gratitude-a-thon day 176: i’ve never seen my husband’s penis in a text

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“Carlos Danger” with his family.

Today my gratitude goes to my husband, who does not text his penis to other women. Or to me, for that matter (for which I am endlessly thankful).

How is it that Anthony Weiner (and by the way, if you wrote a book and had a character with the last name of Weiner, who couldn’t stop sexting his “thing” all over town, nobody would believe it, right?) who’s running for New York City’s mayor, decided to put himself back into pubic life, when he knew that his sexty ways were not entirely behind him?

Call me old fashioned, or just old, but I  like my sexual interactions to be in person. But if I didn’t, and I was in politics, I would not be sending my sexy self to anyone, let alone someone who was not my wife,  for fear that I might be damaging my career. Oh yeah, and if I were married, I wouldn’t be doing it at all. So, it seems to me that Anthony Weiner, aside from just being a cheating creep, has some seriously bad judgement. He apologized the first time he got caught sexting, and stepped down from his post in Congress, but he continued sexting after that resignation, under the name of “Carlos Danger.” He had the “danger” part down alright. Is this a guy you want heading up one of the country’s biggest cities? I wouldn’t want him running anything, except, like maybe a porn shop, which I think he would do really well.

I do believe that I should not judge his wife, Huma. They have their own private relationship, and political partnership, and that’s their own business. If she forgives him, I respect her feelings. But she must really love that dude, or he has given her a promise of unlimited jewelry for life, to be able to stand up for him and his cheating. I am not such a good woman (although a little jewelry goes a long way with me).

What is it with men and power? Why does it so often show up in sexually careless ways? Is it like the old dog joke: “Why does a dog lick his balls? Answer: Because he can.”

Sex is good. Sex is great. But poor judgement is bad. And Anthony Weiner has that. He should send that piece of information to all his twitter followers, with a picture of his face, not his penis.

gratitude-a-thon 175: nature’s lessons

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A few weeks ago, during my bad weather-cation, my friend Colleen and I were sitting on the beach having our coffee, and we noticed two ant holes. I promise there wasn’t anything in our mugs except coffee, sugar and milk, but we got sort of mesmerized by these ants and their work ethic. Each one went into the hole and came back out carrying a piece of sand that sometimes looked bajillion times the size of their little bodies. It was a perfect dance of industry. Back and forth they traveled, as Colleen and I discussed their commitment and efficiency.

I was reminded of the movie Antz, which was one of my kid’s favorites. I was trying to describe it to Colleen and couldn’t remember the name (duh!) One of the big scenes is a little pep talk to the totalitarian society members. They are building something and all banding together in a ball, when one the head foreman says to the group, “Be the ball, “meaning, give in, go with it, commit.

I love that kind of “all in” effort, when people work together to achieve. But I also like the dreamers, the guys with another plan in mind, the rogue geniuses. As we watched the ants, it was clear that some would stray. I wondered if these were the creative bugs, the seekers, the Steve Jobsians, looking for a different sort of thing, or whether they simply lost their way.

As amazing as it was to see how these ants created these two new homes (which we humans could destroy in one footstep) it was even more amazing how captivated the two of us were watching a bit of nature up close and personal. It seemed such a microcosm of the world. And we both took aways some lessons. Gratitude for nature’s smallest moments. They’re all over the place, sometimes just below the surface, waiting to teach us whatever we’re willing to learn.

gratitude-a-thon day 174: we love each other, so it’s ok

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With my son leaving for college in September, everybody is a little off kilter this summer. I think the separation has begun. Having crossed a line on the Vineyard, Jake has been grounded for three weeks. He gets out of lockdown this Friday, so watch out. This has put him in a mood. Ally, in preparation for Jake’s departure, has begun to push him away in every way she can, covering up the total trauma she feels about him leaving. Peter and I are trying to do our work, keep things moving, trying not to project into a Jake-less house. And of course, the heat has had all of us wanting to go postal at any given moment. No, this has not been one of our better summers.

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What I’m grateful for, however, is that I know we all love each other, and that the very reason we’re all so fun-house mirror is because of that. Ah, life. It just keeps morphing  and changing. Figuring out a way to accept it is a full time job. I am the first to admit this is not my best thing. I have to work hard not to let big changes, natural changes, throw me. I am always seeking the balance.

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On Peter’s birthday, we had a really nice walk on Moshup Beach in Aquinnah. I’ve been going there for 25 years. It’s a stunning beach with magnificent clay cliffs. The cliffs are eroding at a rapid pace. But even as it’s changing, there’s plenty of beauty to be had. I guess that’s why I think it’s a perfect back drop for pictures of our family right now. We’re in the process of shedding a layer, but there’s a new and different kind of lovely underneath. Yup, I guess it’s all about accepting the changes. Riding the waves. Being grateful for what’s what on any given day.

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gratitude-a-thon day 172: it’s not 95 today!

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I missed yesterday’s post because my daughter had a soccer tournament on turf and while she played, I baked on the sidelines. I’m sorry, I don’t mean baked, I mean fried, like a gosh darn piece of breaded chicken. Turf is no place to be when it’s 95, it heats up far beyond the actual temperature the air is. In fact, it can actually heat up to 170 degrees. And I”m pretty sure that yesterday, it was like 200. Ok, not really. But it FELT that way.

So, here’s to the break in the heat wave we’ve had for the last seven days. It’s over. I am singing the hallelujah chorus. Today is a lovely, temperate 80! I might need a sweater. Fucking hooray.

gratitude-a-thon day 171: small bites friday (really hot edition)

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Adam Levine is getting married. Phew, my marriage is safe.

Uber good idea. I scream. You scream.

In this heat, it’s lemonade. Here’s why you’re reaching for it.

The Emmy’s killed off  Dexter’s nomination. Boo.

Perry signed the abortion bill, and these ladies did not take it sitting down. Way to lay, girls.

I loved her in That Girl, now she’s telling us how to stay optimistic. Thanks, Ann Marie, I mean, Marlo.

Good news if your memory is going to the dogs.

I sometimes run away from my reflection too.

Two of U.S News’ Best Hospitals are right here in Boston. Makes me feel pretty good.

Well, at least it isn’t going to be 100.

gratitude-a-thon day 170: CVS & Tedeschi Food Mart (nice move, guys)

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A Rolling Stone cover always features a rock star or celebrity. Not this month.

I’ve been reading super cool Rolling Stone for more than 30 years. It’s hip. It’s smart. And its articles are well-researched and beautifully written.

But they did something so UNCOOL this month, that it will be hard to forgive them. They put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “on the cover of the Rolling Stone. Rolling Stoooooooooone.” Sing it Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (hey, did you know that the kid’s author, who I loved, loved, loved, Shel Silverstein wrote this song–wild, huh?) Anyway, I am sort of shocked that they would pull this kind of attention-seeking move. I understand that the internet is making newspapers and magazines work for their readership and that pretty soon they won’t be able to survive. This is a sad, but true reality. And although my computer and phone have become like an appendage that gives me information, I still respect hard copy, the flipping of pages, the feel in my hands of a good magazine or paper.

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But let’s get back to this decision to put a kid who masterminded a plot to kill people at the beloved Boston Marathon, a Massachusetts institution, and succeeded in murdering, and maiming hundreds, deeply scarring thousands, and shutting down an entire city. Let’s talk about why you would ever put this kid’s photo on the cover of a magazine known for featuring rock stars and actors. There’s loads of controversy all over the internet, but I fall on the side of it being wrong. Yes, we have free speech, so technically, legally, it’s the magazine’s choice. But what does it mean? It means that Rolling Stone decided to get themselves some buzz by putting Tsarnaev’s photo on the cover. Some say that the photo depicts innocence and that the article is all about how he went from a seemingly normal kid to a terrorist. But, why not put the photo opposite the article, on the inside of the magazine, if you’re trying to show the dichotomy. I respect that they did an article on the subject. I have no issue with that, and probably would have been really interested in reading it, if they hadn’t pulled this publicity stunt. I could think of 10 eye catching ways to make that cover depict “the making of a terrorist” theme. Why give someone who committed such a hideous crime celebrity status? Why, because everybody is talking about Rolling Stone, and that’s exactly what they were aiming for. I think it’s gross, and I would have thought it beneath a well respected magazine like Rolling Stone.

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Today I’m grateful for CVS and Tedeschi Food Shops who pulled this issue. Tsarnaev’s crime was despicable and will effect the victim’s forever. Rolling Stone has every right to publish a story about this kid and his road to becoming a monster, but they’ve done more than that, they’ve made him a celebrity.

gratitude-a-thon day 169: The story of GoldieBlox

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The inventor with a new toy that just might replace Barbie.

First of all, I really am digging the site Upworthy. It’s all positive and inspiring stuff that makes me want to stand on top of the world and yell, “I knew it, we ARE all good.”

Here’s a video of a Debra Sterling, an engineer, telling her story of what she did to improve the odds of little girls going into engineering. Did you know that 89% of the engineering jobs are held by men? Debra thinks a female perspective is necessary for us to have a good future. So, she created a building and reading (because girls like to read) game to replace Barbie dolls in the arsenal of toys that girls play with when they’re little, in hopes that the skills they learn from the game GoldieBlox will inspire them and help them understand that engineering is an option for them in the future. Cool idea. Great little game. Gutsy woman.

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God, I loved Barbie dolls.

I was all Barbie all the time when I was a kid. I made clothes, built houses and furniture, and created stories around my little doll friends with the mini 36-24-36 bods. I could “play dolls” endlessly. I never got my fill. Would I have been interested in Goldie Blox? I don’t know. I never had Legos. I did have Tinker Toys and I did love those. But let’s face it, for anybody who knows me, my worst skill is math. Even saying it that way does not truly drive home the point of just how HORRIBLE my math skills are. I was stellar at math until 7th grade when geometry began and things just just went to shit faster than you can say parallelogram. My dad was a super star math guy. He could add massive numbers in his head like a party trick. When he tried to help me with math homework in high school, it was a scream-fest similar to the movie Halloween. He had the patience of a fly, and when I didn’t understand, instead of trying to explain the concept, he would just yell at me. REALLY LOUDLY. It was anything but educational. Actually, it would set me up for a lifetime of hating numbers. The summer after freshman year, I went home and snagged a waitressing job at a restaurant/bar that was willing to train me,  and took the one math course I would have to take to meet my college requirement. It was like Math for Dogs (and I say that with all due respect), but still I had a hard time. I actually developed a case of hives for the length of the entire course. I squeaked by with a C and threw a fucking parade when it was over. I pledged never to have to take math again. And it is one of my daily gratitudes, THAT I NEVER HAVE TO TAKE MATH AGAIN, EVER, EVER, IN MY LIFE. My kids, by the way, are very good at math, like my dad and my husband. And man, I am grateful for that, too.

So, today it is Debra Sterling, helping little girls to know that they can do anything, be anything. I like her drive and her commitment (plus she has really cool hair), but mostly I like that she’s doing something about a problem that exists. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all take a problem and do something about it? Like everybody in the world would take one problem and set their minds to solving it. Mmmmmm. If only. Anyway, go Debra, and buh bye Barbie. I’ll miss you.