gratitude-a-thon day 156: wendy davis (rock star of the political world)

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The kick-ass, taking names, but only in the most graceful of ways, Wendy Davis completes her 11 hour filibuster.

Today it’s all Wendy Davis. This woman’s story is extraordinary. At 14, she began working after school to help out her single mom and three siblings, and became a divorced single mom herself, by 19. She went to community college, transferred to a four year college, and with loans and scholarships, she graduated first in her class,  and as if that wasn’t impressive enough, she then graduated from Harvard Law School at 33. I am feeling like an absolute slacker, and you?

Anyway, it’s no wonder that a woman who could defy those kinds of odds in her past, was able to filibuster for 11 hours (and stand, arguing, for another two) in an effort to stop a Texas abortion bill from passing. And she looked totally gorgeous while doing it, I might add. Not that it should matter, but this woman is really pretty. And she knows how to rock a pair of sneakers. And don’t even get me started on her talented bladder. She couldn’t eat, or lean either. Is she human?

First of all, I have a bladder the size of a flea. I have to eat every few hours, or I will go into an out and out coma (not really, but probably). And as for standing for 11 hours? I would need more than sneakers to accomplish that feat on my feet.

But it’s not about me. It’s about Wendy. I predict this hugely intelligent woman of substance and character, and a camel-like bladder has a BIG political future ahead of her. I know I’m a fan.

gratitude-a-thon day 155: small bites friday

And it’s the second edition of Small Bites Friday. Little gratitudes in a one sentence.

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Wendy Davis, you’ve got guts, conviction and an amazing bladder. Thanks!

The Divine Miss M. Get ready to have a little sobfest.

Who knew Martha was a freak in the sheets? That’s a good thing.

Paula Deen is cooked.

The good news: we leave for the Vineyard today. The bad news: it’s raining.

Anthropologie always has a sale room.

The Dexter season finale season in three days. Killer!

Money can’t buy happiness, unless you know how to spend it.

I really love this blog. I would like to live in it.

Jeans. I loved ’em before I knew they could make me look younger.

gratitude-a-thon day 154: edie windsor

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Edie Windsor getting the news that she won, that we all won.

Oh, Edie Windsor, you did it. You helped change history for the better. I bet Thea is waving her rainbow flag in heaven. You didn’t let it go, or allow the government to bully you, you stayed with it. And baby, YOU WON. (Here’s a great re-cap of Edie’s story and her life.)

Yesterday was a very good day. A VERY GOOD DAY!  The Defense of Marriage Act has left the building. Voted on by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, DOMA can no longer prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by states, as unconstitutional, meaning that same sex couples will now get the same benefits other married couples get, under federal law. This is a dancing in the streets sort of moment, a fireworks display that spans the entire country. And of course, one that should have happened long ago, but I’ll take it.

Justice Scalia, I hope you get an incurable case of poison ivy this summer in an area that is not socially acceptable to scratch in public, that you are plagued by fleas for life, that you outgrow your Justice attire and have to step down. (Can you tell I’m trying to be nice?)

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Thea Spyer and Edie Windsor. A couple who changed history.

But back to Edie, who married Thea Spyer in Ontario in ’07 after a 40 years relationship. (The longevity of this couple just emphasizes the insanity here, doesn’t it?)  They were living in New York when Thea died in ’09 and left her estate to Edie, but since the marriage was not recognized by New York, when Edie tried to claim the estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, she was unable to, because of DOMA, which states that a “spouse” only applies to the marriage of a man and a woman, which forced Edie to pay $363, 053 in estate taxes. Imagine having to grieve AND come up with an unfair nearly half a million bucks to pay to a government who doesn’t think your four decade relationship was real?

Gratitude for 83 year old Edie Windsor and her guts, courage and sense of fairness. You made the United States a “more perfect union” yesterday.

gratitude-a-thon day 152: accents (wish i had one)

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Last night I went out with friends who both have accents. One is from Brazil, and one is from Lebanon. Why is it that everything you say when you have a sexy lilt to your voice sounds more interesting, wittier? Why did I have to be born in boring old Connecticut? Why weren’t my parents people of intrigue, moving us around the globe for their very important work, and providing me with the opportunity to develop an accent? Also, I should mention that these two friends are both gorgeous, so you know, the accent is just the icing on the gosh darn cupcake.

Isn’t the fluidity and beauty of a foreign inflection lovely?  Think Hugh Grant narrating “About a Boy.” Think Keira Knightly and Emma Thompson in “Love Actually.” Think Penelope Cruz in ANYTHING. I have some good friends who are Swedish, and I could listen to them talk all night long. They could read me the phone book with a night cap of Chemistry 101 and I would get a dreamy look in my eye.

By the way, although I am a big Project Runway fan, I hate Heidi Klum’s accent. This is one that makes me feel like I’ve just eaten a big bowl of anchovies (which, accidentally, I ate mixed with some Kale last night, and still can’t kill the taste in my mouth. (There’s a flavor I could nuke from existence and wouldn’t miss.) Ah, but the beauty of a French accent, wafting down the streets of Paris, the sexiness of an Italian’s words, those, THOSE are chocolate to my ears.

So, today is the accent, oh gratitude. Not mine, mind you, which is NOT charming or pretty in any way. Good thing I can write!

gratitude-a-thon day 151: the pocket hose (seriously!)

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My little garden. See big, bad bully of a hose at left. You’re out of a job, dude.

So, I love flowers. They make me happy. They make me feel good. I’m convinced they make the world a far better place. I have only in recent years become any good at growing them, and not just buying them. I started a garden from scratch a few years ago, in my small front area, after I woke up to the smell of sewage and found that our sewage tank from the age of the Salem Witch trials, had given out, and we had to join the city’s hook up, which meant digging up the entire garden area in front of my house. Years of pre-existing perrenials went to their death, and no I wasn’t able to save them, because this shit event happened smack in the middle of a freezing cold and snowy January (the week before my birthday–a lovely gift I do not recommend). Anywho, the point–that Spring, I got to start from the beginning and really choose what I wanted in there, and with the help of a landscaper, my little plot of dirt became a little sliver of awesomosity.

But. There’s often a but, isn’t there?

The watering situation has always been dismal. The hookup to the house is in the backyard. A long stretch of hose must find its way to the front. It follows a path behind the garbage cans and under the front porch. That all sounds great, except for the hose situation springs several leaks, no matter how many times I replace it. Leaving me, soaking wet when I water, unable to get to the whole garden, and constantly worried about my flowers. And there’s more, I am always fighting with the hose. We are like wrestlers, that hose and moi. I tug and unravel, and it sits there, all stiff, or all tangled (I have a regular version in the backyard and a twisty, turny guy in the front) with the attitude of a pissed off teenager. (Do you feel me now?) And as if the leaks aren’t bad enough there are the kinks to tame, when the water just stops and I have to go find exactly where the bend in the road is. I am constantly complaining to Peter about my hose problems. He patiently ignores me.

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Enter: The Pocket Hose. I want to kiss the guy who invented this thing. Seriously, step right up, man, you are the freaking bomb!

But yesterday something rather extraordinary happened. Peter came home with something called a Pocket Hose. Now admittedly I miss a lot of good commercials because I don’t watch sports, so my reaction to this thing was not equal to the pomp and circumstance my husband made when he unveiled what he had bought for me. (By the event he made of it, I thought, how could he have bought me jewelry at Bed, Bath & Beyond?) He was surprised by my lack of enthusiasm as he unveiled this chartreuse green hose that looked to me like some sort of kid’s toy. He was shocked I was not familiar with the Pocket Hose, as it apparently is on tv all the time. I basically  thought he’d thrown away $19.99 to give me a good laugh, and kept doing my work, which I was doing in front of the air conditioner in the den BECAUSE IT WAS LIKE A BAJILLION DEGREES YESTERDAY. A few minutes later, he screamed my name from the backyard, and I ran out to see the Pocket Hose in action. Ok, even if you just want to use this as a party trick, it’s money well spent, but the thing is, this thing works! It addresses all of my hose misery. Check out this Consumer Report video on the Pocket Hose (and all the other flexible hoses out there.) I’m telling you, this little miracle might actually convince me to watch sports just for the commercials–WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME ABOUT THIS HOSE SOONER?)

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An early version of the Pocket Hose, perhaps?

Ok, first of all, it starts out all small and wrinkly and you turn on the water, and it grows like those tablets you used to set on fire that would turn into ashy snakes (Member those–GOD I LOVED THOSE. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY, BUT I WAS TOTALLY OBSESSED WITH THEM.) And this thing is light as a feather. No fighting, no need for a daily tug of war, it just travels with you wherever you walk. I’m not kidding, I would like to be the poster child for this product. It’s the best thing since the french fry.

So, today it’s all hail gratitude for the Pocket Hose. I’m telling you, this thing deserves a week of gratitude! And if you’ll excuse me, now I’m going to water.

gratitude-a-thon day 150: crane’s beach

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Ahhhh, the gateway to summer.

I christened summer yesterday with a day at the beach. This is up there on my permanent list of “things to be grateful for.” Give me the sand, the sea, and the sun, and I’m good. Add some food, and I’m better than good, I’m perfect.

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It was pretty crowded yesterday, but within a few hours, it was more manageable.

Crane’s Beach is on the North Shore, nestled in the sweet New England town of Ipswich. It’s a protected by the Trustees of the Reservation, which maintains special places in Massachusetts, like this spectacular beach. It’s wide and expansive, with miles of shoreline and beach grass filled dunes as a backdrop. It’s also a wildlife preserve. These tiny little birds called Piping Plovers have chosen Crane’s as their nesting ground, so i have often been there when whole sections of the beach are cordoned off for the Piping Plovers Porn show. They’re funny little birds, who move quickly and who I can’t ever see without providing a running commentary of what I believe they are thinking. “Gotta go, busy, busy, busy, need to make babies. You look terrible in that bathing suit. Ever hear of a squat?”

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“Sex, sex, sex, gotta get to it.”

Anyway, yesterday was extra great because my friend Colleen and I were almost scared off by early weather reports that it would be raining in Ipswich, so we nearly didn’t make the pilgrimage, but then at the last minute, we saw an updated report and decided to give it a shot. The thing about Crane’s is that ,while the parking lot is pretty big, it’s not big enough for everybody who wants to laze around the shores of one of New England’s best beaches. So, if you don’t get up at the crack of dawn to stake your spot, you’re relegated to the inconvenient shuttle service, which forces you to park a few miles away and have little control over your schedule for departure. Since Colleen and I left at the tardy-for-the-party hour of 10:00 am, we figured we’d be as screwed as the prospective mommy Plovers, but we got lucky, and not only did we not hit any traffic, we actually scored parking in the main lot, albeit in the farthest, most distant  area available, but hey, we were thrilled.

It was a great day of conversation and magazines, and eating good snack food, and drinking tons of water, our summer resolution, topped off with an hour walk on the shoreline. Welcome summer of 2013. I am so happy you’re here

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gratitude-a-thon day 148: google doodles: first day of summer

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A great example of a Google Doodle.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/summer-solstice-2013-google-doodle_n_3478428.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopularhttp://

I am somewhat mad for Google. I mean, who doesn’t love someone with all the answers, who never gloats? I’ve come to rely on it as an extension of my own brain. I’m never far from an answer. I don’t have to ponder anymore, I can just go to the source.  LOVE IT.

Anyway, I’m crazy about their Google Doodles–that is, special holiday logos. Yesterday, for one of my favorite days, the first day of summer, they did a cool one. You’ll find it above. It took me by surprise during a business meeting. Made me look forward to the fourth of July.

gratitude-a-thon day 147: new: small bites friday

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And the gratitude-a-thon presents a new feature: Small Bites Friday: little gratitudes in a one sentence.

(p.s. not sure why, but my links don’t show up in another color, so you know they are links, but if you hover over the key words on most of these “bites,” you’ll find a link. I will get on this immediately, or at least before next friday.)

James Gandolfini is dead at 51. But Tony Soprano will live forever.

Kim & Kanye names their daughter North, making her full name North West. Makes me want to head South.

I will be on Martha’s Vineyard one week from today! It is one of my favorite places in the galaxy.

Hearing is magic.

Abercrombie & Fitch takes another hit, thanks to Taylor Swift fans. Yay!

Makeup and sunscreen. The marriage is a good one.

The weather in New England right now is pure bliss.

First Night in Boston is going out of business. I hope someone saves it.

The bad news: I have to say goodbye to my really pretty faucet today (which has been leaking a waterfall for a month and has been discontinued). The good news: The new faucet is not as pretty, but will not leak. (Freaking hallelujah!)