gratitude-a-thon day 1086: dear sean spicer, NO

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Dear Sean Spicer,

No. Just no. You do not get to lie to the American people, blatantly, like a high school freshman caught replacing the stolen Grey Goose with water in their parent’s liquor cabinet, and then expect those same people to laugh, haha, when you try and pass it off as no biggie.

No. Just no. You do not get to work for a man who lies regularly, spits venomous hate at nearly all groups, who is making our country look like the Mickey Mouse Club, if the Mickey Mouse Club regularly lied and promoted hate. Not on my watch.

Nope. No way are you going to try and pretend like your tenure at the White House was some sort of drug-addled, golden handcuff situation where you just couldn’t leave. Not buying your lack of character or patriotism, man. You made our president’s lies seem like truth, degraded our press and pretended you were just doing your job.

No. Nonono. You can’t know go on your apology tour and position yourself as having a great sense of humor about yourself to get on our good side. “Oh that Sean Spicer, he’s a good egg.” NO. This is not happening. You are an accomplice, dude, and NO.

You can keep trying to get us to believe there was some sort of coercion, or blackmail that made you remain Press Secretary for a full six months, throwing your childish tantrums and lying like a corpse, but no deal. There are no alternate facts, only facts. There is no confeve, you idiot. You are complicit. The end.

Gratitude goes to those whose eyes remain open to the sleight of hand this administration continues to try and pass off. No. Just no.

fashion trashin’ day 1084: the emmys, (plus ann dowd won!)

 

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Beautiful inside and out, my friend Ann. She won! She won!

 

I just have to tell you before I begin that last night’s Emmy’s was a thrill over here at casa de trashin’ de fashion’. My besties sister is Ann Dowd, and I have hung out with her many times. She is nothing short of the nicest person you have ever met in the entire world, including your mother. Seriously, this is a stellar human being, which tells you what an A-list actress she really is, because she is nothing like the parts she has become known for. Anywho, Deb and her family came over to watch and Ann, who’d been nominated for two Emmys, one for a guest appearance on the Leftovers, and one for The Handmaid’s Tale, had already found out in an earlier off-air Emmys that she had not won for The Leftovers, which is hard to swallow, because Patti Levin–seriously. Anyway, we were thrilled just to see her on tv, although we had zero expectations of her winning because the press had not even given her any odds at all, but then, well you know what happened, and my house erupted into an outburst of screaming that must have made my neighbors think Peter was murdering me dead. My dog practically dialed 911. We watched it over and over again. We just could not believe what was happening. And neither could Ann, apparently, who gave the loveliest speech. Ann has been a working actress for decades and she has a body of work, which would impress a curmudgeon, plus she has three kids, including a son who is just 12. And I’m telling you, there is not a nicer, more modest, or warm person anywhere. Ok, that’s enough, but seriously, it was an epic night. And fucking yay for Ann.

And now for the worst, how could you, get a mirror, or a new stylist list of those who might have some regrets this morning.

Ariel Winter. Modern Mess.

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Hailey, how could you have let your tv sister out in this disaster? One too many slits is just not working in her favor. A little desperate, a little trashy, a lot wrong.

Claire Foy. You’re not really the Queen.

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I love this young, fresh face, but what’s with the stupid royal train coming off her shoulder? Thinking how cute this would be without that piece of fabric to have to worry about. No crown for this look.

Carrie Coons. Wish this dress had disappeared with her Leftover’s family.

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Oh no. As a girl who loves tulle and Carrie Coons, it pains me to tell you how much I hate this dress, not to mention this hair. She looks like she has a billowy uniboob. It’s like a Valentine’s day disaster. Nothing I like here. I’m going to avert my eyes now.

Samantha Bee gets an F.

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This is a hard color, but in addition am I wrong or do all arrows point to her vajayjay? We got it, you’re a woman, but I am not green with envy.

Debra Messing-ed up.

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How did this happen? Usually on fleek, this fashion girl normally gets it perfectly right, but this year she looks she got caught up in some shiny wrapping paper and couldn’t get out of it.

Unidentified Ugliness.

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This is not a color anybody should be wearing anywhere anyhow. But if you’re going to wear it, do not wear pink shoes. I don’t know who this is, and I don’t want to know.

How can it be wrong if it’s Michelle Pfeiffer.

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Michelle is so gorgeous it hurts my eyes, but the cut of this dress was so off. I felt like her boobs should be above the seam, or below the seam, but instead, they just seemed to be nowhere.

Big Little Mistake.

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I love the cut of this dress, but in a fabric that didn’t appear to move at all, she seemed overwhelmed by it. I, however, was not.

Heidi Klum. Project Ugly.

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She looks a little hunched over here. Could it be her earrings, which are the size of the world? And let’s discuss, do her boobs look good here? I know four kids, but can’t we help those girls stand up for themselves?

And the less fun, but damn it, the best.

Jessica Biel-utiful.

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Easy, breezy, wowza. This dress is the definition of effortless. Soft and flowy, this number slayed. And the hair was perfection, too.

No stranger to fashion.

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She’s 13, but she knows how to dress. I am a sucker for tulle, so this spoke to me, but she just looks adorable.

Kiernan Shipka grows up and sparkles.

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This girl has grown up before our eyes on Mad Men, and so has her fashion sense. What a gorgeous dress–young and easy, and as fresh as her 17-year old face.

Kathryn Haan. I have never met a polka dot I didn’t love.

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The dots make it fun, but the fabric makes it formal.  And it’s transparent how comfortable she is.

 

Hillaria Baldwin. Everything’s coming up roses (or you know, some kind of flower).

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I’m not even a flower print kind of girl, but there was something about the ease of this dress that made me swoon. Nice movement and lovely flow. And hair is on point.

 

Jane Fonda. I’ll have what she’s having.

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Glam slam! Seriously, she is 79. Yes, she’s had work, but it’s good work–she looks like herself. I loved this whole thing. I know the pony is a bit adolescent, but she got me.

Viola Davis gets it right AGAIN.

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Damn it, she never misses. She has been killing the carpet for years now. She always has a body con dress that hugs her like a BMW hugs a turn, and makes her look like modern Hollywood queen. A+.

gratitude-a-thon day 1082: allandale farm’s outstanding in the field

So, last night, amidst the news of hurricanes, wild fires and earthquakes, I got the other end of Mother Nature–a farm to table dinner at the oldest working farm in Boston, Allandale.

A dinner like this has always been on my bucket list, but one of those things that I never seem to get tickets to. My friend flagged me months ago, when September seemed too distant to actually plan for, but I was happy to click on “buy” and have something exciting to look forward to throughout the summer. And last night, the crew from Outstanding in the Field and the Chef Tony Maws from Craigie on Main created a dinner I’d like to have every night for the rest of my life.

This is the bus Outstanding in the Field travels from one farm to another in putting on these super amazing dinners throughout the country.

We were told that it’s a tradition that each person bring their own plate so that every dinner’s place settings are unique. They washed your plate after dinner and you retrieved them on your way out. I wish this happened in my house after dinner.

Our plates.

First appetizers, beer and wine in a grove of pine trees. Then a little walk around the farm to learn about its crops with John who has been farming the land for the last 35 years and had retired only the day before. And then, we were lead to a long table for all of us to sit, all 175 of us, in a field that was as promised, outstanding.

I hate fish, but my husband loves it, although doesn’t like oysters, however, these–he loved.

 

Good friends, good food, out on a farm. C’mon, what could be better?

 

 

 

 

John, who has been farming this land for the past 35 years tells us about the farm. He retired the day before!

This is the super cool bus the team at Outstanding in the Field travels around the country in, leaving happy eaters and farms in its wake.

 

From the onion dip that I wanted to bathe in, served with baby tomatoes and Iggy’s crusty bread to the spectacular everything-in-the-garden salad with tomatoes the size of my head and feta dressing,  to the special spicy tomato soup I had in place of the Portuguese Stew everyone else was served, on account of fish makes me vomit, to the main course of short ribs rubbed in a myriad of spices with a kick ass sauce and onions and eggplant and carrots to the grilled carrot cake, all paired with beautiful wines, we were all dizzy with delight and satiated not only by the beautiful food, but also by the gorgeous nature that surrounded us.

This salad was out of this world.

Short ribs jam packed with flavor.

Yeah, i didn’t like it much.

The servers were friendly, gracious, knowledgeable and solicitous. The setting was out of a Pinterest board. The weather was perfection.

I didn’t think it could be more beautiful, but when the candles came out, it was.

Magical. It really was.

 

Darkness finally came and we were lead back to our cars by a path of candles. To say it was a perfect evening wouldn’t even come close. Gratitude for Mother Nature’s good mood, good friends and good food.

gratitude-a-thon day 1081: 30 years of marriage

I wrote this a few days ago, on my anniversary.

September 5, 1987, Cobb’s Mill Inn, Weston, CT.

I have been married for 30 years today. That is 360 months, 1,260 weeks, 10,950 days, 262,800 hours, 15,768,000 and 946,080,000 (but who’s counting).

I’m going to tell you two things. One: My marriage is not perfect. Two: No marriage is perfect.

Having been married all those years is kind of an accomplishment, I think. Because to do so meant not giving up or in. It meant steadying the ship when there were tsunami-like waves, digging deep when things felt worse than sand in your bathing suit bottom, and staying in it because of one thing: your commitment.

Love is dreamy, love is better than swimming in chocolate. Even a good plate of pasta pales in comparison. But it’s commitment that wins the day. It’s commitment that makes a marriage unbreakable.

I am no picnic. I can be moody, bossy, demanding and emotional. I have had back problems since I met my husband. I have migraines. I had infertility and do not ask about menopause (DO NOT).

My husband is an easier person than I am. But he has his faults too (plenty of them, by the way). But honestly, it amazes me that ANYBODY could possibly stand me for this amount of time! And that, in a nutshell, speaks to Peter’s good nature. And to how lucky I am to have found him. And a good hunk of why our marriage has endured.

We are dramatically different people. I am all out there and open– ask-me-and-I’ll-tell-you. Peter is much more private, extremely smart, intensely thoughtful and very steady. I am talkative and exuberant. He is an academic, a science nerd, a student. Ask me anything about popular culture and you’d think I got my PhD in it. He is happy anywhere. I am finicky and fussy and always like things to be pretty. He is insanely optimistic and easily overlooks the bad. I am a recovered pessimist and am able to see reality with clear vision.

BUT what we share is a commitment to one another and to our love, our life together and our kids and our dog. We are MAD for our kids. We have the same values. We have influenced one another in ways that have benefitted both of us. He’s more social because of me. I’m more grounded because of him. We both love to laugh, we adore movies, theater and good food. We cannot get enough of our children. We value good politics, good friends and good beaches. We adore travel, and just hanging out on our couch under furry blankets binge-watching a great series.

And I’ll tell you something honest, during a rough patch, I will think, “I’m done, I CANNOT,” and I want to take the potato peeler to his nose and call a divorce lawyer. But then he will do something so loving, so tender, that I fall in love with him again. We find our way back to one another, day by day. Little by little. Out of the ashes, we rise. And again we are in unison, we are in love. And this happens over and over. Because this is marriage.

I don’t know, I guess there might be people for whom marriage is easy. But for me, marriage has been a job where you must work hard to stay employed. When we are out of synch, we have to scuba through the murky waters to find one another. And each time it’s a decision to swim or flee. We have both decided we are worth it. Because we love each other deeply and our commitment to one another is total. If there is anything that can keep two people together, it’s love and commitment. And we are lucky enough to have those two things in spades.

Here’s to the next 30 years. I love you, Peter Lansbury, and damn, am I grateful for you.

September 4, 2017 on The Surrey rooftop, in NYC, where it all began.

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1079: harvey shows us we are more than our president

 

 

You would have to be a statue not to be moved by Hurricane Harvey and all the damage it’s left in its wake. I have been in my kitchen trying to imagine what it would be like to be sitting at the table with water up to my waist, or having to leave every possession I own in an effort to save my family’s lives. I have been thinking about what happens in the “after,” when you don’t have flood insurance and every bit of who you are is gone. I have an exceptional imagination, but I gotta tell you, I haven’t been able to conjure up any of these scenarios.

But here is the thing. I keep watching and reading the news reports of regular old people like me helping other regular old people like me, while risking their lives to do so. There is no color, gender or sexual orientation barriers, just people helping other people.

It is the most un-Trump like thing I can imagine.

It is the very thing that I believe we are, that our current president has been trying to tell us we are not. I wish Harvey never happened, but it reminds me that we will not stand for anyone dividing us, because in the end, we have one another’s back. Harvey shows us that we will not be swayed by a president who models bigotry and division, rewards white supremacists and Nazis, talks about women like they are not humans. This catastrophic event jogs my memory back to a time when we had the kind of presidents who went to disaster areas to comfort people one-on-one and not discuss how big the crowd was that showed up for their arrival.

We are so much more than this president wants us to be. There are a million stories in Houston that illustrate this for anyone who isn’t convinced.

We are more forming a human chain to rescue an elderly man whose car is sinking, than screaming “We will not be replaced.”

 

I am so grateful, so thankful to the helpers in Houston and the surrounding areas. You are the best of what I know our country to be. You give me hope that we’ll never forget who we really are as Americans. I’m carrying you in my heart, Houston.

gratitude-a-thon day 1078: faithful flowers: happiness is a new backyard

With all the crazy stuff going on in the world, it feels more important than ever to have a place that settles your mind. I got lucky this summer when I hired Faithful Flowers to redo my tiny backyard. It not only looks amazing, this company was a total pleasure to work with. And damn it, when someone does a good job, you need to shout about it, so here is me yelling!

 

First of all, my yard was a disaster. The tiny play house, which had morphed into a storage space over time and which we’d had for a decade was falling apart, which was not a good look. Our large trees were giving off more shade than Ana Navarro throws at Trump every day on Twitter, not allowing the grass to grow. It was a hot mess.

 

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Faith and a few of the incredibly fabulous staff at FF.

 

Enter Faith and her awesome team from Faithful Flowers. From the minute we sat down to discuss the project, I knew that Faith was knowledgeable and collaborative. Never pushy, always reasonable and very responsive, Faith was all over every aspect of the job from start to finish.

 

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Riley is THOROUGHLY enjoying his new backyard.

 

I am wildly grateful to have chosen such a smart and professional team to take on this project. My yard is like having a whole other room. We’re going to be out there in December. Christmas in the yard, kids!  Thanks to everyone at Faithful Flowers. I could not be happier (well, you know unless the president got impeached).

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1076: singing on the train

Because our president is certifiably crazy. Because we now have Nazis and white supremacists touting their views in full view. Because nuclear war is not some fairy tale. Because summer is almost over. Because my kids just went back to college. Again. Because we need reminders that life is still about our connection to one another (thanks Beth, this reminds me there is still so much goodness out there).

 

gratitide-a-thon day 1074: the empty nest chronicles: part 2

 

 

 

 

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That was then. Us, with the famous Halloween Spider Cupcakes.

 

My husband tried to fix one of the shelves of the cabinet that contains some of our heavier cookware, and which seemed to be going through a middle aged slump. Further investigation revealed a crack in the side of said cabinet, making the shelf tilt. My husband, being the unhandyman he is (good at many things, house stuff not being one of them) took the shelf out and piled all the stuff on the lower shelf.

This morning I went down and while microwaving the milk for my coffee, I saw that the shelf has, like six cupcake/muffin pans on it. I have not made cupcakes/muffins since my famous spider Halloween cupcakes back in 1999. AND THAT’S WHEN IT HIT ME, I COULD ACTUALLY GET RID OF ALL BUT ONE OF THOSE CUPCAKE/MUFFIN PANS, BECAUSE I NO LONGER HAVE HALLOWEEN SPIDER CUPCAKES TO MAKE BECAUSE NO  HALLOWEEN SPIDER CUPCAKE EATERS LIVE HERE ANY LONGER.

And I got a funny feeling in my stomach, which goddamn it, I realized was yet another moment of the kind of reality that hits like a solar eclipse–and that I would rather not look straight at, because I could burn out my eyes, or in this case, soul.

This is what I observe every once in a while–something in the house that I’ve been saving, or leaving out, or holding onto no longer needs to reside here, because it’s really a remnant of another time. A time which has passed, and is, in fact, long gone. Noticing is like a left hook to the gut. It takes my breath away. Because you cannot stop time or reverse it, and these moments of realization put me square inside that fact, and it hurts like having a root canal without novacaine, which you should never do, and I have never done, but I would imagine would hurt as much as having Trump as president.

The transition is happening AGAIN. Jake, home for a visit for the past week, left yesterday morning to fly back to L.A. and do his last semester at USC (that damn first semester at University of Barcelona did not count, thank you so much). I bring Ally to pre-season at Trinity on Wednesday. While their rooms were disgusting displays of all I failed to teach them about orderliness, I am once again going through the upheaval of having them leave again.

Again. Again. Again.

I thought once I adjusted to them being gone, I would be able to check that off my list. But it’s like Groundhog Day, the movie, it just happens over and over again. The shock, the melancholy, the terror that a part of your life has simply gone missing, and that no matter how many you appear on America’s Most Wanted, you will never find it again.

Again.

 

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This is now. Us, a few days ago,  visiting my sister.

 

I am grateful for the summer I had with my daughter, who grew up a lot last year, and with who I have never had a better time than these last few months. I am grateful for my son, who although lives in L.A. comes home to see us and spend time with us, and who I believe always will love his hometown.

Today I throw out the cupcake/muffin pans and make more room on the shelf for something new.

 

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1072: more scared to stay home

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People care. They do. And yesterday they showed their peaceful faces in Boston.

I’ll admit it, I was scared to go to the Free Speech Rally yesterday in Boston. I was, like scared, bordering on terrified (I know–what a wimp). I woke up with a pit of unsettled doom in my stomach–butterflies doing the death march.

My kids thought it was too dangerous for me to attend, so there was no support there. I kept making jokes about having my sister and daughter fight over my jewelry and clothes if I didn’t come back. My husband hopped on the “don’t go” bandwagon too, but I figured he was thinking about the potential of not having to get me a 30th anniversary gift next month.

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These were our tame signs, honoring our mayor’s words. I really love him. He’s kind of nailing it.

I was scared to go stand in the middle of a large crowd that could possibly turn violent, but the truth is, I was more scared not to.

I am half Jewish. I am half Italian. I am a woman. I am a mom. I am a liberal Democrat. I am a human being. I believe in everybody until they give me a reason not to. I was raised to be fair, to take care of the underdog, to live by the golden rule. I would not mind having less, to give everybody some. I believe fervently in love, in equality, in marrying and/or committing to whoever the hell you want.

 

And I believe that you stand up and speak out when inequality and hate begins to permeate the air, no matter how scared you are. And make no mistake, it is polluting our country right now.

So, yeah, I was feeling a lot of fear,  and would have preferred not to drag my privileged white old lady ass to the middle of a potentially deadly rally yesterday and instead sit myself down at the nail salon for a nice mani and pedi, and accompanying massage, but I persisted (not that I should get any kind of medal for this, but just sharing my little story). BECAUSE IF NOT ME, WHO? AND IF NOT NOW, WHEN? AND IF WE DON’T STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AT THIS MOMENT, WE WILL SHIFT INTO REVERSE LIKE FUCKING MARTY MCFLY IN BACK TO THE FUTURE.

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Yup.

 

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Winner of the MY FAVORITE SIGN contest.

 

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Yes. What she said.

Anywho, I had nothing to be afraid of. The rally was incredibly peaceful, the Boston Police were out in force and keeping it all orderly. Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commish William Evans, were in alignment and had on their leadership hats (and I thank them profusely). The people I met and interacted with were there to say no to Nazis and white supremacists, and not to make trouble. I witnessed no violence whatsoever, and even saw a bevy of BP quietly walk over to a man, check his pockets, find a knife and silently handcuff him and walk him out of the proceedings without incident.

 

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This couple really had their fashion shit together.

The crowd was a mixture of race, gender, age and sexual orientation. I even saw a few dogs. The signage was epic.

I will keep attending these rallies, no matter how terrified they make me, keep yelling and writing and tweeting and posting and screaming until I don’t have a voice. Because I believe as flawed as we are, we are better than our president and our administration. I believe it’s our responsibility to help one another get through this time that’s unprecedented in modern history.

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P.S. My friend Jocelyin made me crop her out of this picture. but she was right there by my scaredy cat side.

Gratitude for the peaceful assembly of my city. Gratitude to my friend Jocelyn. Gratitude for all those who will not sit quietly. Peace.

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Loved this sign.

 

gratitude-a-thon day 1071: best answer wins!

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I am once again obsessed with the news, a little bit afraid if I miss something I might not be prepared for a nuclear attack (dye hair, stock up on mascara), or the next civil war (buy markers, poster board and lip gloss–no reason not to look your best while fighting white supremacists and Nazis).

It’s a dismal state of affairs.

I must pull from history to see light. People have lived through times like these in the past. I am grateful for their fortitude and pain in a way I wasn’t able to connect with before. I understand it better now. But what I want to understand is the mind of the other side. Is that just an impossibility, that someone with my ethics, morals and politics would ever be able to understand someone like a white supremacist, a Nazi, Trump?

I told my family I wanted to go to the Free Speech rally in Boston on Saturday. They were aghast that I would put myself in such a dangerous situation. But if not me, who? And if not now, WHEN? And if none of us are willing to stand up to this moment in time, what kind of moments in time will be left?

I could just emerge myself in work, turn a blind eye to what’s happening, watch movies, dog, goats, baby, things that are knitted that shouldn’t be knitted videos. But who would I be if I did that? What would I be? And what would we become?

Tell me what you’re doing? Give me your secrets to getting through such uncertainty and insanity. More than gratitude to those who answer. In fact, my favorite answer gets a prize, for real! I will mail it or bring it to you (proximity permitting). Go!