gratitude-a-thon day 1014: the best, the worst and an academy first

It was the best of clothes, it was the worst of clothes.

Actually, nobody is even talking about the clothes, they’re talking about the cray, cray Hollywood ending of the Oscars, when Warren Beatty, puzzled by the writing on the winner of his Best Picture ballot,  handed it to Faye Dunaway for a consult, who, thinking Beatty was trying to get laughs, took a look at the card and read out “La La Land.” The whole cast came to the stage, thrilled and celebratory. The speeches began, but approximately 90 seconds later, technical people from backstage, rushed the proceedings and expressions change, as one of the cast members announced that it was really Moonlight that had won! He kept saying, “This is not a joke. This is real.” And really, who could believe it? Was Beatty that old, that he could have confused the words La La Land with the words Moonlight?

The Moonlight cast walked tentatively up on stage, as the La La Land cast crawled back to their seats and Warren Beatty explained that the ballot has said “Emma Stone, La La Land,” which is why he had been slow to read the winner, and that he had not been trying to be funny, and which was why he had handed it to Dunaway in the first place, who didn’t see Stone’s name, wasn’t confused, and cavalierly called out the wrong movie as a best picture in an Academy Award’s first. Apparently,  the wrong envelope had been given to Bonnie and Clyde, but it’s clear they’d already been scarred by this caper.

Dragging, at almost 11:30, and down three people who’d left for home, the three of my co-watchers and I were as flabbergasted as the rest of Hollywood. It was like the moment in Chinatown, with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway where Dunaway says, “She’s my sister, she’s my daughter, she’s my sister, my daughter. SHE’S MY SISTER AND MY DAUGHTER” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnrdetFAo1o).

Someone royally fucked up last night. But I have digressed enough, let’s get to the fabulous and the flops.

 

The worst, and there were some doozies, alright.

Dakota Johnson, Gucci, Gucci Ewwwwwwwww.

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This was some historically significant dress, but may I just say that I thought it looked like she was in a casket being waked? Clearly beautiful fabric, but there isn’t a grade low enough for this get-up. That flat-to-her-head one color hair, the I’m-so-pretty-I-don’t need-make-up face, she looked embalmed. Although even the embalmed generally look more alive than this. Ugh–fifty shades of failure.

Janelle Monae had a hidden figure.

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This girl is just beautiful, but this was a Nutcracker, Mother Ginger moment. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FWgmSJzp8M). And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Except for one more word, “why?”

Scarlett Johannson. Was it Lost in Translation?

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I think ultimately, this dress was just too big in the boob area. I know Scarlett has some major girls there, but there was too much dress to accent her decolletage and it just ruined the whole look. Plus, pretty as she is, I’m just not into that hair. Plus, plus, I don’t like a belt, trendy as it is, on a formal gown.

Charlize Theron. Did nobody go to the tailor for this show?

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So, maybe it’s a trend–this having too much fabric to cover your boobage, but here’s the thing–it’s not flattering. It just looks like you didn’t have enough time to have your dress properly fit. I also found her hair underwhelming. That tuft on the top–flop.

Jessica Biel, you are not Oscar.

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Maybe she was trying to mimic the tiny statuette, but this look was a no-go for me. Aside from the distressed gold lame (and yes, I meant to leave the accent mark out–because it was LAME) fabric, which was all sorts of wrong, I hated this Tiffany spiked diamond bib necklace with this dress. It looked a little like a hula skirt. I don’t know, this just didn’t do it for me, plus she looked like she couldn’t move too well during her husband’s fabulous opening number.

Chrissy Tiegan, not legend.

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This dress was entirely too tight. She even said so, on the carpet. She was bulging out of it. It might have been ok, if it fit, but not even really.

Felicity Jones. This didn’t fit, either.

Felicity Jones arrives on the red carpet for the 89th Oscars on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

Aside from looking like she was going to a prom, this dress was too big. Were all the tailors in Hollywood on strike this year, or WHAT?

Naomie Harris. It’s short, it’s long, it’s La La Land, it’s Moonlight.

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She’s one bee-u-tiful girl, and I love this dress, but it was meant to be long, all the way around. Beautiful hair, killer shoes, but damn it, if only they hadn’t cut the front, she’d be on the other list.

And the girls who did it up right.

Kirsten Dunst, unlike Janelle Monae, was not a Hidden Figure.

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Much as I like color on other people, if  I was going to the Oscars, there’s no doubt, I would go with the most tried and true color, slenderizing, always sophisticated, and a bonafide hit–basic black. I just LOVED this dress. She looks fabulously comfortable, and who doesn’t just want to marry a pocket? The fit was sheer perfection, her hair was tousled exactly right. The shoes were GORG and that necklace was just the accent. This look was 2400 on the SAT of fashion.

Viola Davis was red hot.

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Oh. My. God. Drop DEAD gorgeosity from hair to toe. This dress was bold, but easy at the same time. She looked confident and like the winner she is. She so deserved her Oscar, but she deserves another one for this look. And I can’t say enough about her hair–it was the perfect complement to this killer dress. How to get away with FABULOUS.

 

Nicole Kidman. Finally, she’s BAAAAAAAACK.

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After wearing a number of bizarre and totally UGLY dresses during this award season, Nicole was back on track with this sparkly column dress of mandalas. I wish it had been a slightly darker shade, but slam, dunk, done and done. Namaste, Nicole.

Octavia Spencer. True silvery Blue.

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I thought this dress was perfection. The whole look, in fact. Octavia is not a size 2, but I’ve always wondered, why can’t you still wear a beautiful gown if you’re not the same weight as a Barbie doll? This answered my question. She looked stunning.

Emma Stone sparkle.

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I am so influenced by hair. Weird, right? I thought this look was a hit mostly because I liked her hair. I mean, it’s a beautiful dress, but she is so pale and the dress is so pale, but the hair, totally becoming on her face, and a color that picks up the darker parts of the dress sold me.

 

Sonny Pawar is big on style.

Sunny Pawar arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Sunny Pawar arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

That face. This kid is off the charts in the category of adorableness. And the shoes. Well, the shoes were the whole deal. Roar.

gratitude-a-thon day 1012: tell me how you are getting through having the Disgustigans in power

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It’s amazing how ungrateful I’ve become.

There, I said it.

I used to be able to focus on something everyday that made my internal organs sing, but everything seems different now. And yes, say it with me, because you know it’s coming–It’s because of Trump.

Oh, I know I shouldn’t take it so personally, or be so upset, but when the fabric of all you’ve ever known and by the way, taken for granted, is in peril, well you give more than a few fucks.

BASIC. HUMAN. DECENCY. DIGNITY. TRUTH. JUSTICE. HEALTHCARE……

These people, lead by the head Disgustigan, is making these attributes history.

How do you stand by and move beyond?

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No, really, I’m asking. I want to know how this president has affected your life and how you are getting up everyday and feeling hopeful. Enlighten me (this is not meant as snarky–I honestly want to know). Are you speaking in incomplete sentences? Using “great,” “hugely,” “classy,” and “terrific” all the time? Or are you up in the middle of the night with the scared emoji eyes? Let me know. Thanks!

gratitude-a-thon day 1011: small bites friday

How long’s it been since a Small Bites Friday? And now, some little things to be grateful for.

Yesterday was 64. It is February 24 in New England. Today is headed for the same unseasonably warm temps. I know this can’t mean anything good, but GOD, I love it.

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Major Red Carpet Fashion Alert! Sunday is the Academy Awards. Monday morning review, right here. Yippee!

“And you get a college education, and you get a college education, and YOU GET A COLLEGE EDUCATION.” Taking a page from Oprah, Ellen Degeneres gets an A+ for this move.

Same sex marriage has helped to reduce teen suicide. (Will taking away Trans bathroom use increase it? I hope not).

Booya for Melinda Gates and her commitment to contraception. 

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When we are there for each other, we are at our best. Muslims help Jews.

98 year old yoga teacher? Namaste.

The Department of “How ya like me now?” 

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Hey, I’m loving the way Mayor Marty Walsh is standing up to this administration. Yup, living in a bubble is good.

Best app–Five Calls. Everything you need to know to call your state reps about the things you care about that are being threatened.

gratitude-a-thon day 1010: kindness exists, even when it’s dark out

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If there were a twelve step program to shun yourself of the dark ugliness that is this presidency, I would go to meetings on the hour.

This man will never represent me. I will never support him or his demeaning and bigoted ideas. I won’t ever believe in his dismantling of democracy, or his 10 word vocabulary, or his fucking Twitter obsession.

Yesterday I brought my daughter to the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who is in a nearby building that has been there since before she was born, and is currently in the center of a major construction site. As we sat in the waiting room, the building began to shake. I dismissed it as some particularly close digging, but as we sat there and it continued, I asked the receptionists about it and they told me that it goes on like that all day long. They said they have the feelings of movement when they’re home, like a form of PTSD. The ground beneath us was literally moving, and it gave me the feeling that the world was shifting below me, that all that had been sturdy and logical was no more.

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This sturdy building was shaking like an earthquake was hitting it.

Which is, I realize, how I feel since this president was elected. There is a seismic shift in the house of white that I cannot swallow, I cannot believe and I cannot tolerate. I constantly feel like I am in a war zone, that there is an instability of all I’ve ever known. Make no mistake about it, this is not Republican. Trump rules a new party called the Disgusticgans.

Anyway, I know this is not my malady alone. I share this sick feeling with millions. They are the world citizens that give me hope. Just yesterday, I was buoyed by the Muslims who are helping to repair the Jewish cemeteries that are being desecrated. They give me hope. They are like medicine for this ache I have deep in my heart.

Last night, my friend, who is equally as disturbed by our current state of affairs, told me to watch this: The Kindness Diaries on Netflix. I did, and I felt a little better.

For like a full 30 minutes.

Gratitude for those resisters and those people in the world that are trying to fight for what is just and right and human. They are the RX for what ails me.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 9009: the perfectly timed vacation

 

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The Delano is a perfect hotel. Perfect.

For the first time ever, I planned a vacation that allowed me to miss major snow! Not only that, the weather in South Beach was spectacular. To get those two things to coincide is like getting Trump to speak a grammatical sentence–impossible.

So, gratitude to Mother Nature for this tiny miracle.

A mere four days (we missed our first day because we sat on the tarmac waiting to de-ice, but hell, better to de-ice than be in ice) and boom, your frigid soul melts, and the icy stairs, the weight of the down coats, hats and scarves become a distant annoyance.

I never can quite understand how you can be in one place and get on a giant mechanical bird and wind up in another. I mean, yes, I know it’s technological engineering I could never comprehend to begin with, but beyond that, it’s just stunning to me to be walking in snow up to my knees and than in less than four hours have sand at my feet. Or to be in an english speaking country and then find yourself in a location that doesn’t speak your language, where the color of people’s skin is not that of your own. It’s a magic show that never gets old for me.

We  did some great eating–namely one of my favorite restaurants ever anywhere–Mandolin, a small Agean bistro in the art district that has a romantic outdoor patio and the best Greek food. Juvia, a rooftop place that overlooks Miami’s downtown was incredible, and Cibo, a cavernous Italian place with homemade pasta that was genuinely homemade, not to mention a “wine ninja” doing acrobatics in the glass wine cellar. And of course, Bianca at the hotel was also beautifully made food in a spectacular atmosphere.

Couldn’t be happier to have gotten a break from`New England’s longest and worst season. And now I need to pile on the clothes to walk the dog.

gratitude-a-thon day 9006: an apple for the teachers

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My sister was a teacher. And my cousin, and my aunt and my uncle. In fact, there were 14 teachers in my family when I was growing up. They were all committed to their kids and to public school. They all worked second jobs in the summer to make up for the money they weren’t making teaching. These people gave it all to their students.

Betsey Devos, our new Education Secretary has almost no experience with public education, and is an insult to the years of blood, sweat and tears every public school teacher out there has given to their profession.

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The work is rewarding, but make no mistake about it, this is not a an cushy gig. Teachers are dealing with overflowing classes of students–each with differing abilities, emotional and academic challenges. They have requirements they must teach to. Additionally, it’s more and more common to have to worry about whether kids have been fed, whether they have slept, whether they feel safe. And the job doesn’t end when the bell rings, teachers have enormous amounts of preparation and homework themselves. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly awesome hours. Teaching is a full time job, and a low paying one at that.

My gratitude today goes to all the teachers in my family (Susan, Barbara, Aunt Chris, Uncle Louie, Aunt Theresa, Nancy, Andy, Gene, Connie, Mary, Phil, Tina, Anthony & Fran,  GOD I HOPE I DIDN’T MISS ANYBODY!) who I watched, year after year, make learning something interesting for their students.  Thanks to them. Thanks to all the teachers I’ve had, and know (Ginny, Cathy, Jennifer, Sally, Barry, Mirelle, Sandra, Ellen & Maura to name a few). Your life’s work deserves better than this horrible FAIL.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1005: BRADY

It probably started when I was a kid and we were a one tv household and my football obsessed dad watched the NFL all day Sunday. And I mean the WHOLE DAY. “There’s only 15 minutes left,” he’d say, but as I later learned, that could mean an hour. I sat hostage to that stupid game until I got my own tv when I was 12. But the damage was already done. I hated football.

As a high school cheerleader, truth be known, I only knew when to yell and scream by watching the crowd during a game because I had no technical understanding of the game. And to this day, I still don’t. And I don’t care. I am known among my friends as a hater. My son was informed early on that he would not be allowed to play a game that can later cause  dementia and leave your joints howling.

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This was going to be the exclamation point after the first touchdown, only then it never happened, and he had to reveal it when everyone was suicidal and it barely got a laugh.

Fast forward to yesterday, my good friend invited us to watch the game and when I asked her what we could bring, she replied, “a good attitude.” My husband, a lifelong Buffalo Bill’s fan, who despises the Patriots, is my perfect companion when it comes to being the whiney haters at a Super Bowl Party. So, having been warned, we decided to go in the other direction, using my daughter’s gift to her brother, of fathead stickers of the Pats. We decided to show up as the ultimate fans, screaming and yelling the minute we walked in the door.

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My new logo.

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This sticker said “Tom Brady.” I thought it was appropriate to put on my ass, but that was BEFORE the miracle.

It wasn’t long before the air in the room was all doom and gloom. While I was chatting it up with another non-football loving guest, the Falcons (yes, I did know who they were playing, but only as of yesterday morning), were killing it. Good cheer turned to beer, and after Gaga’s show, it wasn’t long before people started to leave.

We were the stragglers, still watching, just to finish it out. I was texting my die-hard fan son in  L.A., with $400 worth of ribs at his house party, pumped out of his mind,  and the only New Englander cheering for his hometown team, and his less PAT-riotic sister.

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And then the tide turned. And even I was under the spell. On the edge of our seats,  I suddenly got it. BRADY IS SUPER HUMAN. The guy is not of this world. The game turned around and freaking history was made. I have to admit, it was fun to be part of Patriot’s Nation last night. I might, MIGHT finally be a football fan.

gratitude-a-thon day 1002: get grounded

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I have had a relationship with a trainer (turned friend/family) for the past nine years. Having a seriously troubled back since post-college, she has helped me keep my body working. She’s gifted and she knows my body like it was hers.

A few days ago, we were talking before our Skype session (she moved to Cali) and I told her how I was waking up in the night, grabbing my phone to make sure we were still here, and couldn’t seem to drag myself away from the news. She and I are similarly tempered, and she said she’d put herself on a limited news diet, and that it had helped. She could feel my frantic, crazy vibe from 3,000 miles away.

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So, she made me do a grounding exercise for like 50 minutes, and all I could think of was how I wasn’t exercising, and that my abs needed attention! I wanted to scream, “I get it, I get it, let’s do a plank,” but I kept grounding and listening and trusting. She was talking me through the areas in my body that were my stability, power and sense of self. Blah, blah, blah. My mind was still working on how soon I could get back to the news. But I remained plugged into her instruction, although I was feeling like I wanted to move on.

The hour was up and she said, “All you have to do is get yourself grounded when you think you have to see the news every two minutes. Reach for your stability and power,”she said.

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

That afternoon, interestingly, I didn’t feel the need to douse myself in news. That night I felt more energized. Yesterday morning, I woke up PERKY! And I only ingested the news a few times.

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It was like a 12-step program in one afternoon! SO DAMN MUCH GRATITUDE for being lucky enough to have someone in my life who knows me better than I sometimes know myself. It will be tricky to stay sober, but I realize that if I continue to go down the rabbit hole, I won’t be able to work on the  things that need my attention. I need the energy to fight on. We all do. So ground and power up however you need to. There’s work to do.

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1001:shoes: pleasure and pain

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This was my favorite shoe of the 300 on display. So detailed, with all that beautiful ribbon. But look at the bottom, how do you walk in these? Maybe you just sit. They were from the late 1800’s.

If you’re looking for something to take your mind off politics, or your messy closet, or your whiney kids, or you have the winter doldrums, and you live in the Boston area, and you kind of love shoes, or you don’t, or you just like a good outing, or you don’t feel like doing your work today, and want to play hooky, or you like to pretend you’re Carrie in Sex and the City, you should go to the Peabody Essex Museum and see their fabulous exhibit–Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.

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For bound feet, these delicate looking shoes were not meant for walking.

Sadly, I had never been to the PEM before and I am putting myself in the naughty chair for that, because it’s a really great place, with an unbelievably good gift shop, which happened to be closed on the day we were there, which happened to be my birthday, which was an unfortunate gift to me, because they were actually selling SHOES!

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I was blown away by the detailed etching on the toe of these shoes.

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So many of the shoes were intricate.  These boasted  real parakeet wings and at the toe, silver parakeet claws. They sort of made me want to vomit.

Anyway, this exhibit, which I thought might just be a room or two is like, four or five rooms, filled with the history of those things we wear on our feet. Anyone who knows me knows I have difficult feet to say the least, and that it is a part time job trying to find shoes that are cute, fit and don’t exacerbate my foot issues. There were a plethora of “only in my dreams” shoes for me here, but I decided to just let go and enjoy.

Aside from being beautiful pieces of art, this exhibit talks about the historical significance and transformative power of shoes. It’s beautifully done and fabulously interesting. It’s both fun and educational. But just make sure the gift shop is open when you go! There are shoes in there (and yes, some that looked like even I could wear them).

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Cinderella’s glass slipper. Yup, it was actually glass.

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Louboutin party shoes. Ah, a girl can dream.

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The Chanel mary jane. I love a mary.

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The bane of my existence, the desire of my heart: the heel.