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

 

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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. 

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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

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

America(n Hippie) Ferrera

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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).

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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)!

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2088: the yin & yang

 

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The yin and the yang of life. Oh boy.

on Sunday right before going to a party, I heard about Kobe Bryant’s death. I am not a rabid sports fan like the rest of my family, but of course, I knew who Kobe was. After all, he was Kobe. Normally in tragedies like this, I glue myself to the tv and watch every morsel of news, grieving with the anchors and collective watchers and trying to make sense of a senseless event. But I was walking out the door.

Almost a year ago, an incredible boy and neighbor my son grew up with, Sam was in an accident skiing and lost the use of his legs. Our community came together to offer money, meals, and support. It was my great pleasure to cook and help organize the meals. In the process of doing so, I got to know Sam’s mom, Abby, who I’d really only known in passing and fell in love with her (she’s wickedly smart and funny–all the things I love in a friend)! This is a story for another time, about how people who might think they know each other but really don’t, and first impressions that are wrong impressions and how we are all more alike than different and that sometimes if you look closely, a tragedy has a few teeny tiny slivers of awesomeness.

Anyway, the party was part housewarming (they’d just renovated an apartment for Sam and his amazing roommate Ben) and a thank you for all the help from friends and neighbors during their emotionally demanding and transitional year. It was also the first time I would see Sam and I was nervous I would cry, which is not what I wanted to do, but I was afraid my body would just do it, because sometimes my emotions live a completely separate life from the rest of me and act like they are starring in a telenovela.

Anyway, I saw Sam and I didn’t feel like crying at all. I think it was his comfort that made me feel comfortable and I saw (not that I haven’t been following along on his progress–biking, wheelchair racing, and skiing, back to work, and life) that he was fine, I mean as fine as you can be when you’ve had a transition as big as the one he’s experienced in the last year (actually I think, much finer than anybody would be, but this is the Sam effect, which speaks to who this boy has always been–extraordinary in every way–exceptionally smart, stupendously athletic, and ridiculously handsome). Anyway, the place was buzzing with our community. There were loads of people eating, drinking and catching up with one another. It was downright festive. And I stood back at one point and felt crazy happy for this family to have this, after watching them have such a challenging year. It was a gorgeous moment.

Kobe Bryant dropped out of the sky at 41 and lost his life on Sunday, while at the same time, Sam and his family were celebrating a hard-won victory. The yin and the yang. This is life, all day, every day. The good, the bad and the hideous all happening simultaneously. I notice. I notice how life is uncertain and certain and ugly and beautiful all. And I don’t really understand any of it, but I’m grateful to be in the midst of it and noticing. Noticing with gratitude.

gratitude-a-thon day 2086: SAG red carpet fun

I’m back. Trashin’ the fashion at another award show from the safety of my couch. But first, Brad and Jen. Jen and Brad. We’re living for this, aren’t we? And of course, her nipples. They deserve their very own un-SAG award,  but I’m getting ahead of myself, so on with the worst, the cursed, my lips are pursed, as I dive into the Glamour Don’t of the SAG awards.

Patricia Arqu-ant and shouldn’ t have.

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The top of this looks all Johnny Cash, the color red when side-by-side with black screams Italian restaurant wait staff. In The Act, she played a mom who suffered from Munchausen by Proxy, and I’ll tell you, this whole thing made me sick.

Lydia Deetz grows up and goes to the SAG awards.

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If you say Beetle Juice three times, he appears. Well, it’s too bad Winona Ryder didn’t because maybe old Beetle Juice would have told her to ditch the rags and put something else on. What a disaster, from the “wings” on her shoulders to the poorly fit jacket, this was one hot mess, although I guess there are Stranger Things.

It takes real talent to make  Margot Robie look bad, high five to her stylist.

rs_634x1024-200119163745-634-2020-SAG-Awards-red-carpet-fashions-Margot-RobbieThis is one of the most naturally gorgeous women on the planet, but honestly, it’s like the stylist thought, let’s just see how awful I can make her look and see if anyone will notice. We did. Maybe without the lame bow/belt at the waist? Maybe without the silly necklaces on top of the already elaborate neckline? Maybe some hair that wasn’t flat to her head without one piece dripping down?

Cara Buono, no Bueno.

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Hey, Cara, you’ve got something, um, right there, oh, and right there, just get that piece, over near your boob, oh, there’s another one right over there. And there. And, yeah, um, let me get you the lint roller.

Lights out, Allison Janney.

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She’s so tall and sinewy slim, just made for a floor-length dress, but not a lampshade. No, even this beautiful bod can’t pull off a lampshade.

I don’t know who this is, but now I know where my maid of honor dress from 1985 went.

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The first time I became incapacitated from back issues was in 1985 and honestly, this is the dress I was supposed to wear in my best friend’s wedding. Whether I hurt my back subconsciously so I wouldn’t have to wear it, or not, is a question. But life-long spine issues might have been worth not having to sport this thing, don’t you think?

Offpink.

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I love her. I love her so much, but this looks like a peignoir from the “we made the wrong color and so we’ve slashed the price” fashion line at Goodwill.

Modern Mess.

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Sarah Hyland is young and adorable, but this super short bow laden dress looks as though she got some flowered toilet paper stuck to her behind that she had to drag along all night.

Gwendoline Christie is pregnant, but did she bring other kids with her, too?

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This is the funeral dress of Mother Ginger, the old woman in the Nutcracker with all the kids under her dress who comes out at the end of Act I.

Nicole are-you-Kid-ding-Man?

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She always gets it right, but not last night. She looked downright matronly and that’s not how you want to look when you’re presenting with Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron.

Jenna Lyons is a fashion director. (Of what?)

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This is Jenna Lyons, the Old J. Crew Creative Director & the SAG Fashion Commentator. Was she preparing for the show so diligently, she had to pull down the drapes and make herself a flight suit because she was sky-diving after the show? Because I can’t think of any other reason she’d be wearing this.

And the best were really good last night. So much better than the Golden Globes.

Ann & Delores Not Dowd-y!

I watched the show last night with my sister, brother-in-law, husband and bestie, whose sister is Aunt Lydia, Ann Dowd. Ann is the nicest and most un-her characters person imaginable. And her mommy, is absolutely adorable and hilariously funny. It was a blast to see them, and get some texts from Ann. At 87, Delores killed the carpet!

Jennifer Aniston and her, uh, “friends.”

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Well, last night was Jen’s. And this dress was a classic Aniston, simple, curve-hugging, luscious fabric, with the ability to highlight “the girls: during her speech. I loved her hair, her simple jewelry. She knows how to dress. (And of course,  I wonder if she and Brad undressed last night. I hope so.)

Michelle Williams slam dunk.

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After her Globe’s global fashion disaster, down the court comes Michelle Williams hitting a 3-pointer. Dress, hair, make-up, all on point.

Joey King of the Black Dresses.

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I love this from top to bottom. The fit is perfection, simple, but glam, too.

Zoey Kravits wins the Audrey Hepburn award.

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Channeling Audrey, Zoey can do no wrong. I mean, put this girl in a Glad Trash bag and I’m with her. But this, despite being a color I don’t love, worked soooooooo beautifully.

Turquoise Johannsen slayed.

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This looked like plastic, satin. It was molded, but not. The fit was like a second skin, but also not tight, somehow. The color was wow, and she vogued the hell out of it. I’d never choose this dress, but it was a freaking 10.

Charlize Theron and her diamond part.

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Ok, aside from the fact that she had a line of dimaonds down the black part of her hair (she said she didn’t have time to dye it, so her stylist bedazzled it) which, even though I never met a diamond I didn’t LOVE, I didn’t love this look, but her top and skirt, now that I did love. Modern, fitting, gorg.

Tell me your faves, your worsts, your how-could-she-possibly’s.

gratitude-a-thong day 2085: a prince’s happy ending

Announcement Of Prince Harry's Engagement To Meghan Markle

As far as I can tell, and I’ve watched The Crown, so obviously, I’m an expert, The Royal Family is just a bunch of relatives who love dogs and horses and showing up at hospital openings and getting to have big weddings, and of course, big jewels. (That jewel part is very appealing to me. Who doesn’t want a diamond-encrusted crown? Why they don’t wear those on a daily basis is an absolute mystery though, right?)

Sure, I love the weddings and the spectator hats. But in all truth, when Princess Diana died because she was hounded by paparazzi, I thought, no amount of jewelry could make up for this kind of life (and you know how I feel about jewelry).

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In all seriousness, if anybody should be able to walk away from this farce of a family and all the obligations that come with it, and all the hounding from press, it’s Prince Harry. This boy lost his mother at 13 because people wanted to take her picture. He was forced to grieve this unfathomable loss in public. Just a little boy, who lost his mum forced to maintain a proper British, completely Royal Fam stiff upper lip in the face of puberty. A regular old teen would be hard-pressed to pull this off gracefully in front of his nuclear family, let alone have to do it in front of the entire world.

People will say he has obligations. They will say he is disrupting history. They will say he and Meghan have such an easy gig that they shouldn’t complain. But maybe they are the first sane people in the family. They don’t want to be hunted down by cameras, their lives as exposed as a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, examined like a high profile autopsy.

Is it any wonder that Harry has chosen to walk away from his duties? He now has a wife who the press, the very same press who killed his mother, has made their target practice since there was a whisper that they were dating. They have a baby. Who wouldn’t want to get out of dodge?

Change begins with one person who stands up to insanity, to cuckoo clock craziness and just says no. Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex for stepping out of what’s expected and into a place that makes their lives work, that considers their safety and health and happiness. I can’t help but imagine how proud Diana would be of her son.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 2083: red carpet ugly

Good morning, and hey, how about that Ricky Gervais intro! Of course, we’re here to be all judgy and Trumpian about fashion, not comedy, so I won’t comment (but I loved it). Is it just me, or was there an abundance of really ugly dresses last night? I could barely recover from one “I cannot unsee this” gown, when another came strolling down the carpet. 2020 has started with some disasters–an assassination and the horrific Australian fires, and well, the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes.

Goop’s Gwyneth. More like, Oooooops, Gwyneth.rs_634x1024-200105165948-634-2020-golden-globes-red-carpet-fashions-Gwyneth-Paltrow

From the girl who has convinced you how to live, what to wear and how to steam your vagina, comes a dress so ugly, she should be fired from her own company. Perhaps the tiny underpants situation is the worst (can you see them under there) Or is it that high fashion color–rust? Or is it that the necklace is underneath the fabric? Oh, I know, it’s the whole fucking dress. 

Michelle Williams. Maybe it was the hormones?

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Shout out to her speech on a woman’s choice, but I really hope this dress doesn’t reproduce. I know she is pregnant, but I think she’s wearing the baby sling a little prematurely.

JBow.

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I wanted to unwrap her so I didn’t have to look at this disaster. This dress was no gift.

Salma takes a dive.

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Salma was on her way to the beach in her bathing suit and then remembered that she had to go to the Globes. She quickly fancied her towel into a skirt and put her beach balls in her top and bingo, bango–red carpet ready.

 

Shailene Woodley. Black and blue and ugly all over.

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It’s really the big black blob on her neck that got me. A microphone? Was she communicating with another planet? Earth to Shailene, take off that necklace.

Jodie Com-on.

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This leprechaun-gone-wrong look really surprised me. Was she channeling Villanelle? She musta been, cuz, UGLY.

RE-Greta.

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Even she looks uncomfortable in this dress. That white band at the top was so restrictive. How did she even hug any of her little women?

Kirsten (Fashion) Dunce.

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She never gets it right. And score, she did it again.

 

Anna Paquin. Well, I like the hair.

Gosh, there are so many things wrong here. The sleeves are just hanging there like an afterthought. The shoes are someone’s grandmothers. Oh, and is that a matching bag there? Perfect.

Charlize Theron. I like half of it, anyway.

Bold move with that color green, which should be impeached from the Pantone Color wheel, but that underneath part, I love it.

And onto the meager choices for “best.”

Ana de Amas. Perfect.

This is a total 10 for me. A hit it outta the park. Fit, styling, RED LIP.

Renee Zellwegger. Somewhere over the rainbow.

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I hated Renee’s speech. She seemed drugged or drunk or both, but this dress–this dress, this fit, this body, we’re talking perfection. And by the way, has she always had a Southern accent?

Zoe Kravitz. I never met a polka dot I didn’t love.

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I wish it didn’t have the belty thing, but she had me at polka dot.

Glenn, not just Close, Completely There.

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I thought she looked stunning. The color and fit of this dress was really becoming.

Ok, so what did you think?

gratitude-a-thon day 2082: 2020

 

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His boy, Elroy. 

2020. I thought by now we’d be jet-pack flying around, a la The Jetsons.

A new year is always so full of hope. It’s a little like that back-to-school feeling, where you sharpen your pencils and get on all those projects you want to kill, but times 1,000.

I used to make all sorts of resolutions. In fact, I used to write down the things I wanted to say goodbye to and burn them, then make resolutions. This year I didn’t do any of it. But I do have several things I am working on. More patience, more kindness, more writing, more meditating, more gratitude, more laughing. But my number one resolution is to elect a Democrat to the White House, the end. That horror show that calls himself president has gotta go.

Gratitude to the hope that another year escorts in. (Setting my sights on flying by 2030.)

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Jane, his wife.