gratitude-a-thon day 358: Run, Dan, Run!

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Here’s my friend Dan. He’ll be running for the first time. If you see him, give him an extra clap!

Today is for candy and ham and friends (happy Easter), but tomorrow is the Boston marathon for those of you who don’t know (and you must live in an ancient civilization if you don’t know, because this thing has been on every newsstand, news show and news app there is).  Shouting it out to my friend Dan who is running for the first time. He’s raising money for our town’s teen center. I’m sort of crazy thrilled, for him. I’ve always wanted to run Boston, been a little obsessed with Boston,  but my back, which started giving me trouble senior year of college, gave me a thumbs down, so it’s really fun to experience a friend do it. He has been having a ball with the whole thing. Last year he was signed up to run,  but then promptly broke his ankle. So, this year, he and his rehabbed ankle went out and trained and boom, tomorrow he will be killing heartbreak hill.  He even made it onto the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. GO, DAN!

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Dan is in the lower left corner. Pretty cool to make it to the cover of S.I.

And speaking of the marathon, Mark Fucarile, the bombing survivor who was the last to leave the hospital got married this week. At Fenway Park, no less. Way to go. Gratitude for so much happy.

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Homerun!

 

gratitude-a-thon day 355: when a backpack is just a backpack

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Last night I was Krazy glued to NECN which was reporting on the backpack incident. The backpack incident happened after the amazing Norden brothers, who each lost a leg in the bombings last April 15, had just completed walking the marathon route, which moved me to tears (btw, EVERYTHING moved me to tears yesterday). Anyway, in the midst of the brothers and their feat (and their feet), suddenly the report turned into a report about a big hunk of Boylston Street closing and two backpacks left under the photographer’s bridge at the finish line. I watched like a mummy, not being able to move, except to check Boston.com. My brain couldn’t comprehend the idea that anything more than a forgetful person could be behind the backpack incident, and yet, I froze (an interesting choice of words for a morning with snow on the ground–IT’S APRIL 16 AND THERE IS SNOW ON THE GROUND, but i digress) as I watched the bomb squad, and then on boston.com, a video of a man parading down Boylston Street in what could only be described as a selection from Morticia Adams’ new Prom Collection, (click the aliciaanskisrd instagram video for full runway effect) and who was reported to have been taken into custody in association with the packs (and for all I know, his choice of wardrobe). Veiled and prancing barefoot, this guy did indeed carry an oversized backpack. My mind raced. Could it possibly be something? 

The bomb squad detonated the packs and the incident seemed peacefully, although unsettlingly resolved. This morning it’s reported that the packs held rice cookers filled with confetti. A joke? I don’t think anybody anywhere would find that even mildly amusing. Jeez, I’m grateful those packs contained nothing more. I guess it will be a long time before the once de riguerr school accomplice will ever be innocently lying anywhere without all of us eyeing it suspiciously. Especially if you’re anywhere near the hallowed ground of the Boston Marathon’s finish line.

gratitude-a-thon day 354: remembering this day a year ago today

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It was today. A year ago today. When crazy broke loose and people’s lives were lost and changed in the  time it takes to buy a Charlie card. It was today, just 365 days ago when this city went haywire and psychological mayhem dominated. It was today. When for a week we glued ourselves to the news, trying to put unwieldy puzzle pieces together to figure out what went wrong, how it could go wrong, so wrong at the Boston Marathon.

Three people died that day, one year ago today. A college student named Lu Lingzi, a restaurant manager named Krystal Campbell, and a little boy of eight named Martin Richard. They died because they were at the finish line of a sporting event we love here in Boston, and you know how we love our sporting events. That’s what killed them, getting a sought after position at the finish line, who doesnt want to stand right there and watch the end of 26.2? Oh, and the two brothers. Actually, that’s what killed them. Two brothers who filled a couple of backpacks with explosives. I don’t know why. Does anybody know why? Has anybody figured out yet, why those brothers did what they did that day, a year ago today? Boylston Street turned into a smokey battlefield, and people into soldiers, who began to run, not to cross the finish line, but  toward this atrocity, toward people who had lost their legs and their loved ones and maybe worst of all (no, not worst of all, but as bad as any of it) the innocence they were born with.

Everybody changed that day. Everything changed. And in the year it’s been since that day, one year ago today, things have also gotten better, people have grown stronger, and a city has climbed up out of the ashes to the chant, “Boston Strong.” Maybe some would even say Boston Stronger.

But while we may have recovered from the initial blow, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking things will ever be the same. Those people who lost lives, like Sean Collier, an M.I.T. police officer who was killed in the line of duty, those people who have had to endure endless surgeries and rehabilitation, who have had to learn to walk on legs not made of flesh, just because they got some great real estate on marathon day, will not ever be quite the same, and neither will any of us who know their stories. Because this shouldn’t have happened. This should never be a day we mark, because of what happened a year ago, on this day, a year ago today.

But the thing is, the beautiful thing is, the survivors have endured. They’ve done more than endure in fact, they’ve show us the kind of kick-ass courage we all hope we’d have in the same situation. Those people who were injured, lives indelibly changed have shown us that there is only one way to go forward, on metal limbs or real ones, one step at at time.

And so we do. We do go forward, as a city, who remembers this day, one year ago today. A city who remembers, who will always remember, where we were, what was lost and what was gained. Take time today to remember.

As if any one of us could ever forget.

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 240: small bites friday

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Welp, the Republicans have shut down the government. You know, because they’re so smart and mature. Way to run a party, guys. Best quote to date: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We’ve got to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is,” said Congressman Marlin Stuntzman of Indiana. And you want to know why the Republican party has become such a joke.

Super freaking psyched–Domino Magazine is back!  I am a total shelter mag hoarder, and I loved this fun little monthly. Lots of ideas and good art direction. Yeah for Domino!

Sinead “Nothing Compares to You” O’Connor wrote an open letter to Miley “Twerker, Get-Naked On a Wrecking Ball” Cyrus. It’s slightly repetitive, but worth a read. Apparently, Miley said that Sinead influenced her, so maybe she’ll be influenced by this letter.

Here’s a stunning before and after–no makeup, makeup. I mean don’t you just love this sort of thing?  I am the first to say that makeup is a sure-fire way to look better in no time. I look almost cute with some enhancement. And I’m guessing you do, too.

I love me a “best and worst” list of any sort. Here’s one on this week’s fashion. 

How do you live through an viral internet episode. Here’s an awesome account.

Facebook is building a $120 million town for its employees. Status: jealous.

I think Margo Martindale is among the best actresses out there. So, how’d she get into this dumb show?

Weather is holding steady at “Perfect,” here in New England. Can you say AMEN?

I often remember my elaborate and colorful dreams. Here’s an interesting article on understanding them. Sweet, well you know, dreams.

Member the Watertown guy who’s boat was the bloody hiding space for the marathon bomber (who’s name I don’t even like to use)? People donated money for him to get a new boat. What I’m talking about!

gratitude-a-thon day 90: we’re home

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The view from Joni’s living room. It was beautiful to see the sunrise every morning, right before we got the computers, tv and phones going.

I need a 12 step program to stop watching the news.

I flew out of Boston with Ally last Monday to see my sister in Miami and cheer her up about her move there. We arrived and as if on cue, Ally got a terrible stomach ache that went from a “Mom, my stomach hurts,” to a “Moooooooom, I’m going to die,” in 10 short minutes. Joan and I were trying to remain calm, as Ally howled in the back seat. Good with pain, and not a crier, I knew, in the words of Miss Clavel, “Something was not right.” And yes, I know that is not exactly how Miss Clavel said it, but it’s close enough and how I felt, so stop with your preciseness. Meanwhile, we  get some Advil, but it has no effect and I call Peter, who was back in Brookline working, and ask him to google the best hospital to go to, because the writing is on the wall, Ally is telling me she is dying and she cannot move. “I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO GO,” he screams into the phone at me, while we are in a questionable part of Hollywood, with Ally in the back seat sweating, and bent over in pain. “What? Can you just google it?” I ask. Again, with the “I don’t know where to go.” Furious, I hang up, give into Ally’s escalating pleas of pain and call an ambulance FROM THE ROAD. Peter calls back a few minutes later and tells me he’s sorry, but that there has been a bombing at the marathon, and he didn’t know where Jake was, but he has found him. Relieved for a second that he has not completely lost his mind, I then let the words “bomb” settle in. But only for a moment, because I am flagging down the ambulance, and watching my daughter get carried away on a gurney. I am not allowed to sit with her, instead I must sit in the front. We are close to the Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hopsital. Oh, did I tell you that my sister’s GPS, which we initially tried to use to locate a hosptial on our own, was giving us the wrong directions. It had us in an entirely different place, so when it would advise us, there was no streets around that remotely resembled their directives. PART OF THE BOMBING PLOT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD, PERHAPS?

At the hospital, a really beautiful place, we are immediately given a room, and several nurses. Ally is on an IV of fluids. I am giving the nurse all her vital statistics. They give her some pain medicine and she begins to sleep. Everybody who comes into the room tells us about the bombings because we are from Boston. Ally is still in severe pain. The nurse Helene is incredibly nice and predicts that Ally is about to vomit, but she is too late with little pink plastic catch-all and it appears that she throws up everything she has ever eaten since Kindergarten. She gets some nausea medicine and 10 minutes later, like someone flipped a switch on her head, she is totally fine. Perky, even. The pain is gone. And we are just left with the pain of the fact that a bomb has ripped through our city.

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Here’s how Ally looked for most of the trip. She was always looking at her phone.

The five days we spent in Miami, were surreal. On the one hand, we were in a beautiful, sunny place with my sister, WHO I MISS AND LOVE, experiencing her new life. On the other, we were glued to the tv, the computer and our phones, hungry for any news of the bombing. Ally was terrified and couldn’t be away from media for more than the time it took her to take a shower. I tried to  limit her media consumption, but at 15, there’s only so much you can do. She wanted to go home from the moment she heard about the bombs. She wanted to be with her dad and brother. She was utterly terrified, and one night was convinced that an innocent guy was following us (he was not). I told her she could hop a plane and go home, because what was the point of her being there, if she couldn’t even have fun, but she said no, and just stuck to the Boston Police twitter feed, giving us news while we shopped, swam, ate. It didn’t help that Jessie, Jake’s girlfriend was at the finish line and had seen some horrific stuff. She was safe, but had stories to tell and both Ally and I were worried about her.

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Although it was weird circumstances, Joni and I always have fun, and laugh. Here we are at a terrible dinner (raw meatballs and calamari that looked like a tick).

On Friday, our day of departure, our flight seemed to be on time. Of course, Boston was on lockdown, so we weren’t quite sure if we got to Logan, we could get home, but Jake and Peter said they would come and get us. Our 7:30 flight, was full and everyone had their tv tuned to the news. The police seemed to have cornered him in Watertown. I was glued to the set, flipping channels, and praying. Ten minutes before we landed, Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured, and the streets of Boston and surrounding communities erupted in relief and raucous joy.

We’d been away for the entirety of the ordeal, but not really. Our hearts and souls remained in Boston.