Disney Channel, to a halt.

Rather than adhere to the Hollywood playbook of dismissing or softening the facts, Ms. Lovato has openly aired her troubles, tweeting to her 12 million fans about how she spent New Year’s Eve in rehab, and talking to Katie Couric about feeling fat while still in diapers.

Read the rest at the New York Times.

IN 2005, Kenneth Lander, a lawyer in Monroe, Ga., moved with his wife, stepdaughter and the youngest three of his seven children to a coffee farm in San Rafael de Abangares, Costa Rica. He always “had a heart,” he said, for Latin America, and after a vacation to the lush cloud forests near Monteverde in 2004, he was determined to return on a more permanent basis.

 He was also looking for more balance in his work-driven life. And so, after buying a coffee farm from a farmer he’d met on his earlier trip, he packed up his life and moved.

“It was like Swiss Family Robinson,” Mr. Lander jokes. “We just left.”

In Costa Rica, Mr. Lander, who is now 46, didn’t have to worry about making money. He had received a cash windfall from selling a portion of a residential subdivision he had helped develop in Georgia; the plan was to keep selling more lots and live off the proceeds. So he grew coffee for fun.

 Read the rest at the New York Times.