gratitude-a-thon day 341: in black and white

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I love New York. If it was a warm weather climate, that’s where I’d live. The super sonic energy, the plethora of cultural options, the museums, entertainment, shopping, all capped off with a park like no other. Here are some nitty gritty,  black and white street shots of the city that never sleeps taken by a photographer Matt Weber, who began snapping pics as a cab driver. They’re as special as the place they’re taken in.

gratitude-a-thon day 340: you gotta look to find it

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Sometimes gratitude hides in dark places. You search for it with a flashlight, but it’s too busy playing a professional grade game of hide and seek. Tricky little devil. It can be a slippery, elusive little bit of magic, bobbing and weaving and showing off like a three year old waiting for some attention. Gratitude can be tiny, like an infinitesimal crumb, or big like a harvest moon, or silly like a bubble floating through the air from one of those little double ringed plastic thingies you dip into a tiny colored tub of mystery liquid. It can be deep, like a true moment you have with someone, or globally inconsequential, like a parking space right smack in front of where you’re going.

But, the thing about gratitude is that it’s always possible, if you just take a look underneath the envy and greed that’s always waiting to take us on a fast, cheap ride of immediate gratification. It’s easy peasy to see what we don’t have, what we want. That takes barely any muscle. But if you can pull the camera back just a little, look beneath a pile of problems, or sadness, or snow, what will come into focus is  your golden ticket. It’s actually always within reach, always within sight, even if it does, so often, act like some massive “Where’s Waldo” poster. Some days, I am bombarded with too many feelings about too many things to find even a shred of gratitude. But then I breath in and out, and it comes to me, what it is that the day can be.

gratitude-a-thon day 339: when people help

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Last night I spent some time with my neighbors, because Scott’s father was murdered (YES, murdered) by his caretaker in upstate New York (They had what they called a Shivette(!) a modified Shiva). Ally went to her first memorial service for a friend who’s mom died at 57. Four days ago, a very, very  close friend just found out his brother has advanced colon cancer. So, when I saw this, I felt it right in the center of my chest, since there seems to be a lot of sadness around right now. I am so moved when people go above and beyond to make another person feel better. Isn’t this the best of what we have to offer as human beings? To be there, in a bigger sense, for each other. Is this who we are underneath the “to do” lists? I think so. I do.

gratitude-a-thon day 338: small bites friday: valentine’s edition

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There was an old, and long running ad campaign with the headline “Virginia is for lovers.” And today it really is.

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Today’s Google doodle is sweet and adorable. And it talks!  Click on the hearts! (it wouldn’t let me link). Talk about love–I LOVE THIS.

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And here’s skinny on how the whole Valentine’s day thing got started.

Best and worst celeb V-Day stories. Hey, what’s a day without a little celeb news?

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If you’re going to the office today, here is a little loving advice.

And if it’s an ethical gift you want, here’s the deal.

If you want to do a romantic movie night, here’s the lowdown.

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One of the Valentine’s day’s I remember the most happened 28 years ago. I broke up with a serious boyfriend, who I really didn’t love, but couldn’t let go of (one of those perfect-on-paper, but-not-in-real-life). It was Valentine’s day and when you’re single, and young, you feel like the whole world is paired off. Anyway, it was around four o’ clock and I was sitting in the hallway, gabbing with people at my first job as a copywriter, and feeling pretty sorry for myself. All of a sudden I get a call that I had a delivery. My high school friend Jerry, sent me a dozen roses! I was really surprised, incredibly happy and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

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This morning I got this in the mail from my incredibly thoughtful friend Stephanie. She made it for me. Because she is the freaking best. That’s why. Thanks, Steph. You’re right, love is the key.

gratitude-a-thon day 337: How to get VD for free

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With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, IT’S TOMORROW! I thought I’d pass along these free & easy ways to make a card for those you love, like, or think are not heinous. I think you can’t be nice enough, kind enough, loving enough. Giving people even just a card on Valentine’s day is a really nice thing. So, if you don’t want to get all creative, or spend money on VD, give these a whirl, because it’s the thought that really counts. (Some candy doesn’t suck either. And flowers are really good, too!)

gratitude-a-thon day 335: the people who keep you going

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The coldest of nights, or the meanest of moods, or the saddest of circumstances, or the poofy middle of middle age, or the fear of your kids flying out of the nest you so tentatively feathered, or the hair that keeps turning gray, or the bad news that comes more often, or the sick parents, climate changes, bad turns that happen to our favorite fictional tv characters, or the sore back, cancelled plans, revised thoughts, broken hearts, dreams and cabinet doors don’t seem so bad when you have friends. Thanks to all of mine.

gratitude-a-thon day 343: it’s really not our business

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The Woody-Allen-Mia-Farrow-Dylan-Farrow-Soon-Yi-Previn saga. I am like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, with my head spinning wildly trying to untangle this sordid mess. Did Woody Allen, once my favorite writer and director, who’s movies have felt personal and made me howl with laughter for 25 years, abuse his adopted daughter at the age of 7? I DON’T KNOW. But what I wonder, is if it’s my business to know, or care, for that matter. I mean, I care in the way that I as a human being care about anybody being hurt, but should I even be privvy to such a personal story? Is this what you are subject to if you’re a public figure, to have all your dirty laundry (whether it’s actually dirty or not) hanging out in the blog-o-sphere for people who know nothing about your actual life to discuss as if they did, to be subjected to a 140 character trial on twitter, to be fodder for Facebook?

This is a frightening tale with serious accusations, game changing allegations, and so much pain it could fill a couple thousand stadiums. As if that’s not enough to have to deal with, this whole clan is doing it in public. Double the thousand stadiums, this thing is out of control and completely inappropriate to be be played out in public. I don’t feel a voyeuristic thrill reading these stories, like I might about one of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I feel a serious bout of nausea, and like I am eavesdropping on a family that’s truly in the middle of a colossal crisis. While I generally enjoy a good famous person disaster, this one is just too sad. I don’t want to be part of it. Gratitude goes to whoever it is who can create a dialogue that’s between the family in this case, and not the public.