gratitude-a-thon day 2090: political perspective: The Cave & Honeyland



The political situation has been disturbing, scary and other-worldly lately. Just when you think it can’t get weirder, it overperforms like the lead in a grammar school play.

So, yesterday I watched two documentaries that reminded me that while there is evil in the world, there is also good. There are also people who are just plain amazing, that fortify your belief in humanity.



The Cave is about an underground hospital in Syria, where war jets and bombing are a way of life. It follows a 30-year-old pediatrician, Dr. Amani Ballour who has earned the right as a woman (in a place where women are to be seen and not heard) to not only work alongside a tough but tender male surgeon who anesthetizes his ravaged patients with classical music from his iPhone, but also to head up the bare bones hospital which struggles with no supplies and makeshift accommodations. The superheroes who work with her to save terrified children and adults who are living in a hell even having Trump as president doesn’t compare to (there, don’t say I never said anything nice about that man) are doing the impossible, but they persist. It is a bleak movie, but at the same time it filled me with the reminder that things could be worse and even when they are bad, there will always be people who rise, people who invest, people who show up in a full and loving way.



Honeyland is an extraordinarily gorgeous movie about Hatidze Muratova, a 55-year-old woman who lives with her bedridden 85-year-old mother, dog, and three cats, in a small hut without electricity or running water in the desolate,  unforgiving, but physically beautiful mountains of Northern Macedonia. She is a master beekeeper, in the old tradition, respecting the process and the bees to make her meager living. She walks or takes a bus 12 miles to the nearest city to sell her natural honey. You see rather quickly that this woman has an open and optimistic heart. But there goes the neighborhood when in moves, a noisy herd of a family who has seven children to feed with their cattle and loud machinery hoping to farm the land. At first Hatidze embraces the company, takes joy in the children and shares not only her great warmth and openness but also her brandy and beekeeping expertise. But selfishly, Hussein, father of the wild bunch, with mouths to feed, takes to making honey himself. And the story unfolds as to how his gross disrespect for the land kills Hatidze’s bees and thus her livelihood and turns on him, so that he is left without cattle, or bees and must move his family on. We then see Hatidze explore her loneliness, what could have been and the fate of her mother. It is a heart wrenching, but lovely tale and I defy you not to want to go and bring Hatidze and her animals to your home to pamper for the rest of their lives.

If you’ve become particularly pained by politics, I feel you. We all have to do what we can, but also remember to use some perspective. Gratitude to these extraordinary documentaries about people who live lives that matter. Just knowing they exist help me to see a bigger picture of humanity (and right now, that is exactly what I need).


gratitude-a-thon day 2089: Oscar, the best, the worst and the what WAS Kristen Wigg wearing

Here we are again with your host, an opinionated fashion no-nothing who considers getting dressed up a pair of jeans with some slamming accessories, but nonetheless loves to Judge Judy what the rich and famous wear to big fancy events.  Of course, it’s not entirely true that I’m without any fashion training. After all, I did grow up in the gang dressing rooms at Loehmann’s in Westport, CT, the first off-price designer store where my mom shopped like a professional, bagging bargain after designer bargain on a pretty regular basis. So, there’s that. I’ve been obsessed with clothes ever since. But enough about me, let’s talk about them.

The worst, the ridiculous, the entirely without mirrors in their houses:


Kristen Wiig(ed Out)


I’m pretty sure Kristen was shopping on Amazon after a long day on the set, or a long hit of some really good Setiva and got lost in the kitchen section, as one does, and then her stylist just happened to call about her Oscar dress inspiration and, well, you see what happened here.


Sandra Oh NO. 


Somebody call 911 and hope the crew from Gray’s Anatomy can come and drug Dr. Yang back into reality. What’s with the Mariachi sleeves, the prom gown bottom, with a bow? All I can say is no. Prescription: get yourself a new stylist, stat.

Tamron Holy Hall


She borrowed this from the Pope. He couldn’t be there last night.

America(n Hippie) Ferrera


All she needed was to hold up two fingers in a peace sign and I’d have sworn we were in the Woodstock era. The mother earth vibe works for the pregnancy, but not for the Oscars. Hey, America, the 60’s called and they want their headband back.

Billie Ei(hate this) lish


She’s cool. She’s fucking super cool. But Because because I love to see a woman’s shape, because nails that are this long are just dumb, because I hate a head-to-toe designer look, because green hair reminds me of a blonde who spent too much time in the pool, it gives me no pleasure, but this is a gargantuan Nuh uh.  Call me old. I am, but for me, this is Chanel Hell.

Laura Dern it, this is ugly.


She knew she was going to win (and although I think she’s brilliant, I did not think this was a worthy performance), so could we have not done just a little better here and gotten out of the lampshade department at Frederick’s of Hollywood?  And that matronly hair was perfect for a ladies’ lunch, but not the Oscars or this God-awful dress.

Orange you glad you didn’t have to wear this on national television?


Maya Rudolph said, comfort is everything this year, damn it, and grabbed a bedsheet from her daughter’s tangerine themed sparkle room and off she went. Either that or this is an homage to the orange one in the White House.

Little Woman, Bad Dress.


Saoirse is adorable and talented AF, but what’s black and white and ugly all over. Yup, you got it.

I Crown you the worst (not really, but it’s pretty damn bad).


Queen Elizabeth would never. And Olivia shouldn’t have either. The whole sleeve situation is just stupid. No wonder Harry and Megan left the royal family.

And the girls who slam-dunked it.

Geena Da(yum!)vis

In the category of age-defying and you’ve got style, Thelma done good last night. I absolutely loved this incredibly simple, but perfect number. Geena is 64, by the way, but I’m giving her a 10.

The Marriage (of style and beauty) Story

Scarlett has had some fab dresses this award season, but this winner takes all. From the creamy dreamy fabric, to the absolutely ideal fit, this double nominee was the queen of the carpet.

Natalie PortMAN is this good.

As if this dress wasn’t gorgeous enough, she had the names of the snubbed female directors of 2020 embroidered onto the coat of her ensemble. Integrity and style. Girl power.

Penelope Cruz(es) down the carpet like a boss.

I wished this dress either had the flower or the bow, but not both, however I couldn’t take my eyes off of the silhouette, the hair, the whole of this look.

Look who just Brie(ezed) in.

Effortless, but was perfectly Oscar-worthy. Brie’s a total style star.

I hate yellow, I love this dress.

Mindy doesn’t always get it right, but despite being a color I hate, she sold this dress The fit was just perfect and who’s going to argue over that necklace or hair not being exactly right. The Mindy Project: both thumbs up.

Zazie Can’t Beetz This.

I absolutely loved this dress. I heard her say she was sewn in to it, and if I were her I’d just wear it until it falls off.

I used to love her, now I just love her dresses.

I was a mad Rene Zellweger fan, back in the day (Think “You complete me”, Jerry Maguire). but she lost me this award season. Spacey, with a heavy Southern drawl I never heard before, I am no longer so much of a fan, but her style is impeccable (and her Judy performance was too). Ok, so is her bod and she is making the best of it in this figure-flattering white number. This is a girl who definitely knows how to dress.

Ok, so what did you think? Tell me everything. I promise not to judge (haha, I’d never promise that)!