gratitude-a-thon day 2022: gratitude reminder

quotes-Gratitude--you-can-t

Gratitude is always hanging around and ready to party and can shift your mood faster than a shot of Don Julio. Just when you’re thinking it’s all gone to shit, settle yourself and consider what it is you have in the very moment you’re having it. Take, for instance, your breath, the in and out that gives you life. Right there, sweet spot. How about what it is your sitting on, or standing on, it’s yours. What about your legs, those magical appendages that transport you everywhere you go! Is there someone you love, who loves you–bingo bango–gratitude money shot. The sky’s the limit, and the sky is a good one to set your sights on–always up there for your viewing pleasure, making weather and clouds and sunsets and stuff. Get in the game. There’s never a loser. And it will lift you to a better place every single time. But just remember, you can’t win if you dont play.

gratitude-a-thon day 2021: surprise: bruce

 

359693a35640ae1b6ba46741e0d49601--mit-sweatshirt-vin

My husband hasn’t always been good at gift giving. My first birthday together, when it was pretty clear we were going to get married, I thought maybe he would give me something romantic, like for instance, a proposal. What he gave me was a pair of MIT boxer shorts and a matching sweatshirt.

I couldn’t hide my disappointment (you know how subtle I can be). I’m sure I didn’t call him a fucking asshole, or anything, but my displeasure was seething from my pores.

At the time, he was doing a post-doc in NY and had been applying for academic positions around the country. I made it clear that I wanted to stay in Boston and wouldn’t consider leaving. This was his way of telling me he was taking the MIT position and we’d be together, and I should have been happy about it. And I was, the boxers and sweatshirt, not so much. (He did give me one of the only real surprise parties of my life, later that night–you can’t pull anything over on me–and he proceeded to give me an annual “surprise party” for a decade after that). The night was actually very thoughtful, but I only had one outcome on my mind, and that night wasn’t it (although I was very appreciative of the party).

Anyway, the guy is quick and he got it. Since then, he’s given me hundreds of extraordinary and extremely thoughtful gifts. Although he doesn’t understand jewelry, he has learned that it’s something I love and has indulged me. (I agree that it’s stupid and senseless, but I can’t tell you the amount of enjoyment I get out of a little bling.)

But his expertise is in experiences. He believes experiences are how we should spend our money and our lives. And as I get older (and weighed down in jewelry!), I think he’s right.

So, this birthday, he surprised me with tickets to  Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show on Broadway, a night in my favorite NY hotel and a gorgeous vase of flowers that was big as the Bronx (which killed me because we couldn’t bring them home, but he said he just wanted me to enjoy them for the night–what a guy).

unnamed

I love Bruce. I have always loved Bruce. I love his raspy voice, his energy, his music. I love his poetry set to notes, his take on life, his honesty. I had seen him twice–once back in like, 86 and once about 10 years ago, a concert I can still vividly recall–Bruce in a white t-shirt and jeans, looking like a 25 year old obsessed with Crossfit, strutting and running across the stage for a good three hours, Clarence hitting it hard, little Stevie and his mischievous smile. So, when I finally begged Peter to tell me last weekend what it was we were doing on my birthday and he told me, I practically had a stroke. And just as I had been 31 birthdays ago, I was genuinely surprised.

unnamed-1

Anyway, Bruce. The show is just guitars and a piano and the man (except when his wife, Patty comes out and sings two songs with him). He tells stories of his beginnings, and how his quiet life with a depressed, working class dad and a joyous and positive mom evolved and made him a rock and roll star. Interspersed are songs that illustrate the story, familiar songs that take on new meaning because of the context he puts them into.

It’s a gorgeous and intimate more than two hours you get to spend with Bruce and you feel in the end, like you’ve spent some time with a man who could be your neighbor, if your neighbor was a legend. He’s adorable and seems honest and real and you’re dying to go have a beer with him after the show. His voice is clear and booming. He shows no signs of his 68 years. He doesn’t even break to go to the bathroom, which is more than I can say for much of the audience.

So, I got to spend my 59th birthday with two of my favorite men. How lucky am I? Gratitude.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2020: the Sag Awards Best & Worst

I know there was a big game last night (I could care less) and someone from my hometown won (Brady actually lives in Brookline, believe it or not) BUT, more importantly, there was a fashion event. Yes, kids, the SAG Awards were on last night and you know what that means–snarky comments on the clothing choices of people who have scads of money and stylists, by a know-nothing who keeps getting the AARP card in the mail and throwing it out. Let’s have some fun, shall we?

The worst, and Sweet Jesus, there were some doozies last night.

Kate Hudson. She should literally sue her mom, Goldie for letting her out of the house in this. SUE.

rs_634x1024-180121165832-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-kate-hudson.ct.012118.jpg

It’s the curtains from your tween bedroom. No, it’s Westworld’s Maeve Millay’s Valentine’s Day dress. No, no, it’s what Laura Ingalls wore to prom. It’s ugly is what it is.

Molly Sims, did you shop with Kate Hudson?

rs_634x1024-180121165133-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-molly-sims.ct.012118

Where to begin? Hot Mess Alert. Please avert your eyes as you may not be able to unsee this once it has been seen.

Kate Nash, Wait, did you shop with Kate Hudson and Molly Sims?rs_634x1024-180121162415-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-kate-nash

Clearly there is a trend here. Ruffles and bad colors and are you kidding me? Do these dresses cost money? I mean, did people pay to wear these dresses? I mean, is this what prom season is going to look like this year (THANK GOD MY DAUGHTER HAS GRADUATED). I just can’t. Really. Don’t make me.

Alison Bree is Glowing alright, but not in a good way.

rs_634x1024-180121150208-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-alison-brie.ct.012118

Garish colors, purple shoes? Has her wrestling character’s taste grown on her? I would have KO’d this when I saw it.

Yvonne Strahovski’s beauty couldn’t counteract this dud.

rs_634x1024-180121154837-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-Yvonne-Strahovski-

She’s going to the office. No, she’s part of the formal nursing staff. No, she’s kidding and going to put her real dress on later.

“And Allison Janney as the Tin Man.”

rs_634x1024-180121164323-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-allison-janney.ct.012118

I thought it was just the shoulders, but then the more I looked at it, I realized it didn’t fit well, because it makes her look a little overweight, and she is so not that. Also, it looked totally pixelated on tv. Jeff Gilooly should have attacked this dress.

Alison Williams should Get Out of this dress.

rs_634x1024-180121145612-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-allison-williams

You can’t see it from head on and I couldn’t find a picture of her from the side, but the boob area of this dress stuck so far out, she could have fit a small building in it. Worst of all, is her harsh makeup. And I know the hair is a thing, but it’s a bad thing.

Natasha Lyonne, “You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney.”

rs_634x1024-180121161947-634-natasha-lyonne-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards

She actually came handcuffed. Arrest this look, wouldja.

And the good ones were really good.

Danielle Brooks. Red and Black is the new black.

rs_634x1024-180121153901-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-Danielle-Brooks

DAY-UM, THE FIT OF THIS DRESS ON DANIELLE. Dressing a body that’s not a size 4 is not terribly easy. It seems the dress either makes the woman look bigger than she is or like she is a big round ball with no curves. This does everything right. It’s a gorgeous cut, a great ombre and the fit couldn’t be better if they painted it on her body. I give this a 20 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Holly Hunter. Golden girl.

rs_634x1024-180121155512-634-holly-hunter-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards

I would just like to remind you all that Holly is just shy of 60. I’ll have what she’s having.  Fit and fabulous. The dress and the woman.

Yara Shahidi is shaheer perfection.

rs_634x1024-180121161837-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-Yara-Shahidi

Blackish is beautiful. It’s simple, but it’s elegant. It’s modern, but it’s classic. Hair and makeup: check. This is really everything.

Mary J. Blige is flying high.

rs_634x1024-180121170357-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-mary-j-blige

The fit is a 10. The way the feathers sort of 3-D off the dress is super cool. I hate a tattoo, but otherwise, Miss Mary looks absolutely right on.

Ryan Michelle Bathe is shining as brightly as her husband Sterling K. Brown’s career.

rs_634x1024-180121150751-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-ryan-michelle-bathe

The way the top of this dress fits is just straight up irrefutable. Simple, with a sparkle, I’m in love with it.

Laura Linney is pretty in pink.

rs_634x1024-180121153308-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-laura-linney

I love Laura as an actress, but she doesn’t often slay me on the carpet, but this dress, although I wouldn’t personally wear it (and where would I wear it–Whole Foods?) I do think it looks great on her. Also, while she has the best hair, it often is too long to look stylish, but this length is just right.

Ann Dowd, Aunt Lydia might not like it, but I do.

rs_634x1024-180121155731-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-ann-dowd-1

Ann is a friend of mine and the best person ever! I am loving her in this dress. The sheer is on trend and the fit is great. And of course, she has a smile that lights up the room. A+ for Annie.

Margot Robbie. Is there anything that could make her look bad?

rs_634x1024-180121163027-634-red-carpet-fashion-2018-SAG-awards-margot-robbie-1.jpg

I am digging this dress, but even more her styling. The dress is sort of a lot, but her hair and makeup is simple enough to bring it back to earth. Yup, I, perfect.

gratitude-a-thon day 2019: persist, insist, resist

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 8.44.25 AMScreen Shot 2018-01-21 at 8.45.04 AM

That snowstorm is the reason I didn’t make it to the Women’s March yesterday. As if I needed another reason to hate winter.

We were going to see Peter’s family in D.C., when our flight got canceled due to that stupid storm that left a foot of snow and sub-zero temps a few weeks ago. And so it was rescheduled to this past weekend, to the only time that worked for everyone (and not even, because my son had to go back to school, and I was missing the march).

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 8.45.04 AM

Anyway, The Resistance was out in force, I hear, while I was flying out of Ronald Reagan National Airport, from the city where the government was shut down because our Art of the Deal president is so good at the art of the deal. And while I wasn’t physically at a march, I was so goddamn there in spirit. At every one of those gatherings, I was tearing down the street with signs and screaming at the top of my lungs, “Don’t Normalize, Keep Resisting, Fuck Trump.”

180120131747-03-womens-march-new-york---i-am-super-169

This is who I’ve become because there is no other choice. Scads of gratitude to those women (and men) who continue to fight for our country, to those who take to the streets, the phones, the airwaves, the internet. She persisted. Oh, yes she fucking did.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2017: bedtime

43f4b98df75429b7d4fe3d06146d22e4

There are some nights when I get into my bed, climb in between the softness of the sheets, pulling the big down comforter on top of me and just feel a depth of gratitude,  big as the whole Eastern seaboard. My body melts into the mattress, my neck  stops its incessant desire to be right next to my ears. My breath becomes more even, I sigh a debt to the warmth and security I feel in this space.

The comfort of a safe place to lay yourself down to rest cannot be underestimated. It’s sort of a minor miracle. I listen to the breath of my dog (sometimes the snoring!) and let the darkness surround me, the quiet, except for the faint sound of my husband watching tv downstairs (I am always first to bed). I think to myself, for this, you are lucky, for this bed, for this room, for this moment, you are so lucky.

gratitude-a-thon day 2017: trying

944876fa59b13e846fba66c1a72d6fd9

You know what I love, what I am so gosh darn grateful for–when I see someone try, even when I know there are reasons they want to give up.

What I mean is, there are a billion ways that life can be like a harsh New England winter, ready to eat you for breakfast, but I just want to kiss those who keep working at it, 24 hours at a time.

What’s more hopeful than witnessing those who keep moving forward, even when they feel like hiding, not under the covers, but under the bed, or when love has desecrated their heart, or work has demeaned their sense of self, or politics has kept them up all night staring at the ceiling, or the endless, tedious upkeep of everyday life has depleted their battery?  What’s more affirming than witnessing those who, despite having to slog through some of the total shit the world can throw down, continue to whistle while they work?

Gratitude for a strong life force. Our need for happy is endless, our ability to walk the maze and still come out smiling is extraordinary. I watch and listen and learn from those who never stop turning up the corners of their mouths, in the face of not that easy, not  that fun. These are my heroes.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2016: the continued relevance of MLK

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 8.04.51 AM.png

I was thinking about Martin Luther King Jr. last night and marveling at how some people are so much bigger than their bodies. MLK left an impenetrable message that is as relevant today as it was in the 60’s. In fact, with a racist president at the helm, who yesterday said to reporters, “I am not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, I can tell you that,” one might sadly say, equally relevant now.

Infinite gratitude to a man who walked the walk and worked everyday for the rights of all. As much progress as we’ve made, it feels lately like we are walking backward into the dark.