gratitude-a-thon day 335: small bites friday

 

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This article says California may have hit its driest point in 500 years. Could it be because Jake is drinking it dry?

It has a dog and a baby and laughing. C’mon. Does it get better?

And another madly in love, I-have-the-perfect-marriage “Real Housewife”is getting divorced. Have another glass of wine, Ramona. (Perhaps it should be re-named “The Unreal Housewives of New York.”)

When you’ve got taste, anywhere can become your home. Check out this shipping container.

You’re kidding, right? No, seriously, you are, aren’t you?

Hey look, this is the winter companion to my sand artist guy. (Thanks, Dorothy!)

Applause for American Apparel and their 62 year old lingerie model. There’s hope for me (not really).

And you thought your parents did dumb things. Glad this dude isn’t related to me.

Really, and they had to do a study to know this. Duh.

Not that I’m going to “da club,” but I’m all in. I think they are the universal pant. At least in my little life.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 334: everyday changes us

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Yesterday I read the book A Fault in Our Stars. It’s about a 16 and 17 year old who have cancer and meet and fall in love. It sounds morbid and depressing, but the characters were so compelling, I got past the circumstances and got carried away by the beautiful writing.

There was a point in the book, where the main character, Hazel, is going on a trip abroad, with her mom and her boyfriend, and her dad says goodbye to her because he’s staying home, and she says that she thought he looked as though he was thinking that he might not see her again. And that somehow struck me as poignant, but also struck me as kind of what we experience everyday when our kids walk out the door, even when they’re healthy. Or, especially when they’re healthy.

When Ally leaves everyday, what she learns out there makes her different. It happens in long and short strokes, not all at once, but little by little she is becoming more a grown up and less a little girl, filled with knowledge and opinions she carves like a back woods whittler, into her own.

While Jake was at University of Barcelona during his first semester of college, it was less of a college experience and more of a college adventure. This is his first semester at USC, the college he will spend the next three and a half years at, so things are more real and more permanent. I can already detect the changes in him. I’ll never again see that kid who left at the beginning of the month.

Maybe it goes for all of us when we walk out the door, if we’re living our lives in a way that challenges us, and features curiosity as a major. Each day, we may never again see the person who left. The book is really good. A well written reminder of how tenuous and fragile, mean and beautiful life is. Always grateful for a reminder like that.

gratitude-a-thon day 332: beauty on the beach

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I have done a lot of stuff at the beach. I have baked my skin to the perfect shade of brown, stuffed myself silly with potato chips, fried scallops, french fries and lobster, eaten breakfast, lunch and IMG_2756dinner, built rock sculptures and friendships, run, walked, sat next to James Taylor, shook hands with Bill Clinton, gotten fogged in, IMG_1235roughed up by waves, robbed by seagulls, played cards, sipped refreshing vodka and tonics, guzzled beer, hidden under chairs to shield me from lightening, umbrellas to shield me from sun and stood in the rain, swam in the cold, sat by a pool, a float, a hot dog stand, the moon, cute boys scantily clad girls, a radio, a boom box, a cooler, a fancy beach chair, a load of sunblock, a serious idea,IMG_5040read at least a ten million books and magazines, seen seals, and sharks, little teeny fish, crabs, eels and giant fins, rainbows and fluffy clouds, written, drawn, talked on the phone, talked to strangers, slept, had a party, a picnic, a 50th birthday clambake, IMG_3151been with my dog, my parents, my relatives, my friends, been topless, fully dressed, in an itty bitty bikini, and an expensive one piece, on the sand, on the jetty, on big rocks and little rocks, too, floated IMG_1109in a raft, played frisbee, marco polo, catch, kadema and dip the baby, been in the waves, the calm, a boat, under an umbrella, a blanket, a full on down coat, watched the sun set and the watch I loved disappear. But I have never done what this guy did. Wow.

birthday-a-tude-a-thon: happiest day, steph

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My gorgeous friend Steph, who I’ve known since I was 13. She’s the best. The gosh darn best there is.

To my friend Steph, who I met in the backyard of my soon to be boyfriend’s house, freshman year of high school (Go Wildcats!), who was from Westport, and stunningly pretty with the flattest stomach I had ever seen in my life, who’s handwriting I coveted, because it was like its own font, who had older parents like mine, and a penchant for having a good time. To my friend Steph, who used to lay up on the roof of my house with me for a tan (what did we think the closer to the sun, the better?), who used to come to the Cape with me and eat cantaloupe (remember my cantaloupe phase), who taught me to make that really good tuna and lettuce salad. To my friend Steph, who was one of the bad boy cheerleaders, with highlighted hair that was enviable, and great style, and a bajillion boyfriends, who was smarter than the studying she did, and who had a dad a little like mine, who was difficult, and a mom a little like mine, who was wonderful.

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Steph & I last year. A friendship that’s survived and flourished through more than four decades.

To my friend Steph who I AM SO GRATEFUL TO SAY is still my friend 42 whole years after I met her. STILL. MY. FRIEND. Always my friend. To Steph who has pulled me back when I needed it and pushed me forward when I couldn’t do it myself, who was born four days after me, and has invented and re-invented herself with poise, but who has always remained a true artist (see her latest reinvention at art & kindness) who is good to the core, spiritually sound and absolutely real, who I deeply love and will always adore. Thank you for your trueness all these years. Thank your for your point of view. Don’t ever forget how positively special you are. In general, and to me. Here’s to the double fives. Happy birthday, Stephanie. Love you.

p.s I’ll always be older than you!

gratitude-a-thon day 331: the grammy’s red carpet

Music people have a set of fashion rules which don’t apply to other red carpet events. Because, you know, there is fashion and there is looking good. And music folk like to do fashion. But no matter what, I always go for looking good.

And here we go.

People who clearly did not have mirrors, or who thought they looked hip, but didn’t deliver, or just plain looked absurdly dumb.

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1. Paris Hilton. What’s she doing here anyway? But if you’re doing the Grammy’s, how about you wear something that looks like you’re going to a super cool music event, not a sleazy debutante ball. This dress is like a combination hooker goes to the prom with stripper gets married for the fourth time. The hair alone, is like a bad 1950’s housewife ‘do, but add that high collar and she looks like a pampered poodle being walked on 5th avenue. She’d a been lucky if that neckline had choked some sense into her before she left the house.

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2. Chrisette Michelle. Oh dear. Oh no. The ways in which this outfit is not working are so numerous, I don’t have a big enough keyboard. This is Boca Raton, assisted living facility-wear. It’s one of Steven Tyler’s leisure suits (which he usually pulls off, I might add). The only thing I like is the bra. And if she’d been smart, she’d have taken off the whole thing and worn that with her panties and probably have been on my best dressed list.

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3. Natasha Bedinfield. Blech. Shapeless and lifeless, ain’t nothing celebratory about this shmata. Sale rack at the Dollar Store.

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4. Daft Punk. I guess I just like to see a man’s face at a red carpet event, you know? I mean, is that too much to ask?

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5. Madonna. You don’t get to wear your son as an accessory, Madge. And to think, once upon a time you ruled this show.

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6. Pharrell Williams. I love this dude’s music, but Pharell, what’s with the Dudley Do-Right hat, man? And if you’re going that route, maybe give us the rest of the Canadian Mounted Police uni, instead of the top portion of Tony Soprano’s track suit (may he rest in peace).

And now for the music to my ears.

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1. Jane Roper and Alistair Moock. The local peeps get my top spot! From right here in Boston, Alistair Moock, and his smarty pants and adorable writer wife hit the carpet looking awesome. Love that dress, Jane, not to mention the Linda-Hamiton-in-The-Terminator arms. And The blue tie and pocket square are spot on. And what I love even more is the album nominated that Alistair wrote for, and with one of his twin daughters, Clio after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for the World’s Bravest Kids. Check it out at: http://www.moockmusic.com. These two know how to dress, but they’ve also got style. In the very best way.

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2. Guiliana Ranic. I hate to give my number two spot to an entertainment reporter, instead of the entertainment, but this dress was too good to pass up. The fit, the cut, the color, her hair, her make-up, she looked smoking. the whole damn thing worked and worked. I really, really, really liked this dress.

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3. Miguel. I just thought this guy looked super cool, in the most comfortable way. I loved the proportion of the jacket, and the boots are great. I just dig this whole look. Way to do the Grammy’s.

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4. Anna Faris. This dress is plain and simple, but fits beautifully. It’s not too skimpy at the top, which so many strapless dresses are, and I like the little train. Thanks to the “mani-cam” I got a little crush on that bracelet/ring deal, too.

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5. Taylor Swift. Hard to get it wrong when you’re this young, tall and gorgeous. I love the simplicity of this dress and hair. Sophisticated youth. It’s good. Really good.

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6. Katy Musgraves. Ok, the boots are just dumb, but I have to say that when she wore this dress on stage, I gasped. It’s so cute. And she had on other shoes when she won, so the boots weren’t an issue, but I can’t find a photo of that. This dress is wildly colorful and a big fat party. For me, it was one of the best looks of the night.
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7. Chrissie Tiegen. Wow. Wowza. Wow-er-ama. This is stunning, like over the rainbow, more or less perfect in every possible area. Not too much boobage, no competing accessories, and loving the simple hair. In my imaginary life as a singer, I’d wear this.

gratitude-a-thon day 330: wisteria & whining

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I am crazy mad for flowers. I always have fresh ones in the house. It’s practically a rule. These are from Peter, and I am a little bit in love with the colors.

Well, 55 hasn’t started out very well. I’ve been sick since the day of my birthday. In bed sick. So sick, I had to cancel my birthday dinner. Yeah, not happy. At all. My poor friend Toni (yes, her name is also my name and yes I know how completely bizarre that is) spent the day with me and while we were doing the shopping portion of the day, I actually had to sit down in one of my favorite stores. On the couch. Yeah, that’s sick alright. I did, however, manage to buy myself a replacement for my favorite leather jacket that was stolen in the Barcelona airport and made me cry for 30 minutes before eating a ham sandwich to quell my sadness. And I also managed to purchase some ridiculously expensive face cream, because you feel on your 55th birthday like you should really be using something on your face that costs more than a high end gym membership. And get a manicure. And go to the SuperLux theater to see August: Osage County, and I must say that place is aptly named. Barcaloungers, free popcorn, a good little menu with waiters and drinks (not that I could even think about a cocktail feeling like I did), but all in all, it was a truly “superluxe” experience and definitely will make it hard to go to a regular old movie theater again. And Meryl Streep, in the movie–she is sort of unbelievable. I had my sights set on Amy Adams for the Oscar, but I’m giving it to Meryl. She gets it. She can dress however she wants, because that woman can act.

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Riley has barely left my side since I crawled into bed. He’s the best. The best dog ever.

I also got really super beautiful flowers from Winston’s that I can actually almost smell from my bed (well, I could before my nose got so stuffed with all the disgusting snot) and tickets to see Billy Joel in Madison Square Garden in April (yes, I am that old) and the best gift of all, which is a book that Ally made me of 55 things about me that she’s grateful for. I love it a bajillion times over. It was a Sally Field moment. “She likes me!” Or at least 55 things about me. Anyway, I am amusing myself with Orange is the New Black, and cruising the internet in a really A.D.D. way. Check this out. I want to be in the wisteria place. I’m grateful to even see a photo of such a magical place. What I’m not grateful for today, is that I am sick. This has been an awful long winter. And I’ve been sick a lot. Do people in warm weather places get sick in the winter, too?

gratitude-a-thon day 229: it’s my birthday (it’s my birthday)!

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Yes, It’s my birthday. No I don’t love getting older. Yes, I am 55. Yes, 60 is nudging my behind (and my behind is nudging my ankles). No, I don’t lie about my age, although sometimes I like to say I’m older, so people think how great I look. No, I don’t really do that. Yes, I celebrate, because I have to and I know I should. And yes, some years are easier than others to swallow. And yes, I know there is only one alternative, and I would look really old in a casket.

So, let’s get grateful. Let’s adjust the gratitude levels and go out on a gratitudinous limb. Let’s put aside the visiting five pounds of menopause, the distinctly more wrinkled face, and the fact that my gray hair now shows up in the time I walk from the car to the salon, despite having just been dyed.

I love my family. I love my husband, who drives me crazy and coddles our children too much and snores so loudly that I can’t sleep and want to squish his face with a pillow. He’s put up with me for 27 years, which is more than any man (or woman, or animal) should have to do. He should win some sort of prize, get to walk a red carpet somewhere (and let me critique his clothing). I am lucky that this incredibly smart and loving man loves me and still thinks I’m cute. I can’t imagine why, but I’m damn grateful for it.

Jake and Ally. Once upon a time, I didn’t think they would ever be, and then they were, and nothing has ever been the same since. In a good way. A great way. A life changing happy way. I love my children and am grateful like no mother has ever been grateful for these two miracles of good surgery. They teach me, they taunt me, they make me cry and laugh my face off. They are more important than anything ever could be. I am luckier to have them in my life than Dolly Parton is for having a good, supportive bra for the girls.

I love my sisters, who have protected me and watched over me like prison guards watch over the yard. They are funny and smart and beautiful, and I have gotten so much from each of them. I adore my bigger family, all my relatives. I have received life lessons from every one of them. And lots of love, too.

I got some mighty good friends. They know who they are, and they are numerous and funny and crazy in the same way that I am crazy and that’s the best thing anyone can have at any age.

I love my dog. I love my dog. I love my dog.

I love all the readers of this blog. Because you, like me, believe that focusing on what you have beats focusing on what you don’t have any day of the damn week. You guys, the gratitude-a-thoners, are great. And I’m happy to share this belief with you and make our lives better because of it. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I look forward to you everyday.

And now, happy fucking birthday to me.

gratitude-a-thon day 228: hanging out at home, sniff, sniff

 

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I have a sort of funny skill. I am like 95% accurate at predicting what sex a baby will be. Sort of useless, but kind of fun.

This morning, I read the headline that JWoww (and wow, what if that was your name), was announcing the sex of her baby (because you know, none of us could sleep because we didn’t know). And I looked at her photos to see what I thought, and bingo, GIRL. I’m really good at it.

I have a cold and so does Ally and so does New England, so I will probably stay in today and do some work and troll bad magazines and guess who is having what kind of baby. Grateful for the chance to do that on this 8 degree day. Oh yeah, and I will pack an imaginary suitcase to the imaginary warm place I’m getting ready to move to.

gratitude-a-thon day 325: turning a frown upside down

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I woke up crabby this morning. I didn’t sleep well and it’s going to snow. And well, have I mentioned how much I hate winter, how I detest it like its the devil, how I would like to kill it, except for I don’t believe in gun violence.

Anyway, I needed a little pep-me-up. I needed a little laugh. And here it is. grateful for whoever put these “photographic coincidences” together. Smile.