The Golden Globes Are Back! (And So Is My Red Carpet Review)

“Do you want me to record the Golden Globes for you?” my husband asked me yesterday afternoon.

“The Golden Globes are back?” I answered. “I had no idea. Sure. Thank you. When are they on? Sunday?”

“Tonight?! On a Tuesday?! Why???”

Look, if you are a regular reader of my red carpet report (which is basically the only time I ever write a blog post anymore and seriously question myself everytime I do it), you know that I am often caught unaware of when awards shows are happening. But, I’m quite positive that the Globes have always been a Sunday event. What happened? Did they get a weekday discount on the Beverly Hilton ballroom?

Also, can I be honest? While watching the show, I wasn’t really that inspired. Most of the dresses were pretty but not amazing and the most of ones that weren’t great weren’t actually terrible. Tuesdays in general are kind of meh and so is this review.

But I rallied (as I do) to write this post for the 3 people who tell me they look forward to it every year. And, like every year, instead of writing it on the night of the awards like a professional, I get up at o’dark thirty the next morning (that would be today) and give my suburbanite comments on haute couture as if I know what I’m talking about. (Because I do.) Marley rallied as well because she is a good daughter.

And so, without further ado (aka me blathering on about why I am once again unprepared and unqualified to write this blog post), my 2023 Golden Globes Red Carpet Review…

We’ll start with the nopes.

Selena Gomez

Me: Selena Gomez is 30 and this dress is too matronly. It looks like it was made for 50-something-year old trying to hide her upper-arm jiggle. (And if there’s something I know about, it’s being a 50-something-year old trying to hide upper arm jiggle.) Take away those purple sleeves and this dress is a win. They have got to go.

Marley:  I will forever never understand why puffy sleeves are a thing. They don’t look good. 

Jessica Chastain

Me I feel like I should like this dress but I don’t. The whole spider webby thing maybe. She looks gorgeous as always but I have to vote no on this one.

Marley: Is it a spider web or diamond bullseye?

Sepideh Moafi

Me: That flower has got to go and that Angelina Jolie high leg slit is so 2000 and whatever year that was.

Michelle Williams

Me: This dress is just one big ol’ ruffly mess. It’s a nope.

Julia Garner

Me: Again with the ruffles. If this dress had just flowed elegantly down to the floor it would have been a 10/10 but that weird bottom ruins it for me. (I was so happy that Julia won the GG for Ozark though. Ruth Langmore will forever be one of my favorite TV characters.)

Jenny Ortega

Me: It’s like Stevie Nicks’ designer added pleats, changed the color, and forgot the middle of one of her outfits. (BTW, in the 70’s when disco inspired fashion was a thing, I had a Danskin leotard and wrap skirt in this exact color.)

Marley: Slave Princess Leia but make it red carpet.

Stephanie Hsu

Me: I am conflicted by this dress as well. I want to love it. I think I would love it if it had a black underlay and you couldn’t see through to her bodysuit, which makes me sound like a modest old lady and this dress upsets me because it proves I am officially over.

Claire Danes

Me: This is another dress I can’t figure out if I like or not. There really is something about it that is so pretty but also it looks like the chenille bedspread in my grandmother’s lake cabin.

Marley: Lamp shade couture.

Lest you think the women are the only ones who need to fire their designers, let me present you with this…

Adam Scott

Me: WTF, is going on there, Adam? I dig the color but that weird tie has got to go.

Marley: I think he looks like a little flower boy who is wearing a suit he’ll laugh at in 20 years. 

Donald Glover

Me: Why???

Marley: Donald looks like he just woke up and was thrown into a car so he wouldn’t be late for the event.

Gentlemen, if you’d like to mix it up a bit, and don’t want to wear a basic tuxedo and still look daper, may I present this:

Andrew Garfield

Me: Andrew looks great in this burnt orange suit. Love!

Marley: It’s nice to see something that isn’t a black suit and I think he looks like a fancy scooby-doo.

Jeremy Pope

Me: Jeremy is looking fine in this leather suit. That necklace if bold and fabulous. I love it.

Marley: Leather on leather usually is tacky but he really pulls it off.

Matt Bomer

Me: Matt Bomer in a burgandy velvet tux = 100.

Here are my faves:

Angela Bassett

Me: In a word: Stunning. In more words: Angela Bassett is 64 years old and has obviously sold her soul to the devil. My question is, can she give me his number?

Marley: Amazing. Stunning. 11/10.

Jennifer Hudsom

Me: Love the sparkly gold bricks and the diamond-shaped neckline. Fab!

Letitia Wright

Me: This is my favorite dress of the night. So simple, but also elegant and very different. I LOVE it.

Marley: I really hate this dress. I feel awful saying it but it really looks like a pad after your first day of a heavy flow. I don’t see the vision.

Me: Marley is 100% wrong and frankly I am disappointed in her not seeing the vision. She is a lover of modern art and if this were on a canvas at a museum she would find it as breathtaking as it is. (Though, to be fair, I am not a lover of modern art and if I saw this on a canvas in a museum, I would think it looked like a pretty blob of orange paint. Go figure.) But also, this dress is gorgeous.

Salma Hayek

Me: Why do I love Salma Hayek’s dress and dislike Jessica Chastain’s dress when the concept if very similar. I do not know. What I do know is that this dress is stunning.

Margot Robbie

Me: This is how you mix up the bottom of a dress. I find Margot Robbie very pretty in pink.

Marley: I feel like she can do so much better than this dress.

Me: Perhaps, but I still like it!

Ana de Armas

Me: I think this dress is very unique and beautiful.

Marley: Her silhouette is amazing in this but I hate the trend of square necklines, they’re so ugly. 

Me: Marley is incorrect about square necklines. They accentuate the collarbone and hide the armpit-bar-overhang-flab. Not that I would know anything about that. (Spoiler alert: I know everything about that.)

Marley’s favorites:

Anya Taylor-Joy

Marley:  I love the two piece and I think the yellow looks great on her, big fan.

Me: While I love dresses that are simply elegant and I don’t mind a two-piece ensemble, something about this just doesn’t work for me. I think the bandeau is too narrow, maybe. Do not love.

Daisy Edgar

Marley: I love this and if I was famous I’d wear it on a red carpet, the top piece especially is amazing. 

Me: I have to disagree with Marley again. While I do think the corsety top is very pretty, I don’ like how the skirt fluffs out below the hips. It’s almost as if her skirt is falling off. I’d like this dress more if it either hugged her body completely or fluffed out at the waist. Everyone knows that a full skirt is meant to hide the hips. (That is why it is my go-to style.) You can’t have it both ways. (Says me, the fashion expert.)

Lily James

Marley: I love this dress, she looks so beautiful and I really like how the two pieces connect. 

Me: There is too much going on here. Disagree.

And that, my friends, is what we call in Hollywood (and 30 miles from Hollywood), a wrap. This snarky suburbanite with opinions about things she has no business having opinions about has got to get herself to work. (Which means I need to take a quick shower and become Zoom presentable in about 30 minutes.)

I’d love to know your thoughts. Did I get it right or miss the mark? (But only tell me if you think I got it right.) 😉

Photos borrowed from here and here.

And just like that, 2022 is Check, Done!

And just like that (as Carrie Bradshaw would say), 2022 is check, done. And once again, I wonder, how did another year go by so fast? At the beginning of every new year I like to sit down with my happiness journal and reflect upon the year before (and bore y’all with a blog post about my year).

Every year I feel like not much happened and so much happened all at once. As Gretchen Rubin says, the days are long but the years are short. It’s so true.

But also, I sometimes marvel at how much I actually did do in a year. This year we went to our family lake house in Michigan. I did my best to make the most of business travel. I went to concerts again. I gathered with loved ones at two family weddings. As I read my happiness journal I’ll read an entry from April or May and think to myself, that was last spring? It feels like that just happened a few weeks ago. So maybe the years do go by a bit more slowly than it can feel. Which is definitely a good thing.

My stepdad died on July 5th. That was a rough transition, I know, but how do you transition to something like that? Losing him was a rough transition. We are still transitioning. My dad gone just two-and-a-half years ago and my step-dad gone six months ago – it can feel like too much. Too, too much.

And that is why I continue to keep my happiness journal – to remind myself of the little moments that do make me happy when it gets to be too much. Or when one day blurs into the next. Or when I’m really, really happy and want to hold onto that memory.

Like every year, there are things entered into my journal repeatedly – a greatest hits, if you will – daily dog walks, listening to good music, time spent with friends, hugging the people I love, pizza ordered after a busy work day, the enjoyment of good food and wine. You could look at this two ways – my life is pretty mundane and I do the same things over and over again. Or, I’m so lucky to live this life where I get to do the things that make me happy over and over again. If you know me even a little bit, you know which way I lean.

And so, here are some of my favorite happy memories from 2022.

January 3 – Chandler went on the night time dog walk with me before he went home to San Diego. I loved getting that last bit of one on one time with him. The night was cold and crisp and it made my heart so happy.

January 25 – The RV is set up at Rincon for Amanda and the sunset was beautiful and when I was hugging Amanda and went to release she pulled me tighter. I love her hugs so much. Being with Mom, Bill, Tracie, Amanda, Richard, and Amanda’s friend Summer at the beach in January is just amazing.

Sunset at Rincon

February 3 – Some days are so, just, boring and normal. What made me happy? I don’t know. My dog walk. Leftovers for dinner.A quick call from Chandler. A good show on Hulu. The blessings of an ordinary day.

February 20 – We had breakfast at Mom and Bill’s – waffles, bacon, eggs, and fruit. So delicious. (And I let myself have an extra half-waffle. So good!) We need to cherish these times we spend with them and I do!

February 24 – Dave said to me, “No matter how bad a day I’m having, you can still make me laugh.”

March 6 – At dinner, which was delicious, by the way – hamburgers on brioche buns and oven-baked fries, I called Dave a man-baby and he made T-Rex arms and said, “I can’t reach. I’m a baby,” and Marley and I laughed so hard. Laughter + good food = happiness.

March 17 – Rita and I went to see Jon Pardi and he was so good and we were right up front and the energy from the concert was amazing. Nothing makes me happier.

Jon Pardi

March 24 – On my walk today I saw a woman walking with her baby in a front carrier and she stopped at a flowering bush so they could enjoy the flowers. It brought me such happiness and nostalgia of showing my babies the wonders of this beautiful world.

March 26 – Writers’ Group. Small tonight – Julie, Shauna, Kim, and me. But so great. Julie is fucking killing it and it makes me so happy for her. You go, my friend. You go!

April 3 – I was kind to myself and instead of working (on a Sunday) I took Geordie for a long walk. The weather was perfect and there were spring flowers everywhere. What a wonderful, beautiful place to live. 

Flowers from a neighborhood walk

April 29 – That feeling – that rush – of being back at Stagecoach. Stepping into the pit just as Jordan Davis hit the stage – there is nothing like it!

Back in the pit at Stagecoach

May 15 – We brought Mexican food to my mom’s for her birthday and Marley gave her the most heartfelt card and it makes me so happy that my kids express their feelings so eloquently.

May 30 – All four of us went to drop Chandler off at LAX for his internship in Austria. We ate lunch at the LAX In-n-Out and watched the planes land. I love when the four of us are together. I am so excited for Chandler’s adventure.

June 4 – I went on a hike with Rita at the Victory trailhead and we got lost and came out at the Las Virgenes trailhead. It was equal parts mortifying and hilarious. Dave rescued us. We had breakfast burritos at a cafe by the trailhead and it ended up being awesome.

Getting lost in the trails

June 21 – My baby girl is 22 today. I remember my 22nd birthday – We had a pool party at my mom’s and I wore my pink dress from Mexico and drank Coronas. It just goes too fast.

July 16 – Therese brought dinner to my mom’s and it was nice to be with family and I am so happy there are so many people who love my mom.

July 22 – The minute Matt Ramsey started singing my heart exploded with joy. Back in the pit at an Old Dominion concert – my heart is happy and full.

Brad Tursi and Matt Ramsey of Old Dominion doing what they do best.

August 13 – We’re back in Michigan. It’s cool but the lake is beautiful. I’m glad to be here with my mom in her Michigan home.

August 19 – OH. MY. GAWD. Old Dominion did a pop up show and we made it in! What are the odds that they’d be in Michigan when I am?! Seeing them in a tiny club was AMAZING!

August 23 – I feel sad that I have not been keeping up with this journal at the lake. But my happy moments have been floating, morning walks, drives on country roads, and just spending time in this beautiful place.

Scenes from our workation in White Lake, Michigan

August 28 – I met a cousin of Bill’s today and she said, “I know who you are. I read your book and I loved it!” It makes me so happy that Laney brought a moment of joy to someone’s life. I also spent time with Bill’s Uncle Mike and he is such a lovely man.

September 12 – Chandler called from Berlin and at one point in the call we were all in the kitchen on speaker joking about some trendy club in Berlin and it was so great. It felt like we were all together at our happy best.

September 21 – Chandler called from Italy and it always makes me so happy to hear his voice. Plus, Marley and I sat for a few minutes in the kitchen and chatted before she went to school. Having adult children is such a blessing and a delight.

October 1 – Birthday dinner with Rhiannon. My sister is turning 40 and it makes me so happy to be with her.

My beautiful baby sister Rhiannon turns 40!

October 8 – Ashlea and David’s wedding was so lovely. I loved their vows and feld so honored to witness them.

My cousin Ashlea and her husband David

November 5 – I got to hang out with Pat and Jennifer in NYC and it was so FUN! What a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect and people were everywhere outside enjoying it. It was a perfect New York day.

November 20 – Chris and Dena got married and it made me so happy to share their day and be with my family.

My brother Christopher and his beautiful bride Dena

November 24 – Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my family and for this life that I have in my little suburban shangri-la. I think my happy moment was our big breakfast together before the Thanksgiving feast.

November 27 – My heart is full of love and happiness – we had a playgroup mom’s reunion and ten of us were there. It was so wonderful to catch up with these amazing women. I am so blessed to know them and have experienced early motherhood with them. I don’t know how I would have gotten through those early mothering years without them.

Playgroup Reunion – these ladies are so amazing!

December 16 – We went to Arlyne’s for charcuterie and had such a great time. I almost didn’t go – why? Too busy, too many calories, blah, blah, blah. I’m so glad we did. We really had so much fun. It felt grown-up and sophisticated and just wonderful to be with friends.

December 24 – Cheese fondue with the family. The four of us in the kitchen. Good wine. My favorite people. Christmas joy.

I know. That was long. I’m a terrible editor. And believe it or not, I chopped what I wanted to use in half. (You’re welcome!) If you’re still reading this, thank you for sticking with me. I do so love looking back on my year (even the hard ones) and thank you for your indulgence. Wishing you some time for reflection on 2022 and a 2023 full of happy moments both big and small.

My Snarky 2022 Emmy’s Red Carpet Review

I know I say this every year – I wasn’t going to do a review this year. My work week is insane – I should be working late (like 10 PM late) and starting early (like 5 AM early) in an effort to keep my head above water. But instead, I left work on time to watch the Emmy’s and used my early morning time to write this post. Plus, I had a happy hour planned tonight that I had to postpone two whole days. Do you see the sacrafices I make to do this for you people? (And by you people, I mean those of you who are kind enough to still read my blog after all these years. Thank you.)

And, also, yes I do realize that I can’t do a happy hour if I’m working until 10PM. (So maybe I really wouldn’t have done that anyway. Work until 10PM that is – I was definitely going to happy hour.)

But I digress -or I suppose that was me digressing, so rather, back to the point: the dresses.

With the help of my daughter Marley (and a few texts from my friends), here we go with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s start with the ugly.

This dress is ugly.

Julie Garner

Me: I absolutely love Julie Garner and I loved Ruth so much – I’m so glad she won for Best Supporting Actress. Her speech was lovely. She is lovely. This dress is not lovely. That cut out diamond is just dumb. It looks like she took a dress out of her very stylish grandmother’s closet and cut a peek-a-boo diamond out of the middle to make it look young and edgy. I’m going to give that a big ol’ nope. This dress does not work for me.

Marley: I’m really not a big fan of this dress, I think if a woman of basically any other body type would be made fun of on twitter for this cutout. I just think it’s a huge miss.


Sarah Paulson

Me: Sarah, Sarah, Sarah – this weird top-of-a-nun-habit + too-big 80’s belt + weird peplum pleat skirt is not working for me. I love Sarah Paulson’s acting but she needs to find a new stylist stat!

Marley: Sarah, no! :(. Sarah, why? Why are you doing this?


Kaley Cuoco

Me: This looks like an ice skating dress with an extra-long train. I just – no!

Marley: I feel like Katy Perry would have worn a better version of this dress at the 2009 VMAs or something. It looks like a cupcake.


Jasmine Savoy Brown

Me: Maybe I’m just old but this pleather dress is not for me. She might gain entry into Berghain wearing that getup but she should not have been allowed into the Emmy’s wearing it! in this case the dress does not meet the occassion.

Marley:I don’t love how blocky the dress is but I really love the concept and the idea of it. But the execution is only alright, however it has pockets!! So it’s great.

See, I am old for not liking it.


Laura Linney

Me: Speaking of grandma’s closets – what is with that weird poncho-y mock turtleneck-y monstrosity? Why such ugly dresses, women of Ozark, why? (BTW, I was very sad Laura Linney didn’t win. Zendaya is fabulous but I find Euphoria unwatchable, where Ozark was amazing and Wendy Byrde is one of the most complex-remarkable-loveable-hateable characters ever.)

Marley: The only word that came to my head was candlestick.


Kerry Washington

Me: Kerry would look gorgeous in a burlap sack and usually makes my best dressed list but this look is just not working for me. I don’t like the I’m-heading-to-yoga messy top knot and those tights with that dress are just horrific. If this dress was long and she had a better hairstyle it would be an A+.

Marley: I loathe the black tights, I think it makes an already iffy dress look downright terrible. Just a big miss with this fit.

Alright, these ugly ass dresses are bringing me down. Let’s get to the good stuff.


Issa Rae

Me: Now this is how you rock a cutout. This dress is gorgeous and Issa Rae looks stunning.


Hannah Waddingham

Me: And this is how you rock a poufy pink tulle dress. Gorgeous. Well done, Hannah. Well done!

Marley: I really like this dress, it reminds me of the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz.


Amy Poehler

Me: I love Amy Poehler so much and am often sad because she makes it to my worst dressed list so frequently. But not tonight. Tonight she rocked it! Amy – you are one sexy hot mama in that dress. (Also, see how to rock a cutout part two!)

Marley: I think this is a really pretty dress and Amy looks gorgeous. It’s really flattering on her and the color is a great choice.


Geena Davis

Me: LOVE! I absolutely adore this shade of yellow. (Two of my very favorite tops are this shade of yellow.) This dress is a Greecian Goddess classic with a bright yellow twist. And I must have that belt.


Sheryl Lee Ralph

Me: Sheryl Lee Ralph stole the Emmy’s with her amazing acceptance speech. This woman is a queen! The jeweled hair, the jeweled makeup, the jeweled jewelry, that pop of perfect orange (not too sherberty, not too bright). This entire look is an A+++

Marley: I think this dress is stunning, especially the orange lining. Her hair as well is just beautiful, I love how it goes all the way to her hip.

My friend Laurel: Sheryl Lee Ralph wins queen of the night. Pop of orange in her skirt – yes!


HoYeon Jung

Me: I think this dress is really pretty. A simple cut + interesting (but not crazy) pattern = fabulous look. And I dig that barrette placement.

Marley: I love how this dress fits her, I think she looked amazing tonight. Everything from her hair down to her purse, I think it’s a great look.


Zendaya

Me: This elegant dress is stunning. And it has pockets! Perfection.

Marley: She always looks amazing and tonight’s no different. The dress fits her perfectly and she’s just stunning.


Jean Smart

Me: Look at Jean Smart rockin’ this dress. She looks amazing!


Rosario Dawson

Me: Pay attention, Laura Linney and Sarah Paulson – this is how you pull off an interesting top. This dress is fabulous.

My friend Laurel: Rosario = perfection.

Mariska Hargitay

Me: Normally, I wouldn’t add a look like this – I think it’s fine – not amazing and definitely not offensive. But my friend Laura texted me and said, “Can you say how beautiful Mariska looked?!!!” And she does look beautiful. I do love the jewelry. And I never watches SVU, but I got the joke when she and Christopher Meloni presented – hilarious. She really did look fab.

And speaking of fab – you know I always like to add a few gentlemen to the mix for you ladies, so here you go.

Trevor Noah

Me: Trevor Noah in navy blue. Yes, please. [Insert heart eye emoji!]

Toheeb Jimoh

Me: This is how you rock an non-traditional tux. I love it!

Nicholas Hoult

Me: This is how you do NOT rock a non-traditional tux. What is with those bell bottoms? This look is a no for me.

Marley: Five-star restaurant waitstaff couture.

Andrew Garfield

Me: You know, Andrew Garfield usually doesn’t do it for me, but in this suit, he does it for me!

Well, friends, I’ve got to get to work. No time to edit, so please be more forgiving of grammatical/spelling errors than I was of celebrity fashion choices. (But seriously, Sarah Paulson, get a new stylist!)

And please, as always – let me know what you think. Agree? Disagree? And what looks did I miss?Photos source: eonline

My Snarky Academy Award 2022 Red Carpet Review

Hello, Friends. I’m back. But only sort of. I did not have time to watch the red carpet yesterday because I was out living my life. (Translation: out celebrating a friend’s birthday on a Sunday afternoon at a flea market instead of on a Saturday night at a club because that is what ladies of a certain age do!)

But I did watch the Oscars (and Will Smith – you were in the wrong – WTF, dude!) and while watching the Oscars I sent screenshots to my daughter and her friend so they could do all the heavy lifting. Plus, 21 year olds are better at being snarky.

Before I start though, and say I found the dresses a little boring this year, to be honest. They were either pretty, but not amazing, or just meh, and not overly horrible. But please do enjoy the comments below by my daughter Marley, her friend Rachel, and me (who is definitely qualified to give fashion advise as I sit in my Costo leggings and Target hoodie).

Megan the Stallion

Rachael: Overall really good look. I think the color makes her skin pop and glow. I love how her dress is blue like the ocean which makes her look like a mermaid.

Marley: I think that the bottom looks like butterfly wings which is beautiful. I don’t know how she’s able to sit in it with the wires I’m a little concerned it’ll go flat but I think it’s absolutely gorgeous on her especially the way it shapes her legs.

Me: This is not typically the kind of dress I love, but Megan pulls it off and looks gorgeous.

Amy Schumer

Marley: Super ugly dress, I don’t understand the gaudy bow at all.

Rachael: I hate this dress 110% awful. Absolutely horrendous. I dont like the bow at all.

Me: This kills me because I love Amy Schumer so much, but this dress looks like she found it on the clearance rack at dress barn.

Ariana DeBose

Marley: I love the pants suit instead of a dress and it might even be a two piece if not the slit in the center. I don’t know how I feel about the Cape. Not really a cape person but I mean I guess it does make it a little bit fancier than just a pants suit

Rachael: I really love the color on her I think it looks really good. I really love the contrast of like the black nails with the really bright red it makes her stand out. I love the pants to be honest, the trousers are really cute. she can really rock this bold color all the way. I personally just don’t like the top itself also the jacket is a little weird I think she could’ve gone without it.

Me: I feel like the designers are getting a little overly creative with bodices trying to show cleavage in a new and clever way. And it’s just weird. That being said, I love this outfit (cape and all). I think it looks fab.

Timothee Chalamet

Rachael: OK first of all I just think Timothée Chalamet is really hot so I think it’s a really good. I love the jewelry, I’m not digging though the no top. I think it would look really good if it had a under top like with the jacket, but I love the hair.

Marley: Honestly not a fan. I don’t know why he doesn’t have a shirt on. I think that the blazer itself is cool and has a lot of design to it that I think is pretty however put on a shirt. That’s really it. Just wear a shirt.

Me: He looks like an ice skater who spent so much time lacing his skates that he didn’t have enough time to put his shirt before hitting the ice. (Also super glad that Marley and Rachael have the good sense to know that the dude really needs a shirt!)

Kirsten Dunst

Marley: I think her dress looks like those roses that you’ll see at the front of CVS during Valentine’s Day that are made of that kind of stiff tissue paper I don’t really understand it

Rachael: I think this dress is horrendous. I don’t think it looks good on her, I don’t think it would look good on anybody to be honest with you. I don’t know why they went with this dress, I have no words.

Me: Marley and Rachael don’t know what they’re talking about. This dress is gorgeous.

Olivia Coleman

Marley: I don’t understand why designers make ugly sleeves a staple for every award show. This dress is just ugly.

Rachael: lt’s just not good. Blegh. No.

Me: Olivia Coleman, in my opinion is the new Meryl Streep. Amazing in whatever she does. We will be seeing her at the Oscars as long as she continues to make movies so she really does need to fire her stylist. Because, (what Rachael said) blegh. No!

Jamie Lee Curtis

Marley: She looks like she’s in medieval times wearing chain mail and trying not to get attacked in an oncoming war. I don’t really understand it I don’t think it’s very flattering on her and I really don’t get the vision nor do I see the vision

Rachael: I don’t like this at all I really don’t know much else to say besides that it really is awful. I don’t like that the jewelry make any sense. I think this is a really awful look I don’t know who let her walk out like this but whoever did deserves jail time.

Me: Again, this is hard for me because I love Jamie Lee Curtis so much (like, I mean love, love, love), but this monstrosity is a hard no!

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Marley: I do think that the dress makes her waste look incredible, however I think that it’s absolutely ugly. I don’t understand the gold what a tiger head that are on there, and the whole T shoulders just really doesn’t make any sense to me.

Rachael: this is just really not a flattering dress. I think it’s really weird I don’t know I just don’t like it. I don’t know what’s going on with like all the symbols or like the tinfoil that looks like literal like tinfoil buttons I don’t like this at all it is really strange.

Me: What the actual fuck, Maggie? This dress is ridiculous.

H.E.R.

Marley: Honestly I think it looks like she forgot a dress last minuet and grabbed a green screen off the wall. Not a fan of the shape either.

Rachael: this is really disappointing. I love H.E.R., but this is really bad. I dont like the design, the color is way too bright and the clutch purse is a weird accessory.

Me: They are wrong. This dress is fab. And look at those shoes – they are spectacular!

Queen Latifah

Marley: Yellow looks stunning on her, but I’m really not a fan of the robe she’s wearing.

Rachael: i think the dress style shouldve been different. I dont really care for the robe either i think this whole outfit needs a makeover baldy.

Me: I am seriously doubting my decision to seek Marley and Rachael’s opinions. Because there is only one thing to say about this look and it is Yaaaaas, Queen! (She looks amazing!)

Billie Eilish

Marley: The only thing that is redeemable about this outfit is her hair and makeup. The dress is horrible and looks like a dyed curtain.

Rachael: I love her hair style, its very cute but I think outfit choice was criminal.

Me: Well, at least these girls are starting to make sense again! This dress is horrific.

Jessica Chastain

Marley: Very gorgeous dress, but I feel like it’s something you would see at a rich high school prom.

Rachael: This reminds me of middle school, TBH. I think its pretty and love the shimmer though.

Me: I think this dress is my favorite dress of the night. I think it’s gorgeous. (I really thought the girls would hate it though – I’m glad they (mostly) liked it too.)

So, there you have it, friends. My 2022 Oscar Red Carpet Review. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are there any spectacular or horrific dresses I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

Photos taken from here. (Thank you, People Magazine.)

2021: That’s a Wrap

I’m so late in posting this. But then again, they don’t call me Charlate for nothing.

I’m trying to think of the proper metaphor for 2021. A rollercoaster? One step forward, three (or ten or twenty) steps back? That hand reaching up from a grave in a horror movie and pulling you under just when you thought you were safe? That plot twist that you really should have seen coming if you were paying attention because there really was so much foreshadowing? Damn. It was a lot. A. LOT.

Life was starting to look normal again. Or at least normalish. I started going to concerts again. I got a promotion at work. I lost the COVID weight. Dave and I went on vacation. (Our first weeklong vacation with just the two of us in over 20 years.) I went inside people’s houses. I celebrated important milestones of friends and family members – a graduation, a retirement, my daughter’s 21st birthday. I resumed traveling for work. Overall, it’s been a pretty good year.

What’s better than a piñata? A nipiata! (It’s filled with tiny booze bottles.) 🙂

It’s also been an awful, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year as my niece Amanda was diagnosed with a rare, incurable cancer and someone else I love very much has been diagnosed with cancer as well. And that plot twist – Omicron, threatening to bring it all to a halt again.

My beautiful niece Amanda with her beloved dog Spirit.

And it is for this reason that I keep a happiness journal – so I can remember the little moments every day that make me happy even on the worst of days. Every morning I sit down and take a couple of moments to reflect upon the day before and what made me happy that day – the little things. My daily dog walk, a funny text chain with friends, a coworker sharing some gossip with me (when you work remotely “office” gossip is a rare and treasured thing), the explosion of fall colors in mid-December, time spent with my kids.

At the beginning of each year I sit down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the time of day), read over my journal, remember the year that has just passed, and try to set an intention for the year to come.

This year my intention is that actual word: intention. I intend to live a life with intention. To focus on the present. To make time to connect with friends and family. To try my hardest to not let one day blur into the next. To laugh and love and be grateful even on the shittiest of days. Especially on the shittiest of days.

Here are some of the moments that made me happy last year.

January 1st – We hiked Pt. Dume – Dave, Chandler, Sami, Rita and I. It was an amazingly beautiful Top 10 Beach Day. Perfect weather. Perfect hike. Perfect people. I only wish Marley had come. (She hates the Pt. Dume hike.) We even saw a wedding on the beach. What a perfect way to start the year!

A perfect beach day

January 20th – I cried legit tears when Kamala Harris was sworn in. We have a woman vice president!

February 4th – My dad visited me last night in my dream. I don’t remember much. We were in our Garden Grove house and he was changing the ink on our printer. Marley was looking for our cat. (We don’t have a cat.) I wish I could remember more but I’m so grateful for his visit.

March 5th – Chandler got vaccinated and Rhiannon got vaccinated and I am full of hope.

March 6th – Picnic at Balboa Lake Park with Rita, Arlyne, and Shelley. It was so good to be with them. The weather was cool and crisp and there were people and families everywhere. It felt normal.

April 10th – We had dinner at my mom’s and it was the first time in a year without a mask. John and Tracie were there and my mom’s home is so lovely and it was great to celebrate Bill’s birthday and feel happy and normal.

So happy to be celebrating with my family again.

April 21st – My friend Maureen at work gifted me with a beautiful Shephard Fairey print. It’s amazing and I’m touched by her generosity.

I love this print so much. It hangs in my office and makes me so happy.

April 23rd – It’s Rita’s birthday and just knowing that she is on this earth makes me happy. Also, Rhiannon texted me an old picture of all of us at the beach. Tammy was in it. And Dad. It was the last picture of all of us. Bittersweet. But a good day.

May 21st – I was walking Geordie in the park at night and there were so many families at the park. A little toddler was running down the hill and squealing that toddler squeal and it was so delightful. Is there any better sound than a child’s laughter?

May 26th – Chandler was up early and asked if he could join me on my morning walk. Yay! The clock is ticking – he’s moving to San Diego soon. I’ll take every moment I can with him.

June 14th – I spent the day with the kids. We went to sushi for lunch and then thrift shopping in Ventura. Both kids gave me birthday cards with the nicest notes – heartfelt. And that is everything.

June 21st – It’s Marley’s golden birthday! She’s 21. We had fun celebrating and she likes margaritas (just like her mama). Hooray!

Happy Birthday to my most favorite girl.

June 28th – Rhiannon and I went to the Dodger game and she just loves the Dodgers so freaking much. It makes me happy to watch her enjoy the game so much.

July 5th – I spent the day with Cheryl, Ginger, and Kim and it was sublime. (We all met writing for a now-defunct website called skirt!)

July 10th – Oh. My. GAWD! I went to a concert. A concert! Music. That was live. Surrounded by other people. And we snaked our way to the front(ish). It was sublime. I’m so glad to be back.

So glad to be back!

July 17th – Squee! My heart is filled with joy! I went to Arlyne’s to hang out with Rita and Lisa and Kate! Kate is just as I remember – so lovely and funny and kind. It was so wonderful to all be together again. (We all met none-of-your-business many years ago -okay, it was in the 80’s- working at a retail store called The Factory Fashion Works. Old friends are the best friends.)

July 20th – Vacation starts today! Lake Tahoe is spectacular. So beautiful! And Dave and I really do love long car rides. So happy to be on a true vacation.

Happy to be on vacation in such a spectacularly beautiful place.

August 19th – Watching kids walk to the elementary school filled my heart with so much joy. They are back to school! I hope these kids can stay there.

August 21st – What a day! Breakfast with Marisa and Rita. A beautiful bike ride. But you know my happy moment was when Old Dominion hit the stage. (And bonus – I wore the cutest red cowboy boots and they did not hurt my feet!) 🙂

Up front at a preshow VIP – definitely my happy place!

September 1st – Writers’ group. I definitely ate too much but I didn’t drink too much and I left at 10:00 like a good girl. These ladies really do fill my heart with such joy.

September 9th – Seeing the Oscar Meyer Weiner truck parked outside of my hotel. It brought me as much joy as it did when I was a kid.

How could seeing this not make you happy?

September 14th- Dale took Rita and me to see Hamilton. Oh, it’s so good! And spending time with these awesome women and seeing Dale so happy made me happy indeed.

What a night! An amazing play with two of my favorite people in the world.

October 1st – It’s Amanda’s 30th birthday and my heart is so happy that she is home from the hospital.

October 2nd – We threw a party for Kim’s 50th birthday and when she got home she texted me that it was her dream come true. I’m so glad it was everything she wanted.

My beautiful friend Kim. 50 looks amazing on her!

October 23rd – Marley sent a picture from her camping trip with her geology class and she looked so happy. I’m so glad she’s found her place.

October 26th- Being in Texas is hard this time. I miss my dad. I feel lonely in his house without him. I guess my happy moment would be Mexican food with Susie and devouring the queso. That was nice.

November 14th – We got our kitchen island that Bill made us and it’s just beautiful. I am so touched that he built it for us.

My kitchen is a hot mess, but I love the island my stepdad built for us so much.

November 17th – Rita and I saw Morgan Wade at this tiny synagogue turned into a performance space. It was her first time to California and I was there. Significant because she is going to be huge. Live music = happiness.

December 4th – Today I went to the Bluebird and it was everything it’s cracked up to be. And I met Al Gore! He was genuine and lovely. And the music – oh the music! The night made my heart so happy.

December 13th – Hugging Amanda. Oh what a hug.

December 23rd – Chandler is home and Dave and I are off work and the four of us sat around and talked for a long time this morning and it was so nice to be together and I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and happiness.

Whoo boy, this was a long one. If you’ve stuck with this to the end you must have a lot of extra time on your hands – LOL! But seriously, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my words. That’s all a writer ever really wants. Even one who doesn’t write much anymore. I hope you took some time last year and will take some time this year to focus on the things that make you happy both big and small.

My 2021 Emmy Red Carpet Review

Apparently the Emmy’s were on last night. I had no idea. Which is sad because at least 5 people rely on me to write this report every year. And I love the Emmy’s. We watch a lot of TV and last year we really watched a lot of TV. Plus, the last few years it seems I’ve been traveling and my friends have taken over this post and this time I was actually home for once.

But I’ve got a lot going on. I recently received a promotion at work (yay), but my replacement hasn’t started yet, so I basically have two jobs, and I’ve launched a new program which is awesome, but also all-encompassing and overwhelming. Yesterday I spent five hours bringing my email inbox from 205 to 9. Then I did all my Sunday errands – laundry, Trader Joe’s, Costco, getting gas, returning a library book – Friends, I was hella productive.

But the Emmy’s? Not on my radar. Not only am I distracted by work, I’m also distracted by life. Because, like I said, I’ve got a lot going on. My niece has cancer. And not just your run-of-the-mill-we’ll-zap-that-with-some-chemo-your-hair-will-fall-out-but-then-you’ll-have-a-pretty-good-chance-of-being-fine type of cancer. She’s got an extremely rare holy-shit-what-the-fuck-do-we-do-and-how-in-the-world-do-we-treat-this type of cancer. So my family’s dealing with that.

I’m sorry for telling you that. Because this post is supposed to be funny and help you escape by looking at shiny and ridiculous things. And I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. But sometimes that’s a struggle. Even for me. (Though, I will tell you, yesterday a family text chain turned into a selfie text chain that was hilarious. And my niece can rock a scrunchie from a hospital bed, let me tell you.)

But also. I don’t like to disappoint. So here is my favorite dress.

Michaela Cole looks stunning. Who knew neon yellow could be so fab?

Here are dresses that are dumb.

I love Sarah Paulson, but she consistently ends up on my worst dressed list.
I don’t think Gillian Anderson realized what kind of event she was attending. Gillian! It’s the Emmy’s not a fancy dinner at a yoga retreat!
Emma Corrin. All I can say is WTF? Neither Princess Diana nor The Queen would be amused.

And so there you have it. My I-didn’t-watch-the-Emmy’s-and-don’t-really-care Red Carpet Review.

Oh, and also. May I ask a favor? Would you mind looking at my niece Amanda’s GoFundMe? I know. GoFundMes drive me crazy too. I never thought I’d have to write one. It made me itchy and uncomfortable and downright depressed. And it makes me incredibly uncomfortable to ask. But, I’d do anything for my brother and his daughter needs help. And I would be so grateful.

Plus, look at her. This girl knows how to rock a dress.

Emmy photos taken from here.

My 2021 Academy Award Red Carpet Review

Can I be honest? I was a little underwhelmed with last night’s Oscar’s. I mean, the show itself was fine. I appreciated the effort. The set did look super cool. But, there was just no glamour. And I get it, we’re still in a pandemic and there weren’t many movies anyway, but the whole thing really left me uninspired.

But, the people have demanded this review. (And by “the people” I mean three Facebook friends.) Plus, I rarely get to spend time with Marley these days, and my friends Laurel and Shauna were texing me their input which made for a fun night. And for the first time in three years I was actually home to do it. And so, here we go again with another Academy Award Red Carpet Review.

Amanda Seyfried – Lady in Red

Amanda Seyfried

Me: the dress is a yes, red is definitely her color.

Marley: She looks amazing, but I hate those ruffles and those pleats. It’s a no.

Regina King (Or should I say Regina Queen?!)

Regina King

Me: I want to love this dress so much, and I do love most of it – the cut, the color, the fit, the bottom, but those wings are just too much. Regina is a queen, however and would amazing in a paper sack.

Marley: Those sleeves look like the angel statues from Dr. Who. If you close your eyes they follow you.

Shauna: What’s up with Regina’s sleeves? She looks like a butterfly.

Colman Domingo – Pretty in Pink!

Colman Domingo

Me: Now that is one hot gay tux on a hot gay man. I love it!

Marley: I feel like I’ve already seen Lil’ Nas X wear the same thing. But it does look good on him.

Carey Mulligan – Classic Hollywood Glamour with a modern twist.

Carey Mulligan

Me: Stunning.

Marley: Stunning!

Shauna: She looks like a princess!

Laura Dern getting ready to take flight

Laura Dern

Me: I feel like I should hate this, but I actually don’t. I mean, I don’t love it, but she looks pretty.

Marley: Where did she come from? The Beauty and the Beast? Is she a duster? Did she kill a thousand swans?

Laurel: She looks like she’s going to take flight.

Youn Yuh-jung – classic elegance

Youn Yuh-jung

Marley: I love her dress. It’s very pretty.

Me: It has pockets!

Marley: I know. That’s why I love it.

Me: I am also madly in love with Youn Yuy-jung. I loved her speech (she is hilarious) and her mad love for Brad Pitt.

Margot Robbie rocking the bangs!

Margot Robbie

Me: Love, love, LOVE that hair! The dress is a little unglamorous, but like I said, it’s an unglamorous year. It’s simple and pretty. But those bangs and that messy ponytail? I’m obsessed!

Marlee Matlin sparkles

Marlee Matlin

Marley: This is the first time I don’t hate stupid sleeves. I like the beading and she looks beautful.

Me: She looks gorgeous. I like the dress and feel like my friend Kim Robinson will absolutely love it.

Glamor H.E.R. way

H.E.R.

Laurel: H.E.R. looks regal.

Marley: H.E.R. looks fantastic. Probably my favorite outfit of the night.

Me: I love it!

Zendaya – the opposite of mellow in yellow

Zendaya

Marley: Zendaya looks beautiful, I love that dress.

Me: Zendaya looks beautiful. I hate that dress.

Laurel: Beautiful girl, bad yellow dress.

Halle Berry – why???

Halle Berry

Me: No! No!! NO!! You know how in those ugly duckling movies the girl just changes her hair and clothes and suddenly she’s beautiful? Halle Berry just did the opposite! Because Halle Berry, one of the most beautiful women to ever grace our fine planet was looking pretty fugly with that stupid hair (god, I hope it’s a wig!). Seriously. What happened? Oh yeah, and I didn’t like her dress either.

Marley: Halle Berry’s hair is stupid and her dress is ugly.

Laurel: Halle Berry looks awful. Bad dress. Bad Hair.

Shauna: Agree

Reece Witherspoon channeling her inner Gen Z

Reece Witherspoon

Me: Reece Witherspoon looks fine. Her dress is fine. She probably put about the same amount of effort in choosing that dress as I’m putting into writing this blog post, which is to say, not much. But in this unglamorous year, I will give her a pass. But, Reece? Part your hair on the side like a grown-up! You are a Gen-X grown ass woman and you’re not fooling anyone with that Gen Z middle part!

Viola David – a modern Greek Goddess

Viola Davis

Me: I like it! Very unique. She looks like a modern Greek Goddess

Shaua: I am trying to wrap my head around Viola Davis’s dress. It ‘s very distracting but kinda cool.

Me: Marley and I love it.

Laurel: I love it.

Shauna: REFUSE HATE! I love it!

(Apparently I am quite the influencer.)

Dana Murray doing her impression of a balloon

Dana Murray

Me: I did not know who Dana Murray was before tonight. A quick IMDB search shows that she has made quite the rise over the last 12 years at Pixar and Disney from working in the animation department for Up to becoming the producer of Soul. You go, girl. Now get yourself a dress that does not look like one of the balloons that made the Ed Asner’s house float away.

Marley: Is she from the Wizard of Oz? Her dress looks like it’s caught in a tornado.

Laurel: NO! What is this?

Shauna: It looks like she is about to float away.

Frances McDormand

Me: Look, I get that Frances McDormand doesn’t do glamour. That’s fine. She’s an eccentric and complicated woman. You don’t want to wear makeup? Fine. You want to wear an ugly dress? Fine? But is it really too much effort to put on a Crest white strip and pull a comb through that dirty-ass hair? I wouldn’t do a late night milk run at 7-11 without puttiing a hat on that mop!

Laurel: For God’s sake, woman run a brush through that dirty hair!

Shauna: Frances McDormand is WEIRD!

So was this Academy Awards, Shauna. But at least unlike Frances McDormand’s non-existing stylist (and also, myself), they tried. They really did try.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Academy Awards?

Photos were mostly trolled from here, but also from here.

Buh-Bye 2020

I don’t think anyone is sad to see 2020 go. (Buh-bye 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!) It just robbed us of so much – time spent with family and friends, vacations, concerts (oh, how I miss concerts), birthday parties, graduations, and just a general sense of normalness. My biggest loss of 2020 was the unexpected and sudden death of my father. He did not die of COVID, but COVID did rob us of the vacation we were supposed to take to see him in Austin a few months before he died.

Oddly, in many ways 2020 was actually good to us – Dave and I both work for the same amazing company that treats its employees so well. We started working from home in March (though sharing an office can sometimes be a struggle). Chandler is in grad school, but since it’s online he’s moved home. (He would prefer to not be living here, but having him back home for a little while has made this mama’s heart happy.) We are all healthy. We are together. We are lucky.

Every year at the beginning of the new year I like to sit down and reflect on the year that has just passed. I have a happiness journal that I sit down and write in every morning and record my happiest moment from the day before. Sometimes the moment comes to me quite easily, sometimes it’s a struggle to find one, sometimes (though rare), it’s the whole entire beautiful wonderful day. This year, which has become a Groundhog Day year of a year – one monotonous day blurring into the next, most of my happy moments come from my daily dog walks or connecting with people from a distance – whether that distance be at an outdoor gathering or via Zoom. (I know we’re all tired of it, but I am, so truly grateful for Zoom.)

The Pollyanna in me truly does seek out the bright side. I am grateful for all that we have. I try to find the funny in even the most terrible situations (it really is there if you look hard enough for it). And so, in this most terrible of years we made adjustments.

We were not able to go to Austin to visit my father in April, but in August we drove to Park City and stayed in my friend’s vacation condo. In October the kids and I went to Austin to spend time with my stepmom and sister since we can work/school from anywhere. 

I had tickets for six different concerts that went unused. We livestreamed home concerts and watched them from our couch. It’s not the same, but it still brought us joy.

And yes, I zoomed. A lot. I zoomed with my family. I zoomed with my friends. I zoomed with my co-workers. And again, it’s not the same, but I am so grateful that this pandemic has happened in a time where technology makes it possible for us to connect, even though it may not be in the way we wish it could be.

Yes, I miss hugs. Yes, I miss live music. I miss restaurant happy hours. I miss getting on planes and traveling for work. Most of all I miss my dad. 

But I leave 2020 with a grateful heart. Grateful for our jobs, our health, great technology, dog walks, hiking trails, podcasts, books, Netflix and laughter. Always laughter.

Here are some of the things that made me happy in terrible 2020:

January 1 – Our annual New Year’s Day hike – this time to Solstice Canyon. Nice hike – great beach views. So many people. Great to see so many enjoying the beautiful day and beautiful California.

A hike with a view.

January 9 – Walking two miles down High Street in Columbus, OH. The weather was about 50 degrees and I just loved the crisp air and walking in a city.

February 10 – Dinner with Mera, Dale and my mom. I love these people so much. It was so nice to catch up and be together.

February 14 – I made a nice Valentine’s dinner (and Dave and I got each other the same card – so funny!). Chandler flew home to see Sami and we picked him up from the airport. My heart is always happy when he is home.

Great minds think alike.

February 22 – Game night at Rita’s. We played Mexican Train Dominoes and drank Grapefruit Crushes (recipe in this awesome cocktail book). Great night with great people.

March 2 – Rita and I went to see Jordan Davis at the Grammy Museum and it was so great. (Little did I know at the time, this would be my only concert in 2020.)

Jordan Davis – my one and only 2020 concert

March 11 – Dinner with Marisa. The shit is really hitting the fan today. Marisa said she was so glad we had dinner because COVID-19 was giving her so much anxiety and having dinner made her feel normal. It was great to see her and to help a friend.

March 15 – We walked to McDonalds for Shamrock McFlurries. It was so nice to walk and to see so many people outside. Being outside is going to be the key to our sanity. (If only I’d known how very true this was.)

March 18 – Matt Nathanson does a Together at Home Instagram Live show and it makes me so happy. I love it and I love him so much.

March 21 – We did a virtual HH with Jennifer, Debra, Rita, and Arlyne. It was so great. We laughed and drank. After 2 hours the husbands joined. So glad to be with my friends even when I can’t be.

April 20 – I think my favorite thing about Mondays is watching John Krazinski’s SGN (Some Good News). This was a prom episode. He held a prom! It was magic and made me cry happy tears.

April 26 – We had a family zoom with my dad and Sue and all the sibs. It was so great to see everyone’s beautiful faces.

May 8 – We went to the beach at night to see the bioluminescent waves and it was so cool. It looked like someone threw a million glow sticks into the waves. 

May 17 – We hiked Devil’s Punchbowl with Marley and then had a picnic with Italia Deli sandwiches (yum!) at a nearby park afterwards. In the afternoon I had a driveway HH at Julie’s with Kim. What a perfect day.

Devil’s Punchbowl hike with my favorite girl.

May 29 – I have been loving the 30 day yoga series I have been doing. It both calms and energizes me.

June 14 – My father passed away today. On my birthday. No happiness. But I’m glad both of my kids are home and I was able to hug them.

One of the last times I saw my dad.

June 21 – Marley turns 20! She gave me the biggest hug. I gave her what she wanted (a hammock) and we had a BBQ at my mom’s. It was a nice day.

Happy Birthday!

August 3 – The days are a blur this year, but I’m happy when I succeed at a Meatless Monday dinner.

August 19 – When Kamala Harris officially accepted the VP nomination I legit cried happy tears. Maybe she is our path to the presidency. I hope so.

August 22 – Chandler called me out to see the sunset. It was beautiful. We climbed the hill and it made me happy that he wanted to share that beauty with me.

When your son asks you to climb the hill in your backyard to get a better look at the sunset, you go.

September 3 – Kate texted me to say she finally read my book and loved it. Oh to have someone discover Laney and love her fills my heart with joy.

September 18 – Sad day. RGB died. It’s going to be a hot mess. But I made shrimp fajitas that everyone liked and drank tequila and did my best to convince myself that everything would be okay.

September 20 – Dave and I went on a day date to Ventura – lunch and a walk along the beach. It was nice to be out and outside – to do something and to go somewhere.

October 3 – I picked tomatoes at Kim’s house and made a tomato sandwich and the fresh taste of home grown tomatoes was so amazing I could hardly stand it.

These tomatoes were A-MAZ-ING!

October 16 – Dinner at Clint and Rhiannon’s. So great for my kids to play with their young cousins and for me to catch up with my sister.

November 7 – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been elected to the White House. My happiness is palpable. I cried. I felt it in every fiber of my being. I am so happy.

November 13 – I’m reading Julie’s book and I’m in love with it.

Do yourself a favor and read this book!

December 6 – Getting up early and reading with Geordie cuddling on my chair is such a cozy and happy way to start my day.

A cozy way to start the day.

December 15 – Dave’s birthday. I made filet mignon, asparagus, baked potatoes, and wedge salad and it was the bomb. Dave told some old stories and we had a really great time. It was wonderful to be happy and together.

Like I said, we are all happy to have 2020 behind us. (And trust me, I know that the turn of a calendar page is not going to make everything magically better.) But I hope that you were also able to find some calm among the crazy and seek out some happiness inside all of this uncertainty and anxiety. I’d love to hear some of the happy moments you had last year.

Surviving the Death of My Father

Four weeks ago today I was awoken to the news of the death of my father.

Surviving the death of your parents is something we will all have to go through – or rather should go through, because it is the natural order of things, meaning no parent should ever have to survive the death of a child, though many do. Too many do.

But that doesn’t mean it makes it easy when your dad dies. It certainly doesn’t seem natural. Or as it “should” be. It feels like shit.

Some days I feel nothing, and by that I don’t mean that I feel numb. I feel normal, like any other day. Like a day with an alive father. And then I’ll remember that my dad has died and I still feel normal/nothing and it will occur to me that as much as I cry at sappy commercials and sad books and movies, and feel so heartbroken about the injustices others suffer, that perhaps in my own life I am an unfeeling monster who can’t even bother to take the time to be the least little bit sad that I will never see my dad again or hug him again or have him hold the door open for when when I get into his car or hear him complain about Donald Trump or how he can’t get good Mexican food in Texas and can only listen to his voice on the recordings that I have on my phone that I play over and over and over again, or that I don’t.

And then something will happen – a memory or a Fleetwood Mac song or an old man dying in a movie or waking up four weeks later not to the news that your father has died, but to the sounds of a typical Sunday – the birds chirping, the ceiling fan over your head, your husband getting up before you to walk the dog, and you will feel sadness and dread and a hole inside your heart so big that you wish that you could go back to being a monster and feel nothing again.

Now Everyone Has Masks

I have to go to Costco. Well, I don’t have to go, but I’m trying to do the shopping for my mom so she doesn’t have to go to the store and she needs some things that we typically get from there – butter, eggs, half and half. And there are some things I could use as well – also half and half, shredded cheese, more vodka.

Before I leave my house I spray a nasal saline solution into my nose. It’s supposed to help things I breathe in not stick to my nasal passage. Or so I’m told. I take Airborne to give my immune system an extra boost even though I already take Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc to boost my immune system daily. I also rinse my mouth with Listerine since it’s supposed to kill germs. Maybe it will kill the germs that enter my mouth at Costco. (At the very least I won’t offend myself with the breath that I am breathing into my mask.) Because, yes. For the first time I leave my house with a mask.

It’s weird on your psyche seeing everyone wearing masks. And everyone in line at Costco is wearing some sort of mask. It makes me feel sad. In the line to get into the store I give a “can you believe this shit?” smile to the lady taking her place in line behind me, but she can’t see it. Hopefully she recognized the crinkle in my eyes. I see you. I’m smiling at you. We are in this together. And also, seriously. Can you believe this shit?

My mask is ill-fitting. The elastic isn’t quite tight enough. Not loose, but also, not quite right. But maybe I’m just not used to wearing a mask. I never want to have to be used to wearing a mask. But like the Rolling Stones say, “You can’t always get what you want.”

I stand in line a full five minutes before the line moves. I don’t even know if they have what I want. There is a sign at the front of the line posting what they have. What they don’t have. But I’m at the end of the line, so I can’t see it yet.

I see someone leave with toilet paper. That’s a good sign. I don’t need any yet, but know that I’ll probably buy it anyway. Not to hoard, but to have later for down the line. (Which I guess is the  definition of hoarding.) Or maybe my mother or my brother or a neighbor will need it. I’d be happy to share.

Once the line does move, it moves fast. They let about 25 people in at a time. The line is wrapped around the building, but I don’t think I wait more than 10 minutes.

I walk past the clothing section and notice that it is completely empty. Not of clothes, but of people. The clothes are perfectly folded with not one person milling up and down the aisles. Impulse shopping for Jessica Simpson skinny jeans is not what anyone is here for. Spending more time than necessary inside, touching things you don’t need to touch, breathing things you don’t need to breath is a luxury nobody can afford. 

I head straight to the back of the store for the toilet paper. It’s so stupid. Why are people hoarding it? Am I part of the problem? I actually calculated how long it takes us to go through a package of toilet paper and we have enough for about 10 weeks. And in 10 weeks, I’m hopeful that we will be able to leave our homes more freely. But maybe not. Maybe it will be worse. I’m splitting the package with my mother anyway.

They have everything my mom needs. I’m happy that they also have shredded cheese. Last time they were out. I stock up on alcohol – wine, beer vodka, tequila. Virtual happy hour supplies. 

I split things up in the parking lot. Her half and half, my half and half, her butter, all my booze. I took some plastic bags at the rotisserie chicken station and split up the fruit – strawberries and cuties and limes.

When I get to her house she opens her garage door and I go through to her laundry room and drop off her groceries. I don’t walk past into her house to grab some mixed nuts from the bar or chocolate from the pantry. I stand in the garage and she stands back, but hands me a bag with some masks she made for me to mail to Chandler. I tell her the mask she made for me is a little loose. She goes to get another – an improved design. I try it on and it is better. We stand and talk for a few minutes in her garage, six feet plus apart. Both of us in masks. I think to myself, Can you believe this shit? But this time I don’t smile.