The five stages of grief.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today Conde Nast announced that my 2nd favorite magazine of all time, right after Us Weekly naturally, Domino is going under. When the economy is so bad that a girl can't get her monthly design fix, well, I just don't know what to say. Although I am stunned and saddened by this dose of bad news so early in the day, I will say thank you for the inspiration (and thank you for the OCD that made me save all your back issues).

For her.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I have a friend who has been battling the blues lately. [Pause.] No, that's not right. She is depressed, plain and simple. "Battling the blues" sounds like a trip to the lollipop parade compared to what she has been going through. I have been thinking about and worrying about her for weeks now and have put a lot of thought into this post. This is dedicated to her.

This girl and I, we've been through a lot. (We now know, for example, that politics are not a topic we can discuss over fondue and drinks.) This is the same friend, however, who wrote me an email after my dad died, an email I've saved for seven years now, that said, "You can call me anytime to talk or I can come over and we can do artsycrapsy together and not talk. I love you so much." I think that anyone who uses the term artsycrapsy (one word) in an email to a friend who has lost a parent is to be applauded. This is someone who has comforted me when my heart felt like it was breaking (repeatedly telling me during one breakup, "Oh, he'll rue the day and be begging you to take him back in a week!") and who once had to be physically restrained to keep from beating up a girl who talked smack about me. She is more like a sister than a friend and, like a sister, she drives me the same distance to crazy that I drive her. Through it all though, she is family and when your family needs you, you gather around them for support - even when you don't know what you can do.

It seems to me that we see our friends in the same glowing light that we wish we could see ourselves. We see them as the funny, fragile, beautiful, kind, intelligent, flawed, lovely people that they are. We see their good intentions, the challenges they've overcome, their big hearts. This is how I see my friend and how I wish she saw herself. She is probably the most beautiful woman in the world, but she has no idea. She can be the sweetest and most endearing person you could ever hope to meet and to have her hurting, literally, hurts me. I think we feel the most powerless when we can't make the people we love feel better. It is in these moments that finding the right words feels impossible, but I will try...

What I will say here is that, dear friend, things will get better. Someday, not far from now, you will wake up and feel what you haven't felt in some time - happy, hopeful and whole. You will look in the mirror and see what I see - a gorgeous, intelligent, loving, precious person who has the whole world before her. The heaviness around your heart will lift and you will laugh again. Don't shake your head. You will. I promise. What I know for sure is that I love you and will hold your hand through anything.

I am currently taken with...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

... this book.

"This is a story about darkness and light, about sorrow and joy, about something lost and something found.
This is a story about Love."

I am normally not big on fairy tales because of the inherently sexist messages behind many of them (unless of course they involve mermaids and then all bets are off because, let's face it, I deeply hope to someday turn into one). However, this book is absolutely beautiful. It is a retelling of the classic story, but with the most lovely illustrations and gorgeous, almost lyrical text. I ran across it while I was Christmas shopping and came back and bought one for my five year old niece and one for myself.

As a nanny and an auntie, I really like this book, but as a reader, a writer and an appreciator of all things pretty, I am in love with it.

Hungover on Hope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes we can. Yes we did.

A new face of hope for tomorrow... and today. There really are no words to wrap around and express the magnitude of this historical day.

Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. Hope is what led me here today--with a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be. BARACK OBAMA - 1/3/2008

We shall overcome.

Monday, January 19, 2009

In honor of both today and tomorrow...

When I look at you...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I had an incredible and moving day today. Someone at work said to me, "When I look at you, I see love." I think this may be the kindest thing anyone has ever said to me and maybe ever will, especially because it was spoken so genuinely. The entire story behind this sentiment is more complicated and more lovely than I am willing to share here, but what I will say is that, if you let them, people will touch your heart in ways you could never have imagined. If you open your heart and let yourself love, those you thought you were helping, will end up helping you.

I'm officially calling it a day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This little guy - my buddy, the one I call Puppy, the boy I've considered putting in my bag and taking home with me - just pooped on me. Now this is coming from someone who has been a nanny for ten years; a little baby poo doesn't easily scare me. Let's just say, this was not a little bit. This is the same child that earlier in the day flushed the beloved eraser down the toilet and made his older cousin and brother cry. I did not cry. I screamed and yelled out, "How could you poop on your Auntie?!" Said child then laughed. And laughed. I think he may still be laughing.

This is all I will say on the matter. Like discussing the details of one's diet of choice, I do not consider this an appropriate topic of discussion. I am now going home where I will drink some wine, take a bubble bath and relish in the fact that no children live there.

A little Huey goes a long way.

Today is day three of taking care of all of my nephews: Max, Flynn and Jude. They also answer to Anakin, Luke and Baby Yoda. Sometimes they go by Commander Cody, C-3PO and some Jar Jar something or other. Binks? Then there's something-something Fat. I don't know. It's awfully hard to keep up. Now, I absolutely love children, but I have a firm belief that they shouldn't outnumber your hands. (Not everyone subscribes to my theory, however. Brad and Angelina? If they were believers, they would have stopped after Shiloh because, combined, they have four hands.) Today Auntie had the great idea of doing her hair like Princess Leia and while it was initially very well-received, the littlest of the three munchkins managed to flush an eraser down the toilet while I was mid-styling. I now have only one bun and heard myself saying, "I don't care if you're not talking to me, Luke Skywalker. Yoda flushed the eraser down the toilet and I'm sorry, but I can't make it come back."

In honor of both nap time and the fact that the acceptable time to start drinking is only two hours away, I would like to share my love of Huey Lewis. I have had a crush on Mr. Lewis for a mere 25 years and think that he deserves an official introduction on this blog. Huey Lewis and the News? He is the news, people.

I heart Kate Winslet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've been watching The Golden Globes for the last few hours while hopped up on codeine for a knee injury. I happily, and somewhat groggily, watched as the incomparable Kate Winslet won both the best supporting actress and best leading actress awards for The Reader and Revolutionary Road. I have love-love-loved her since the fantastically strange Heavenly Creatures and am one of the few people who will admit to seeing Titanic six times, yes six times, at the theater. I believe she is the best actress of this generation, but watching the awards tonight, I realized that what I love about her most is her humble and gracious authenticity amidst such superficiality. She is intelligent, articulate, fearless in her artistic choices, real and unbelievably classy. Kate Winslet is a goddess. Period.

"No, I'm a pessimist and you're a fart."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When I was a little girl, my precocious older sister (who must have been about eleven at the time) said to my nonplussed and hair-challenged five year old self, "The difference between you and me, Kathleen, is that I'm an optimist and you're a pessimist." As my mother tells the story, I thought about this for a minute. Then, not really knowing what either word meant, but knowing that my sister was trying to impress me, I said, "No, the difference between you and me is that I'm a pessimist and you're a fart."

This story says a lot about me, even still.

While I hope that I am no longer a pessimist (my sister, however, continues to sometimes be a fart), I am a realist by birth and, unfortunately, optimism has never come to me easily. You see, I was a very sensitive little girl who was raised to know that life is not a fairy tale or a movie and that pain is not optional. While I consider myself lucky for the upbringing I had, there is a certain sadness in knowing the inevitability of sadness. Now, just to set the record straight, I am hopeful to a fault and very proud of it, but hopeful + realistic does not an optimist make.

This year my number one New Year's goal is to enjoy the good and look forward to the great. As I have stated in previous posts, I know all too well, as we all do, that life hands us ups and downs and all arounds. However, what may have been lost on me as a child and I may sometimes lose sight of as an adult is that while pain is unavoidable, so is joy. Life is many, many things and lovely is one of them. So, for at least this year, I am going to try to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop and dance around in my heels (wobbly ankles and all) in the joy and the happy, happy chaos that is life.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I had a fantastic New Year's Eve celebration in Las Vegas and rang in the new year surrounded by lots of people and lots of joy (and lots of people!).

As the first week of 2009 comes to a close, the celebratory champagne toasts wind down and I find myself questioning the weeks of cookies and holiday cocktails, I start thinking about the changes I want to make in the new year. (I prefer not to think of them as resolutions, but instead as goals to work toward throughout the year.) In an effort to wrap my head around the kind of life I want to live in 2009, I have been jotting down ideas and had hoped to blog about the "Eye of the Tiger" mentality I feel going into the new year. However, in all the happy, hopeful hub-bub (how does one spell hub-bub?), I think I may have forgotten to celebrate the crazy year that was 2008. While I am very, very excited for the endless possibilities the new year will present, I want to take just a minute to express my gratitude for this last very difficult, very lovely, surprising and historical year.

So, to 2008 - many, many thanks. To 2009 - bring it.