gratitude-a-thon day 405: small bites friday


Really good website discovery: Medium. Happy reading.

I love a little whimsy.

A seriously great commercial. Ah, graduation always gets me.

One of my students just snagged herself a totally fabulous first job. She thanked me. #yayforjamiegladicouldhelp.

Who doesn’t need a little color for the summer?

Peter asked Jake to trim the hedges–curious if this is what he was thinking?

And you thought I never agreed with Republicans.

In case you know, you want to try out for Cirque du Soleil at some point.

After the prom party decorating weekend marathon starts tomorrow. If you want to help, you can email me at

I love a Lego.

gratitude-a-thon day 404: maya angelou, an original voice


Some people make the world better, richer, more like the place we all want it to be. If only Maya Angelou could have been cloned before she passed. This woman was the true, real and best of what we can be. I will miss her wisdom, deep and soulful voice, and most of all her gorgeous ability to synthesize beauty and truth into powerful words that made us better.


gratitude-a-thon day 403: it was only a dream, phew


It was one of those dreams.  A classic, really. I was in high school, or college, I’m not sure. And I was about to take a history test, and I had never been to the class, had never seen the book. I was bathed in a terror sweat, that made a menopausal hot flash look like a day at the beach. I was trying to find the book in a locker jammed with loads of papers (this was so not me, I had one of those lockers that was decorated). I asked a classmate if I could look at their notes because I’d missed so many classes, because, and this is where things got interesting, I didn’t know why. I had no idea why I’d missed so many classes, had never read the material. Nobody really wanted to share their notes. And then I started talking to one girl and we began discussing math and then I realized I’d never been to that class either and I’d better sign up for a summer course. And then I really started to sweat. The first summer after freshman year of college, I took math (for like guinea pigs and rodents, it was so easy) and I had a severe case of hives the entire course, because that is how much I love math.

I was insanely happy to wake up, even to this dreadful weather (and btw, what the fuck is going on out there, I am fairly sure it’s almost June, ISN’T IT?) Anyway, there it is, the dream that haunts everybody. Not sure why it came to roost last night–could be the giant prom party I’m in charge of decorating this weekend, could be that I ended therapy yesterday after seven years. Whatever prompted that dream, I am damn glad I don’t have to take any tests today, and that I NEVER have to pass a math class, or take one for the rest of my life. Toni=NO MATH–the only mathematical equation I love.

gratitude-a-thon day 401: do your part.



I don’t know what else that could have prevented yet another mass shooting in Santa Barbara. Doing errands all day yesterday, I didn’t do my usual surfing of the news until last night and was stunned to see another kid had gone off the rails and killed seven people, and wounded seven others.

Because he was lonely.

This boy was a privileged 22 year old, whose dad is a Hollywood director. He became a mass murderer before shooting himself in the head because he wasn’t popular with girls. He was isolated and angry that he was a virgin.  Only 24 hours earlier he posted a seven minute YouTube video describing his his sexual frustration and loneliness–“Elliott Robert’s Retribution.”

“Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species,” Rodger said in the clip. “If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood and rightfully so. You deserve to be annihilated and I will give that to you. You never showed me any mercy so I will show you none.”

In the video, which has since been pulled from YouTube, Rodger, who described himself as a virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” also detailed his deep-seated hatred for women.

“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair,” he said. “You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.”

There’s much more. He also wrote a 140 page manifesto called “My Twisted Life.” He had a trouble past and is said to have been an odd kid, bullied since he was young.



Here’s all I know. Here’s all I can think of. That while we need mental health services to be easily and affordably accessible, and we need gun laws to be stricter, with thorough background checks, that what we each can do, is to be kinder. Instead of shunning the kid that doesn’t fit in, consider the person behind the odd behavior. Teach your children that life is not an even playing field and that it’s not easy for everyone to live in the world. Mental illness is cruel, and kids can be crueler. In the end, we are all human beings, and we need to care just a little bit more for one another. Remember to be compassionate. It’s a small thing, but it’s something we can actually do that might help those people who feel like puzzle pieces without a puzzle.



gratitude-a-thon day 400: let the summer begin: the boy is coming home

After a semester in Barcelona, and a semester pledging a frat (did any real academic work get done, I guess we’ll see when the grades come out), at USC, my guy is coming home tonight! And I am so seriously thrilled to see him that I’m practically ready to throw a townwide parade. Can’t you just see the banner held by the local girl scouts: “Your mom made us hold this dumb banner, so Welcome Home, Jake, whoever you are.”

Barcelona, first semester.

All over town, I’m seeing happy mom’s and dad’s talking about their newly minted college offspring. They, like me, are about to embark on “the first summer.” And what I mean here, is we’re about to see if Thomas Wolfe was right or wrong, when he said “You can’t go home again.” I mean, maybe it’s “You can’t go home again and drink at dinner.” These kids have spent a year partying and imbibing, not doing laundry, or taking out the garbage, curfew-less and totally independent, and now, this first summer,  they come back to their childhood rooms, and house rules. So, what should the house rules be? How do you go forward, instead of backward? How do you give them their freedom, without compromising your own sanity and sense of right, especially if you have a younger kid, watching with hawk eyes for exactly what the precedence will be?

frat bros. at usc. phi kappa psi.
if only “the beach” was a course you could get credit for.
He’s in a suit.
Life in Cali sucks.

I have some ideas. But it will really take a sit-down with Jake to flesh them out and come up, in a somewhat democratic way, with the “After the first year,” rules of the roost. I know he’ll have enough respect for us to follow whatever we say, but determining what that is, that’ll be the challenge.

Today, I’m not worrying about it, I’m making his favorite meatballs and I’m lettering the banner. I really hope the girl scouts aren’t busy.



gratitude-a-thon day 399: small bites friday


My boy is coming home tomorrow! Let the summer begin.

I love Tina Fey like I love my family. Seriously. And damn, I love these commercials.

Does anyone else hope it rains on Kim Kardashian’s ass on her wedding day? This spectacle makes me want to turn in my “citizen of humanity” badge.

I am hot for the Mad Men mid-season finale. I’m just hoping it’s as totally excellent and fulfilling as last week’s show, which really might be my favorite of the series.

It’s amazing what’s going on outside your house.

Team Angelina.

This documentary about Roger Ebert looks really, really good.

Is this why I’m always hungry?

Hey Jake, this could be good news for you. One less thing to wash.

Kind of loving this new site I found.