gratitude-a-thon day 2055: storing up the good


I am constantly trying to understand life (like that’s possible).

Why do things happen the way they do? I’m always running after a theory.

“Positive things happen for those who work hard.”

“Good people get what they deserve.”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“Life is a fucking crap shoot.”

And just when I think I’ve hit on something that makes sense, something will occur to obliterate that thinking and I am once again wandering aimlessly trying to find the white paper on the reasons the chips fall where they may.

Is it all random? 

I give gratitude today for the good times, things, people in my life. Bad stuff happens that challenges us, pushes us to places we never want even to visit, leaves us asking why. Which is the reason that the periods of our lives that we feel happiness, must be celebrated and stored up in our souls for when the bad times come, uninvited, undeserved, unwanted.




Oscar-a-tude-a-thon day 2054: the pink, the red, the sparkly and the i liked the no host

Ok, so it turns out not having a host for the Oscars was the best thing that has ever happened to that little statuette. The show had more energy, the movie clips were a bit longer, the speeches didn’t get cut off by annoying music. The kick-off by Queen was cool and speaking of cool, who is cooler than the girl trio of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudoph not being hosts. Yeah, I’m into the no host deal. It worked.

But of course, some of the red carpet’s looks did not work. And here they are now:

Lady GaGa. Hip hip no way.


She may have had the $30 million dollar necklace Audrey Hepburn wore on her press tour for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but that dress made Audrey roll around in her grave screaming, “NOOOOOOO.” (I heard her). Why would you want your hips to look bigger? I don’t get it. Call me shallow.


Rachel W (HY) eisz.


She is wearing a rubber glove as a top. That there is latex. Who could possibly have thought this was a good idea? DomiNOtrix with a hairband.

Linda Cardellini. There are layers and layers of wrong here.

This is like a 50’s peignoir having a bad menstrual cycle.

Kacey Mus(t not have looked in a mirror)graves.


Tutu pink. Tutu princessy, Too, too much.

Maya Rudolph is funny, this dress is not.

She is so talented–adept at comedy, singing, acting, but not so much dressing. This looks like she pulled a Gone With the Wind “I’ll make my dress out of the curtains” moment while visiting her very feminine grandmother.

Elaine Welteroth. The hostess with the mostest.


You know how they’re banning straws everywhere? Now we know where they all went.

Sza. Her expression looks like even she wonders why she wore this mess.


This is like a bridal look gone awry crossed with Frederick’s of Hollywood sheets ripped quickly from a bed. And hey, is there a towel, up there at the top?

Sarah Paulson. Badass in a bad dress.


She’s wearing the color of the night, but not in a good way. So here’s what I’m thinking. The designer made her a skirt, but it was too short, then not knowing what to do with it, he/she just decided to make it a top.  Also, there’s some kind of lacing situation in her midriff. Yeah, NO.

Diane Warren. Some people know how to write songs. Some people know how to dress. Guess which one she is.


Where to start. How much time do you have? The blazer is too long, plus it has that weird braiding down the arms, The pants and shoes look like they were stolen from a high school marching band. But it’s the necklace/dickey that really gets this look into the category of “you’re the worst.”

And the best, and they were good.

Brie Larson. How Oscar would look if he were Silver.

Oh the simplicity, the cut, the slit, the fit. Easy hair, gorgeous shoe. She gets the gold for this silver number.

Regina is King of the carpet.


The curves of this dress were sublime. If Beal Street Could Talk, it’d be all over this absolutely gorgeous look.

Marina de Tavira. Muy Bueno.


I don’t love red. But this look got me. It fit beautifully and I was crazy about her diamond danglers that also had some red in them.

Gemma Chen. I never met a pocket I didn’t like.

I adore this dress. It’s formal, but looks crazy comfortable. And the pockets. Who does not love a pocket? Nobody, that’s who.

Angela Bassett.

I hate, hate a sculptural dress, but this one worked for me in a big (shoulder bow) way. It fit like a glove and her makeup was somewhere beyond perfection.

Jennifer Lopez. Mirror, mirror on the wall.


She’s the fairest one of all. J-lo always knows how to go high. She does a red carpet like no other. Day-um, this dress.

Michelle Ye Ha, I mean Oh.


Wow. This was just so pretty. The cut was classic, but the fabric was unusual and sparkled with every move she made. I’m crazy about it.

gratitude-a-thon day 2053: warm and safe


Vacation re-entry is hard. Wait, HOLD ON, I don’t mean it’s hard like homelessness, or being sick and having no health insurance, or being a citizen of a president like that lying bag of lard we have in the Oval, or being a person of color in this country, or being an immigrant separated from his/her child, or being falsely accused of something you didn’t do and having to go to jail. I just mean, one minute you’re jet-setting around, intoxicated by things you haven’t ever seen before, enchanted by the warm sun, overindulging in good wine and HAM (have I mentioned the amount of ham I ate while I was away, probably not, because there is no way to properly express to you the amount of ham I ate while I was away), and the next minute you’re back to work, eating lightly dressed salad and slipping on the goddamned snow while you walk the dog. That kind of hard.

My husband and I talk about how winter is getting to us, but then we never really do anything about it (as if we could alter it in any way–ha!–I suppose we could try and contribute more to climate change, which of course DOESN’T EXIST). But we have discussed at length, how New England houses a bunch of overachievers and we wonder if it has to do with the weather. Here on the cold coast, winter is a time to do work, to hibernate and concentrate in a way that we don’t think people necessarily do when the weather is temperate (do you hear me, L.A.?) I think this is interesting, but I also think, fuck it, I would still be happy to work if you just gave me higher temperatures and sunny days.

Complaining about the weather is so boring, so privileged. I know this and yet, before I even can stop my tongue from wagging, I do it almost every day during the winter months. I have to stop. Ok, gratitude that I am warm and safe and my biggest problem today is the cold (there I go again, talking about the weather…..).

gratitud(e)-a-thon day 2052: if not now, when? Turning 60 in Spain


A missed connection, due to Boston weather, but greeted by this, plus champagne and rose petals on my bed. Happy birthday to me!
Barcelona is electric and eclectic and on the beach, to boot.

So, I did it, I turned 60. This is the thing about birthdays, no matter how you feel about them, they’re coming for you. You never get to say, “Hey, I”m busy, can we do this another time?” And while I was dreading it, with a deep feeling of panic, it walked in, sat down and there we were.


But, where we were was Barcelona, Spain. In a beautiful boutique hotel with a bed covered in rose petals and a bottle of bubbly in a bucket with a rich chocolate mini cake that read “Happy 60th Birthday.” Let me just say right here, this could take the sting out of turning 107. So, yeah, my advice, if you’re dreading a birthday, is to get the heck out of dodge, put yourself in another place and ride it out. The “after” is almost always tolerable, it’s just the before that bites you in the ass.

It seemed like this store was set up to take pictures of. Kind of perfect.


One thing that was really super cool is that I got to do and see something that I had always wanted to do and see. We drove the five and a half hours from Barcelona to Bilbao, where the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum is located. Since the first time I saw this whack-a-doodle building in a magazine, 20 years ago, I have imagined seeing it in person. It captured my attention in an almost obsessive way. It always felt far away and like I probably would never get there, but once I knew we were going to Barcelona, I was sure I would make this side trip happen. And it did not disappoint, in the least. And the inside is just as great as the outside, not only in its architecture but in its works–beautifully edited and I would have to say, actually perfect. It’s overwhelming to turn a dream into a reality. I know this sounds like a Disney commercial (cue up It’s a Small World, if you want), but I don’t know how else to put it–I had always wanted to see that museum and I got to, after 20 years. That’s damn good shit.

I made it!



Hotel Maria Christina in San Sebastian. This was a very special place. And there were churros for breakfast!

We saw so many beautiful places. Spain is so much older than the US, that no matter what you’re looking at, it’s hundreds of years older than the most historical monuments you can find in the U.S. This means even the ordinary is a treat to look at.  I loved the Joan Miro Museum, located high on a hill and overlooking the city of Barcelona. I’m not terribly into abstract painting, but his work has always captured my heart. The Picasso Museum is special, not just for the work, but also for the old, restored building it resides in. Gaudi is everywhere, including the sidewalks of Barcelona, which are flowers. You can only imagine how much I loved this! The Real Alcazar, a royal palace in Seville is breathtaking. This place is surreal. In scale and architecture, its beauty is a 2,554,987 on a scale of 1 to 10. Go to the Dali museum if you don’t want to do LSD, but want to feel like you have. And of course, we saw numerous churches, extravagant and lovely, rivers, the sea, the steps on which some character in Game of Thrones died, a seaside town dressed in nothing but blue and white (oh, my beating heart).

It was a magical trip and I thank Linda Plazonja for giving me so many tips. If you haven’t been to her site, click her name and you’ll be there. And if you think her website is beautiful (it’s one of my fave sites ever) you need to go on a trip with her. She is the absolute Travel Queen, with a thorough knowledge of a place and a gift for seeking out the extraordinary. You can also have her plan your trip. (CAN’T RECOMMEND THIS EMPHATICALLY, ENOUGH–YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY!)Also, I have to shout out the Mercer Hotel in Barcelona (which Linda pointed me to, of course), which acted like our home away from home, which we kept leaving and coming back to. Exceptional and thoughtful service in a sleek and modern boutique hotel that’s built into a 4,000 years old wall).


My travel companion in Spain and life, Peter. A keeper!

So, gratiud (this is Spanish for gratitude, in case you thought I left off the “e.”), so much gratitud for a mind-expanding, dream of a 16 days. I am 60. And I am just fine.