gratitude-a-thon day 555: the academy awards red carpet. the best and the dreadful.

The 2015 red carpet is a wrap (and speaking of rap, Jeez Louise, that Glory performance was amazing).  Just remember the opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of a qualified-to-judge individual.

And here we go, the stuff I wouldn’t wear if you paid me really big money and sent my kids to college and assured me you could do something that would make my dog live forever.

1. Lady Gaga.  But do you think her arms have enough room? rs_634x1024-150222171128-634-lady-gaga-oscars-1images-8 Apparently, the Lady wore her Playtex Living gloves because she promised to wash dishes at the Vanity Fair party. (Help is just so hard to find Oscar’s week).

2. Scarlett Johansson. Green with no envy. rs_634x1024-150222170338-634-SCARLETT-JOHANSSON-oscars-1   images-8 Hey, look they’re making another Avatar movie, but this time the girl is green. The hair is too severe. The necklace is from the $1 store, on sale for 50 cents. Introducing the Jolly Green Giant’s mistress.

3. Kerry Washington. Can’t believe the Gladiators let her out of the house in this. rs_634x1024-150222162142-634.kerry-washington-oscars-022215Fern-y embroidery copied from the wallpaper in a retirement home dining hall in Boca. Really, this is what we’re doing Kerry? From the neck up, she was utter perfection, including those amazing daisy chain earrings, but I can’t believe Olivia Pope allowed her to walk on the carpet in this.

4. Dakota Johnson. Fifty seven trillion shades of ugly. rs_634x1024-150222154854-634.Dakota-Johnson-Oscars.jl.022215Yes, it was red, but not red carpet. And what about that “I’m on my way to a baseball game ponytail.”

5. Felicity Jones. Too much skirt. rs_634x1024-150222160038-634-felicity-jones-academy-awards-1.jw.22215 The top of this dress was lovely, but the bottom was a hot mess. There was a voluminous amount of fabric. Was she hiding the entire Von Tropp family in there?

6. Patricia Arquette. I love her, just not her dress. I want better for Ms. Arquette, because she’s so flipping cool, and comfortable with herself, and she’s so real and un-Hollywood. Not to mention her amazing speech. But when you have boobage, you need to be careful you don’t look like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade balloon. You need to balance out those girls with the rest of your body. And here, there just isn’t any balance. The one shouldered style just made her look bigger. And bigger is never better. But she doesn’t care what I think, or what anyone thinks. Which is why she looks perfect, bad dress or not.

7. Keira Knightly. I thought nothing could make this girl ugly, but then award season happened. rs_634x1024-150222171317-634-keira-knightley-oscarsI’m sure this dress took 2,450,341 women 8, 912,234 hours to embroider. I don’t care. They wasted their time.

8. Reese Witherspoon. What’s with that black thing? A prop from Fifty Shades of Gray? rs_634x1024-150222164931-634-reese-witherspoon-oscars-1 Reese was looking great, and then the stylist felt like the top didn’t fit well and came and wrapped her shoulders in duct tape, you know, just in case.

9. Chloe Grace More (as in too much skirt) tz. doesn’t love a pocket, except when it makes you look like you’re going to a Weight Watchers meeting.

10. Lupita Nyong’o. That’s a lot of oysters. rs_634x1024-150222161325-634.lupita-oscars-022215 A strand of pearls is classic, a whole dress of them, not so much.


1. Emma Stone. A rare gem. rs_634x1024-150222170848-634-emma-stone-oscarsThis color was INCREDIBLE on her. The flow, the cut, the hair, the make-up. We’re talking a big freaking 10. Emma’s got herself a great stylist. She looked perfect.

2. Zoe Saldana. Twins three months ago, but a look that’s a singular sensation. rs_634x1024-150222160724-634.zoe-saldana-oscars-022215 Blush pink is so becoming. I loved this dress. Sure it’s simple, but it has beautiful lines, and it’s just the definition of lovely.

3. Jenifer Aniston. Fit is everything. rs_634x1024-150222170638-634-jennifer-aniston-oscarsLong drawn out sigh of admiration. I. LOVE. THIS. DRESS. Jenifer, whose hair is usually the envy of the world didn’t have the greatest do last night, but that dress, well, THAT was a DO. So often the boob area on a strapless gown don’t work. The boobs are either mashed in, or falling out, but this fit was like a second skin. Fuck the Academy, you win, Jen.

4. Naomi Watts. Thoroughly What a totally cool dress. She looked phenomenally now. A modern silhouette and perfectly simple hair. LOVE.

5.Sienna Miller. Plus it’s black.rs_634x1024-150222161735-634-sienna-miller-academy-awards.jw.22215There is a lot going on with this dress, and it’s all right. I wish her hair was down, because it’s cut in such a cute bob right now, but I am all about this look.

6. Margot Robbie. I give her an A for effortless.   I could not take my eyes off this girl. She is drop down on your knees gorgeous. And while this dress might have been a frump-a-thon on some, she just looked like she threw it on. And THIS IS THE HAIR OF THE NIGHT.

7. Luciana Pedraza & Jennifer Lopez . Plunging perfection. Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 7.56.45 AM I’m sorry, but if there’s tulle, I’m all in. Both Robert Duvall’s wife and Jennifer Lopez were on the same train, with Luciana edging out Jenny from the boobs, I mean block. Luciana’s dress had a better fit, and color. And did I mention, there was tulle.

Tell me what you thought. The flower growing out of Gwyneth’s shoulder? Julianne Moore’s evil eye dress? Tell me what I missed. C’mon, give me your best shot.

gratitude-a thon day 554: red carpet ready



Get out your scorecards, and your best pajamas, IT’S THE ACADEMY AWARDS! Night of a thousand stars, a dozen bad dresses, a host who will be judged by his ability to keep us awake until the end. I love this show, with its crimson catwalk. I love it, I tell you. I don’t even care that it’s snowing (again) today. It’s the freaking Academy Awards!

I am a movie addict. I am a film fanatic. Like Peter Sellers as Chance the gardener in Being There said, “I like to watch.” Truth. Whether it’s in my den, with blankets and pillows, and dimmed lights, or in my bed with the comfort of my Sealy Posturpedic foam topped mattress, Riley by my side, With my husband, or my sister (two other major movie people), or whoever will indulge me, I’m always ready to go to the movies. Of course, the best place to be a viewer is at the actual movie theater. Big screen, salty popcorn, PREVIEWS. And my favorite of those theaters is the Super Lux in Chestnut Hill, where you can eat a real (and pretty decent) meal, served to you by a waitress, have yourself a cocktail, and munch on unlimited popcorn, WHILE YOU RECLINE YOUR SUPER PADDED SEAT. This is my idea of a retirement home.

Anywho, let’s make some picks, shall we?

Best Picture

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything


Birdman_poster-3I’ve seen them all this year, which isn’t usually the case, so I’m feeling adequately informed enough to say that I think Birman should win, but Boyhood might win. Birdman captured me. There was an immediacy to the camera work, that engaged me from the second it started. I thought this movie was film at its very best. Edward Norton was dynamic and gave a powerful performance. Emma Stone was a standout. And Michael Keaton was the perfect guy for this role (I mean, it so beautifully mimics his real life). This wasn’t just a story of a movie star looking for legitimacy, it was everyone’s story of looking for legitimacy.


the-theory-of-everything-eddie-redmayne-2-300x336Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

I think this is the biggest and most competitive category of the night. Every one of these performances was stellar, and in my opinion in every case, better than the movie itself. But I think one performance stands above the rest, and that’s Eddie Redmayne’s turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. His ability to give us a full picture of a man losing control of his body and voice, but keeping his brain, and sense of humor, was not just the theory of everything, it was everything.


Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

I haven’t seen Two Days One Night, or Still Alice, but I’m going to go with Juianne Moore, because I have heard buzz that she is spectacular. I just have a feeing she’ll be the one on the stage. But from the movies I did see, I would give it to Felicity Jones. I think she was brilliant.


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

Damn, this is a tie for me between Edward Norton and JK Simmons, with Simmons edging Norton out because I feel like he had more screen time. Kind of amazing Simmons is in the BSA category, since his role was pretty large. Both these performances were one for the books.


Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

I liked Boyhood fine. I didn’t love it, but I do recognize that making a movie over 12 years is not only a really cool and innovative idea, but also probably pretty hard. I think Patricia Arquette will walk away with the little gold man, but I would probably give it to Emma Stone.


alejandro_gonzalez_inarritu_a_pBest Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

No question marks for me here, I would flat out give it to Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birman. This felt the most innovative and interesting directing to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard Linklater took the prize though, working on a film for 12 years is a pretty Oscar-worthy accomplishment.

Lastly, my friend Melanie posted this on my FB wall yesterday. Pretty cool, right? As you can imagine, I will be watching the red carpet carefully for my who-really-cares-what-I-think fashion review tomorrow. And now, on with the show (only 9 more hours until the carpet, I’ve got to do my hair).



gratitude-a-thon day 552: sometimes gratitude is hard to find, like when you’re buried in snow


This is like an everyday headline now. I am really questioning my Bostonian-ness these days.

I called my son yesterday, who is in L.A. on the sunny campus of USC, and he didn’t answer. He was, as I suspected, doing something fun outside. He called back a few minutes afterward to confirm that why yes, he was indeed outdoors, playing a round robin charity game of kickball.

Right now the only thing I’m kicking is myself for is making the choice to live in this God-forsaken frozen wasteland. I used to like this town, but now that it’s become part of Siberia, I’m having second thoughts. With my daughter graduating from high school next year, I am seriously thinking about how we could live somewhere warm for the winter (or for the whole damn year). There are a lot of people and places I would miss if I were to leave Boston permanently, but who can see them when you have 95 inches of snow? Who can do so much as empty the garbage when it’s four degrees outside? Who can save money for the good stuff when you have to spend it on the icicles that are threatening your home’s welfare? At some point, you have to ask yourself about your quality of life, and decide what makes sense, right? At some point, you have to make a choice about what’s best for you.

Yes, I am seriously lacking in vitamin D and in a less than sunny mood about the fact that I can’t walk outside for more than two minutes without turning into Frosty the snowman. Yes, I am a little testy, having had this hacking cough and drippy, swollen face for a month, despite antibiotics and kick ass cough medicine. And yes, I may have lost my gratitude for today. There, I said it.

Everybody’s hair just looked so good on the informercial…..

I keep telling myself how lucky I am not to be homeless, that I am a freelancer who doesn’t have to rely on public transportation, that we have ample food. But let me explain my state of mind this way: I watched an informercial on a curling iron at 3 AM the other night and I ordered it. OK, DO YOU GET IT NOW? Here’s to hoping your day is at least 20 degrees warmer than mine.


gratitude-a-thon day 551: small bites friday

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 6.46.16 AM
But its not snowing!






 (see above).

New dietary guidelines! Eggs!

Because you can’t have cellulite and be famous. 

103, and still adorable.

Uh oh. 

Fashion alert: The biggest red carpet of all on Sunday night’s Academy Awards.

How come nobody cares if he tells the truth (I guess because he’s at a station that does it for a living).

Didn’t we already know this? Pass the chips.

Fashion week cheapies.

gratitude-a-thon day 550: the forecast

Cheryl Roegner of the North End neighborhood of Boston, sits in the sun and the snow on a bench in Paul Revere Mall next to a snow sculpture she says she did not have a hand in making, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 in the North End neighborhood of Boston. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Perhaps I have underplayed the winter weather that’s been happening here (you know how subtle I can be). Maybe, for those of you who are lucky enough not to live here, I’ve not given you an appropriate lay of the land.

We are buried in fucking snow.

There’s nowhere to park. That is, if you can even get your car out.

We are surrounded by walls of white. Our yards are filled, our streets are narrowed, our souls are weary. We wield not only shovels, but axes and hoes to cut through ice. We have 95.7 inches of snow. We are tired of our boots. We are down on our coats. We no longer have any gloves that match. We have icicles (the size of NASA’s finest) on our houses that threaten to kill our savings, or anybody who might be walking by when one decides to fall. We can no longer rely on public transportation. We are cranky, and short-tempered, and mean to even the nicest people. We are giving our dogs too many treats because we are too cold to take them on  longer walks (ok, maybe this is just me).

We are dreaming of vacations, where someone will serve us fruity drinks by a pool overlooking the ocean. We are googling real estate in sunny climates. We are wondering how we got here, to the Tundra, without consent.

Chris Laudani, a bartender at Back Bay Social and an avid runner, has been revealed as the mystery man who was photographed as he shoveled snow off the iconic Boston Marathon finish line during Tuesday’s raging blizzard.

But, we are Boston. A little snow won’t keep us down for long. We will rise up, (well, I might not, but most of us will). We will count the days until the magnolia trees line Marlborough Street, and Marathon Monday announces spring. We will crowd the Charles on bikes and feet, and skateboards. We will throw on our sunglasses and saunter down Newbury Street. We will applaud the Sox as they open up Fenway. We will hit the waterfront, eat outside, glory at the swan boats. We will savor every moment of warmth and sun, remembering the mornings of zero degree temperatures and  perpetual forecasts of snow. We will survive. We will get through. That’s what we do, in this town. Don’t forget we are Boston Strong (not be be confused with Boston Warm), this is nothing.


gratitude-a-thon day 549: fuck photoshop




Look, I’m going to be honest, here, I was unreasonably giddy when I saw Cindy Crawford’s unretouched photo the other day.

C’mon, tell me you didn’t hear a little collective sigh of female relief (and male disappointment) when an un-photoshopped pic of Cindy,  looking like an actual human, almost 49 year old woman, surfaced on the internet. Imagine the shock (and comfort) of finding that the super model who has stared at us from a  trillion magazine covers, looking, well perfect, has  a stomach that more resembles my own, than the flat abs she’s become known for. What with the fifty shades of snow outside my door (which I can barely get out of) and the upcoming dread brought on by the yearly publication of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, seeing Cindy’s unretouched photo was like hearing Boston would stop getting hammered with the white stuff.

It’s just kind of nice to see that someone who has been a cultural icon of female beauty is doing what the rest of us are doing–getting older. And maybe with this photo, she’s doing it better than I am, because by showing her bare tummy, in less than taut shape, she seems to be saying she accepts it.

As Nora Ephron said, “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.” Cindy pretty much did that, now that I come to think of it. I wish I had.

Some women are good at accepting their maturing bodies, but I have to say, I don’t know any of them. Most of the women I know wish they had a smaller this, and a bigger that. Most think they should exercise more and eat less. Most feel shame about not looking more like a retouched version of themselves.

So, like, a big freaking thank you to Cindy for keeping it real. We should send that woman flowers, for the guts to show off her almost 49 year old stomach. I guarantee it’s helped oodles of  women feel a little better about how their bodies are naturally aging. I upgrade Cindy from a model to a role model. Ms. Crawford, I give you the “pretty inside and out” award. Thanks for making this miserable February a little more tolerable.


gratitude-a-thon day 548: distractions


I am sick. It is 10 degrees, with a few more inches of snow on the way. I am staying in bed today, as I did yesterday, trying to kick this “thing’s” ass. Which is why I am so grateful to have a fun book to read. Yesterday, I started, and couldn’t put down, The Girl on the Train. It’s a murder mystery, which normally is not my kind of book, but I’m completely into this one. I got up because I think I hacked up a lung, and had to dispose of it. Now I am going back to sleep. That is all.

gratitude-a-thon day 547: saturday night on sunday


Last night, while coughing and spewing snot and phlegm, and trying to stay warm, as the temperatures dropped and dropped, and I’m sorry, but I need another “dropped” in there to be accurate, my husband and I watched SNL 40. I’ve been watching this show since the beginning. So, last night was a little walk down a very long memory lane that spanned adolescence through the right here and right now. That is a lot of water under the television bridge, people. I had a smile pasted on my paste-y white face for much of the three hour fame fest.

The montages were the most thrilling for me. There they were, edited together–40 years of pop culture game changing memories. Those who died too young, but live on celluloid were once again on prime time. The live appearances were a lot less fun than they should have been. The Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake intro rap was a great kick off, punctation mark: Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer. But there were too many wasted, and poor showings (Robert DeNiro flubbing lines, Eddie Murphy said a big nothing. Shouldn’t he have introduced something, or done a bit? FAIL.)

And even though Paul McCartney’s voice wasn’t what we’ve come to expect, I still loved that he sang one of my all time favorite songs, and got my groove on, anyway (plus he’s a freaking Beatle, so there’s that). I’d wished it was Paul Simon and not Miley Cyrus who sang 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, but I was glad she had on some clothes. Celebrity Jeopardy was hilarious–Darrel Hammond’s obscene, buffoonish Sean Connery winning best contestant. I loved Adam Sandler’s Opera Man reprise, Maya Rudolph killed it as Beyonce, and Martin Short was genuinely funny, too. The Californian’s, a skit I love and my husband hates, went on way too long, but while it fell flat, I liked the ingenuity of having David Spade and Cecily Strong turn the stage into an airplane, and say Buh Bye to the cast. Yeah for Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher smelling her fingers, and Ed Norton as Stefon right next to the real Stefon. And I could watch Will Ferrell read the freaking phone book and laugh. Cha, cha, cha boochie.


Jane Curtin wins freshest joke of the night. At the Weekend Update Desk, she said that she used to be the only blonde newscaster announcing fake news, and now there’s a whole station devoted to it (Fox logo coming up on the green screen behind her). WIN.

Chevy Chase looked not just old, but maybe like he is sick, which made me really sad. I could have lived without the updated Dan Akroyd Bassomatic sketch, but he was on for the Blues Brothers revival with Jim Belushi. Melissa McCarthy as Matt Foley, motivational speaker, was spot on (Gosh, I miss Chris Farley).

It was an uneven show, but damn,  I loved watching it anyway. It reminded me of the past 40 years of Saturday Night’s, and all the people I’d watched the show with, all the places I’d been, and all the things that made me do the thing I love to do best–laugh.

gratitude-a-thon day 545: another day, another storm


Riley is totally like, “Make it stop. Would you make it stop.”


Seriously, UNCLE.

This snow situation has gone from “you’re kidding” to “How did we move to Alaska without knowing it.” I can barely see out of my windows. And people, it is still coming down HEAVILY.

I have a really horrible cold, that is making me cough, which when I do, makes my entire head feel like the worst hangover you’ve ever had. Then there is the post nasal drip, and swollen eyes. My sinuses are as clogged as the T tracks right now. The governor is telling us to stay inside, um, yeah, no problem here.

Four storms, three weeks. Nineteen degrees, wind chills below zero, EIGHTY NINE POINT SEVEN INCHES, TOTAL. I keep hearing people say, “Well, It’s winter, what do you want?” But, this is like no winter in Boston I’ve ever experienced in my whole life as a New Englander. What do I want? I WANT IT TO STOP.

VD dinner.


Last night we had friends over for a VD dinner and a movie–the last in the Academy Awards line-up–The Theory of Everything. (I coughed through the entire thing.) But having seen all the nominees now, I continue to say, the big race is the “best actor” category. Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking losing his physical abilities, but not his mind, is truly a marvel. He beautifully brings out the humanity and humor of the man, without the benefit of being able to use his body, and for some parts of the film, his voice. Peter continues to think Bradley Cooper will get it, but I tend to think it might go to Redmayne.

My friend brought this Riley-ish dog cake, because she thought it would make me laugh. It did.


Gratitude, well that’s simple. I am focused on my husband’s spectacular Valentine’s Day gift, four days in South Beach. I CANNOT WAIT. Just to get out of this for a minute will give me some energy to make it until Spring, that is, if Spring comes this year. (See what this winter has done to my optimism).