gratitude-a-thon day 1,000: we are all we’ve got

abceng438-e001

I know I am not alone in the middle of the night when I wake up and grab for my phone to make sure we’re still here.  I know there are so many others who share my fear and anxiety. They’re up, too. I know many I could probably text,  because their minds would be spinning in the same way mine is, worrying, wondering, freaking the fuck out about what will be next.

I know that my lack of concentration on anything but what is happening in our country is diminishing my ability to enjoy all the good stuff.

I just can’t allow that.

Because it will mean that Trump not only won the election, but won too much of my attention. He’s the last person I want taking up residence in my head and yet, I can’t stop myself from ingesting too much news. Has he made me an addict? Do I need a 12-step program to get clean of his filth?

I am looking at the sunrise over the trees right now, the frozen earth on a 20 degree day, and my dog snuggled up on top of folded laundry like the star on a Christmas tree, and I think, stop the madness, girl, get hold of yourself. Today you will get clean.

But I can’t, because there is too much at stake, and if we ignore it, or try and block it out, the worst could happen (hell, it’s already happening). We all have to be watch dogs, we all have to be prison guards protecting our constitution, our rights, each other. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and it’s never been more true–we are all we’ve got.

gratitude-a-thon day 999: sag awards red carpet review to take my mind off politics for one second

I’ve been so obsessed with what’s happening in our country, I didn’t even know the SAG awards were on last night, and only conveniently found out, while on Twitter, at 7:00.

Even thinking of things so frivolous as the red carpet seems silly with all that’s going on politically, but I can’t let the president (not my president, mind you) take everything away, so here we go, damn it.

The Worst, no good, very bad dresses.

Nicole Kidman. Eyes Wide Shut.

nicole-kidman-7c3e8e8c-95d2-44dd-b0b6-1640d05ad725

Let’s just begin with, there are parrots on her shoulders. Why those parrots did not say to her, in unison, or separately, “you are going to get panned if you bring us with you, we will be waiting here when you get back and you can tell us everything,”  I do not know, but this dress was an unmitigated disaster, the likes of the Trump presidency. Yup, that bad.

Salma Hayek. Martha Stewart, there is a prize winning rose missing from the garden in your Connecticut home.

rs_634x1024-170129165629-634-salma-hayek-sag-awards-2017

Sometimes when you’re beautiful, as beautiful as Salma, you think, “I can pull off anything,” and pull off that fake-o flower, velvet ribbon and lavender lace ruffle is what Salma should have done before she left the house. This is one ugly dress. This is the kind of thing that should be detained at the airport.

Thandie Newton. When the circus comes to town and you decide to wear it.

rs_634x1024-170129164147-634-2017-screen-actors-guild-thandie-newton

So, yes, we know you’re on a super cool hit show called Westworld, and that you thought it was cute to wear a theme dress that would remind everybody of that. But unless HBO is paying you mucho buckos to advertise, this train should have left the station without you on it. (BTW, I almost, ALMOST could live with the whole thing without that Mr. Spock moment on the shoulder. Seriously, is there another Star Trek movie coming out? Did  Klingon Nation pay you to promote that, too?)

Did Sofia Vergara go shop the sale rack  in the Junior Department at Macy’s?

636213171170292420-xxx-ak2t4064-88413842

I think if this dress weren’t tea length and hit the ground, it would be a whole different story, but as it is, it looks like a disastrous tween look. And a cheap one at that. Everybody is all like, “I love that she is giving us something new.” I say, wear what looks good on you.  And this doesn’t.

Amy Landecker. Are you high?

636213166377100245-xxx-ak2t1970-88410958

As if this mess wasn’t bad enough on Amy, there was someone else wearing it, too! This girl has a totally off-the-charts bod, but this suit is not doing it any good. It looks sloppy, and cheap. It’s too tight and doesn’t look fun, or different, just ugly. I would, however not be surprised to see Sean Spicer in this at some point. He’s got an, um, style all his own.16295813_10211970966057892_1474595672_n

 

And the red carpet A-listers.

Kaley Cuoco. Oh. My. God. I died and had to be revived when I saw how beautiful this dress was.

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-7-16-42-am

This gorgeous confection is everything. EVERYTHING. If I owned it, I would wear it everyday for the rest of my life.

Natalie Portman is in a class by herself.

rs_634x1024-170129165832-634-2017-screen-actors-guild-natalie-portman

Natalie is beautiful and young, but she is pregnant and instead of flaunting her bump, which is the au courant way of handling the red carpet when you’re with child, she is covering up and channeling the style star she plays in the movie Jackie. She looks just lovely. And BTW, I have a 90% accuracy rate in guessing what flavor baby a woman is having, and I vote Nat’s having a girl.

Gina Rodriguez. Virgin rounds the bases.

gina-rodriguez-d9b17f17-8f4f-400c-83f6-404b258303b9

I just love this dress. It’s flirty and easy. It fits in a seriously flattering way. She looks comfortable and natural. Score, Gina.

Kerry Washington. Scandalously gorgeous.

kerry-washington-807fcd25-c1e9-4022-bd51-b560e090cdc3

588e8f6d17000025002d9212

 

This dress is white hot. Fabric is fabulous. The sleeves hit at a perfect place. Hair is simple and accents the off-the-shoulderness in just the right way. And there is a safety pin on her shoulder. Here’s what she said about that on Instagram: “I’ll be wearing one of these tonight. On my arm. To show solidarity. We will not stop fighting for our safety & the safety of our fellow citizens and human beings”. #NoBanNoWall #safetypin  That’s what I call really beautiful.

sad-a-tude-a-thon day 998:no more huddled masses, that’s how it starts

27bierweb-master675

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-8-34-29-am

My mother’s parents came here from Calabria, Italy. They opened a grocery store in Connecticut. My father’s Jewish parents came here from Russia and Austria. My grandfather worked in the hat industry in New York, and then Connecticut. My husband’s father came here from Vienna, after his father escaped from a concentration camp, a rich lawyer back home, he worked as a janitor once he arrived and became an accountant once he learned the language. My husband’s mother’s family came from England.

We are all immigrants. That’s what this country is made of. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…..” I’m proud of my ancestors. I’m proud to be of immigrant stock.

What are we doing right now? WHAT ARE WE BECOMING?

I’m only happy that my parents are dead, because this would kill them, like it’s killing me.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 997: she did make it on her own and taught me how to, as well

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-7-17-45-am

One of the iconic images of my childhood.

I grew up on Mary Tyler Moore. First as Laura, Dick Van Dyke’s adorably thin wife with the shrill voice always uttering “Roooooooob,” in her cute pedal pusher pants, or straight sleeveless shift dresses, raising Richie in New Rochelle, using a deft comedy hand in playing Rob’s straight guy.

Then on her own show, as the impossibly plucky single woman who, after a break up with her fiancé, moves to Minneapolis, gets her own apartment, and becomes an associate producer at WMJ-TV. The ultimate working girl.

laura-petrie

She was a style badass.

With Rhoda (Valeria Harper) as her polar opposite neighbor, wrapped in boho clothing, 10 extra pounds and a head scarf for every day of the week, and Phyllis (Cloris Leachman) with her abundance of curls piled high on her head, as her annoying know-it-all neighbor, Mr. Grant (Ed Asner), her old time news man boss, Murray (Gavin Mcleod), her loyal friend and co-worker, Sue Ann (Betty White), the nymphomaniac host of the Happy Homemaker, and Ted (Ted Knight) as the overblown bufoon anchor, this show, (along with my big sister who lived Mary’s life, but in Boston),  helped to mold my desire to go to a city, have my own fabulous apartment, and my own exciting job.

Mary was competent, beautiful, funny and sincere. She dated great men, had magnificent clothes and a fascinating job.

Who didn’t want to be her?

To the extent that a tv show can influence what kind of person you want to grow up and be, this one did. It wasn’t just funny, it taught me that I could have my own life, that I didn’t have to get married, but could be my own person. Can a tv show do all that? It did.

I’ll never forget Mary, or what I learned all those years of watching her on my small bedroom tv. Thanks, Mare, for teaching me I could throw my hat into the air, and make it on my own.

This was one of my favorite episodes. And still, watching it this morning, I laughed my head off. Impossible not to, right?

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 995: stay informed: robert reich

quotescover-JPG-22.jpg

I wanted to write about how grateful I was to have gotten so much love on my birthday yesterday, having multiple celebrations and hearing from friends far and wide,  BUT this seemed more important to me.

I can’t help being obsessed by the madness going in our new administration.

IT’S NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT TO STAY INFORMED, and to find and follow qualified people,  who deal with facts and not bullshit (DONALD TRUMP, SEAN SPICER, KELLYANNE CONWAY). This is vital if you are as concerned as I am about where the hell we’re going.

Put Robert Reich in your bookmark bar. This brilliant guy’s got the goods.

My sister called it months ago–we seem to be dealing with a demagogue in the making, people.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 6.53.35 AM.png

Why has Trump instituted a media blackout on the EPA?

 

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-6-55-29-am

Pretty soon Trump’s picture is going to show up in the dictionary next to this definition. No words necessary.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-6-59-54-am

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 994: signs of the times

Amid the “alternative facts”, this was an amazing weekend. Really great protest signs were everywhere. Here are some of my favorites.

 

dicktatorI saw this one in person. The other side said “Pussy power.”

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-7-37-44-am

Me too.

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-7-34-12-am

Exactly.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-7-33-59-am

Yup.

16195571_10211865468496118_3219976912170422389_n

Not an alternative fact, just a fact.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-8-49-47-am

Right?

16143291_1226334644119288_4052703685275483139_n

She had something to say, and she said it. You fly your flag, little cutie!

gratitude-a-thon day 992: the march

For me inauguration day was a media blackout. I woke up feeling that awful pit in your stomach that you get when someone dies. I took a yoga class in the morning and celebrated my birthday early with my daughter getting girly spa services before having dinner at my favorite neighborhood place. It was pretty heavenly. Although I knew not seeing the events wouldn’t change them, I honestly couldn’t bear to witness such a sad and hopeless day.

img_1216

On my way to the Common.

Yesterday I took part in Boston’s Women’s March with my husband, some friends and 175,000 other concerned citizens. The energy was big and bawdy and beautiful.  Senator/Warrior Elizabeth Warren spoke passionately, as did Senator Ed Markey. Even Mayor Marty Walsh was offering the crowd words of encouragement in his unmistakably Boston accent.

At one point, one of the speakers (I can’t remember who) asked the crowd to lock eyes with a stranger and show them that you could really see them. I turned to my right to see a girl in her 20’s or 30’s. We stared at each other and as we did, we both started to cry. It was so powerful, we walked the few steps toward each other and hugged for a long moment. I couldn’t even quite understand why I was crying, or what was making me so emotional at the time, and it confused me some. I asked her afterward–“Why are we crying?” She said simply, “It’s a very emotional day.”

img_1239

Here we are on the Common.

But what I realize now, after giving it some thought is that we were crying because we were among those who felt like we did. That there on the hallowed grounds of the Boston Common were people who’d come from all over to exercise their right to express themselves, their fears, and their beliefs. We were among like-minded people who don’t accept racism and bigotry and misogyny, who believe in science and hard statistics, who want health care and women’s reproductive rights protected and believe that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, who want a president who isn’t a tweeter, but a leader, who understands that immigrants are what this country is made of, who doesn’t talk about himself incessantly, who isn’t impulsive and narcissistic, divisive and polarizing, but open and thoughtful and unifying. That’s why we were crying. It was a relief to know that we were not alone, and that all over the country (and the world) there were people who were just like us gathering peacefully to say that we weren’t going to be silent about what we believe.

img_1223

My crew. Pussy hats off to all the men who showed up.

It was very crowded, more crowded than the planners had expected, and we got stuck coming out of the Common to join the march in a sea of people and didn’t move for about an hour. So we never actually marched, because we escaped down Charles Street and walked halfway home, before hopping on the T. But I got what I’d come for–a feeling of hope, knowledge that I was not alone, that there were millions of people who cared. With an administration like this one, that’s everything.

dicktator

My absolute favorite sign of the day.

Now, we have to take all the power of yesterday and turn it into something more. We have to continue to agitate and mobilize into something solid that can really bring about change. We can’t stop here. We have to keep pushing, keep organizing. After seeing all the pictures from all the many marches, I believe we can. As someone I love once said, “Yes, we can.”

 

gratitude-a-thon day 991: i do solemnly swear –FUCK

540919830.jpg

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of Citizen of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

I will always speak up for  women, immigrants, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, everyone in the LGBTQ community, in fact everyone who needs a voice, but doesn’t have one. 

I will defend like hell, those issues that I believe create a better country, like gun control, Planned Parenthood, Health care for all, climate change and HUMAN RIGHTS for every person.

It’s one of the saddest days I’ve ever been alive, to see an unfit, unqualified and altogether narcissistic power hungry, bigoted, hater of a person become the President, but I will do what I can as one voice, one body to try and make America kind again, to treat all people with the respect and dignity they deserve, to give my time and money to efforts that will unify us, rather than divide us.

I do solemnly swear (FUCK, FUCK & FUCK) to try and honor what President Barack Obama modeled for the last eight years. Dignity, kindness, thoughtful consideration of ideas, respect for all people. That’s all I got. God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, the divine, help us all.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 890: to know hope: president barack obama

barack-obama-hope

I remember when Barack Obama was just elected, having the best talk with an African American women in the deodorant aisle of CVS. The two of us, so clearly from different places in the world, were brought together by the excitement he’d inspired in both of us. Although our accidental conversation was just about 15 minutes, I felt connected to this woman when I left the store. I knew part of it was because I could feel the pride she had because a man that was the same color as she was would be sitting in the white house, but part of it was also because his essence and ability to display leadership was infectious and had allowed this conversation to happen in the first place. We’d broken a barrier as a country. It made her stand taller. And me too. It was the loveliest moment.

Those were the days when I felt a deep sense of hopefulness in the leader we’d chosen to guide us. Obama was and is a gifted orator and unifier. His words back then inspired me in the deepest parts of myself. His enthusiasm made me feel empowered. His grace, his inclusivity, his reasonable rationality made me feel as though I were being safely held. I didn’t feel any sense of divide back then. In fact, I felt like I was an important part of one big melting pot.

I’m so grateful to know what that kind of hope feels like. Obama spoke to my need to have a moral leader at the helm, a man who acted with humanity and integrity for all eight years of his time in the Oval. No ugly. No scandals.

Those first years of the Obama presidency made me heady with hope. Those were good days. I will always remember them. And I will continue to look toward that president and what he taught me about having a moral center, about bringing everybody into the tent, about the importance of being a good person.

gratitude-a-thon day 989: martin luther king junior

 

50-best-martin-luther-king-jr-quotes-6328-19Gratitude to a man who stood up for inclusivity with dignity and grace. By using non-violent civil disobedience, and without Twitter, Martin Luther King Jr. inspired us all to do better, be better.

I wish our president-elect was a 10th of the man this Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal winner was. The disparity between the two is stark.

But we can choose to remember Martin Luther King Jr. and allow him to guide us. With light and love, he made a difference. I’m putting him on my advisory team.

I will not be silent about what matters to me, Martin. I will not be silent.