gratitude-a-thon day 412: this boot isn’t made for walking

One of the best places to eat in Brookline Village (or anywhere, for that matter).

Why hello, have you heard enough about my bunion surgery yet? I myself have heard enough about my bunion surgery for a lifetime, and yet, because my everyday life has been greatly curtailed in an effort to get to walk around and experience more things to be grateful for, it’s sort of front and center, whether I’ve had enough of it or not.

Anyway, yesterday was one week since that bump wound up in some Hazardous Waste bin. As you saw, from my five star, traveling-the-festivals, bound-to-get-me-to-the-Oscar-red-carpet movie, it appears, though swollen and discolored that my bunion really no longer exists. It’s kind of a dream come true for me, if it weren’t for this very limited activity diet, and this boot that weighs like, as much as a small farm. I did actually go out to lunch yesterday, which was kind of awesome, but getting around with the boot and crutches is very tiring. Nonetheless, I got to enjoy some of the perfect weather that September is dishing out, along with my sister and brother-in-law, and had an absolutely heavenly eggplant sandwich at KooKoo Cafe, which if you have not been to, you should get out of bed and go to right this minute. It’s adorable and funky and has really fabulous food, not to mention coffee. My sister, the freaking Jaun Valdez of coffee drinkers, gives it high marks, so there you have it. Plus Ali and Eli, the husband and wife who own it are some of the best people I know.

Spark: A Burning Man Story is the name of one of the documentaries we watched yesterday.
Photo of Bruce SPRINGSTEEN
Springsteen & I is a really fun documentary. It not only shows fans, it shows the man on stage at different ages.
Godzilla is really stupid. But why couldn’t we stop watching it?
I never wear dark polish. I am a Waltz, Marshmallow girl all year long, but it’s so hard to put on, and when your foot is still orange from antiseptic, and you can’t scrub it, you gotta go dark.

Yesterday was a movie-a-thon, which is par for the course when my sister and I are together. We watched a really good documentary on Burning Man, which made me want to go to Black Rock and see it for myself. We also watched another fun one on Bruce Springsteen, where fans tell stories about what Bruce means to them, and about different stuff that has happened at shows with the footage of the moment the people are talking about, plus some other priceless clips of old Bruce. Because I too am a pretty major Bruce fan, this was a great ticket. But it was slightly worrisome, in that I really wanted to dance but only having one foot available, I couldn’t, so I did some sad couch version with one leg and two arms flailing, while considering the terror of life without being able to have two feet. But I digress. Lastly, we watched Godzilla, which was really stupid, but for some reason, we couldn’t stop watching. We actually went to bed at 12:30 because Godzilla and Mothra were taking over San Francicso and we didn’t feel like we could leave it in such shambles just because we were tired.

I am going to actually do some work today, which will be a refreshing. I have not taken drugs in two days. I painted the toenails of my now bunion-less foot, which makes it look a little bit normal-ish, but of course, the attractive boot sandal takes away any fashion moment my Wicked by Essie nail polish might be providing. There you have it, people, day 7 post op. Grateful we’re progressing in the right direction. Keep your cards, cookies, flowers and gifts coming!


gratitude-a-thon day 31: my neighborhood

We’re just 20 minutes on the T from Boston.

My neighborhood is kind of great. I live on a one way street, and everybody is actually nice. Kids play in the road. We have block parties in the summer. There is a fabulous park a block and a half away that has concerts every Wednesday night when it’s warm, and a sprinkler and playground, where mom’s bring their kids to play, and connect with each other to save themselves from forgetting how to speak (my kids WERE LITERALLY RAISED AT EMERSON PARK.

This is where my kids grew up. And so did all the rest of the neighborhood kids, too. Now, it’s where I walk my dog!

We went there day and night. We had lunches, picnics. We even spent the shell-shocked night of 911 there with our good friends, pizza and a lot of wine, while our kids ran around untouched by the new world.) We borrow ketchup and eggs, and pancake mix from each other. We walk to our schools, because we’re just a few blocks away from our grammar school, a few blocks away from the high school. We live near our quirky little town center called Brookline Village, where my one of favorite restaurants in the world is located–

That’s Sam, THE BEST BARTENDER ON THE PLANET. go ahead, see if you don’t think so.

Pomodoro, (AND MY FAVORITE BARTENDER IN THE WORLD IS, SAM.) And where you can find my fantastic personal trainer (who has saved my back, and my life), Colleen Quinn at Eutopia, and the cool little pub,  Matt Murphy’s, and the incredible sandwich shop Cutty’s and

You gotta get the eggplant sandwich. NO, REALLY, YOU GOTTA.

the super awesome cafe KooKoo, owned by the equally super awesome Elie and Ali (who also own the fabulous Innerspace Yoga Studio, and apparently NEVER SLEEP). And there’s all sorts of other  stuff in the Village too, like the post office and the T, and Starbuck’s, to name a few. And we all live close to one another, so there’s a lot of respecting one another’s privacy, but basically it’s a bunch of good people, and I think we sort of all know that we have a pretty great thing going on.

Happy big five ooooooooooooh, Martha!

The other night I went to a birthday party for one of the neighborhood legends . It was her 50th and a lot of the hood was there. It was kind of an astounding thing to think of all the time I’ve known Martha. Because in that time, we have witnessed our kids go from babies to teenagers. I met her when she was walking her twin boys in their stroller, all smiley, cheerful new mom, and I was walking my daughter, all cranky, my-baby-never-stops-crying, semi-psychotic basket case MOTHER WHO CLEARLY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO PROCREATE. In that first encounter, when we exchanged pleasantries, as you do when you see someone who has a baby around the same age as yours,  I told her how difficult my daughter was because she cried all the time and she didn’t sleep through the night AND NEITHER DID I. I was immediately thinking, THIS IS A MOTHER OF TWINS, SHE WILL GET MY MISERY LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS. But it was not to be. Big smile on her sunny face, “They’re really good, and they sleep quite well, ” she said, of her twins, in some sort of words, which I can not exactly recall, BECAUSE I WAS ABOUT TO GET MY OWN WING AT MCLEAN’S, plus I was trying to hold back my arm from hitting her across the face with my hand BECAUSE SHE WAS CHEERFUL AND WELL RESTED, in the face of MY TOTAL AND COMPLETE EXHAUSTION AND PROJECTED FEAR THAT MY BABY WOULD CRY FOR THE REST OF TIME. Anyway, I didn’t know it then, but now that I’ve  known Martha for 14 years, i can tell you that  she’s just that kind of person. Perhaps that’s how they make ’em in Canada, which is where she grew up. You can pretty much throw anything her way, and she will spin it into gold. And the thing about her is, that it’s GENUINE. She is totally genuine, real deal, no artifice. She believes in everyone’s best. She thinks everything is possible. And she will help you to make whatever you’re thinking, happen. She’s a connector of people and a nurturer of ideas. She’s a cheerleader and a true believer. She will show up for you. She’s the person you’d like to be when you’re at your best, but rarely are. (I’m sorry, I’ll speak for myself, here.) She will bake you a cake if you’re sick. She will whip up a cute little gift for your birthday and leave it on your porch, when you least expect it. She will write you an inspiring email to thank you for doing something at school. This is a really, really, unusually kind person. The kind of kind person we would all be lucky to know. And she’s part of what makes my neighborhood so great. Happy 50th, Martha. Canada’s loss. Our gain.