Category Archives: Uncategorized

Not Loving Myself Today

I went to bed last night with a bad taste in my mouth, and it’s all my own fault.

I realized that I have been kind of a bitch lately, and have not been holding myself to a very high standard. I have been talking about someone behind their back (no it’s probably not you), and that’s not okay.

I have always thought of myself as a very open-minded person, but maybe I have been wrong. In the fall I took an intellectual Humility test, and I retook it a couple of weeks ago.  I was appalled by my results.2020-02-142020-02-14 (1)

Not only was I worse than others on average, but I was headed in the wrong direction.

Clearly, I need to reassess how I think and behave. How many times have I hurt people and not even realized it? How many times have I judged someone unknowingly? What have I closed my mind to inadvertently?

What have I missed out on? I mean, who wants to talk with me when I talk with them negatively about other people?

So yesterday I reached out to the person I felt I had wronged. I apologized, and she laughed it off with grace. Said she’s not unused to being talked at behind her back, and snarked at to her face.

And that brought up a whole new problem.

As women, should we be okay with this? Do women in positions of authority laugh it off, and say they are used to being treated so meanly? That it’s ok? That they have gotten over the hurt?

Do men tear each other down like women do (and when did I become one of those women I loathed so much?). Do men accept the rudeness and the hurt? Or do they not even notice.

Do women take everything personally?

Is that good?

Do we care more? Do we work harder because of that? Are women motivated by the desire to rise above it, or to get approval? Or do we just swallow the hurt (to what emotional, mental and physical effect?) and become more focussed on accomplishing our goals?

Why do I do the things I do?

I will be the first to admit I am a personality and emotional contradiction. On one hand, I don’t give a shit what people think about me — but I am simultaneously desperate to be everyone’s friend.

On the one hand, I am proud of my directness. I hate the idea of pussy-footing around something. If someone asks my opinion, I tell them. (and clearly, as I discussed above, I’m not always great at my delivery). I dye my hair bright colors. I like to have loud ringtones with rock music. I wear shoes that light up and post pictures of my crazy manicures. I am an over-sharer — social media was MADE for me.

And yet I am always wondering: do they like me? Why don’t they ask me to hang out? Are they having fun without me? One of my biggest social hurdles has always been that I assume I am not included unless I am explicitly asked to participate. I have had folks be absolutely baffled that I am hurt that something occurred and I didn’t get to participate. “You know you were invited!” they say. No, I don’t. Unless I am specifically asked, I don’t know. And I get jealous when I see people I know doing things without me. Mind you: we are insanely busy most of the time, so it’s not like we are hurting for things to do. But I have an insatiable, almost debilitating desire to be included.

Well. This blog took a turn into self-analysis.

But maybe that’s where it started as well.

So: back to the beginning: I need to be a better person. I need to shut my mouth when my when I don’t have something positive to contribute. If I have a problem, snarking about it to someone else will not solve it. Go to the source and see if there is a solution. Don’t let other people get to me.

Scroll past that post.

If I don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

And listen more than I speak. Man, THAT one is hard. I am not sure exactly how I am going to correct half a century’s worth of experience that has led me to this point. But I do know that I don’t like feeling guilty, and I like it even less knowing that I may have hurt someone.

They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.

Step one taken.

 

 

Lookin’ Good (most of ya, anyway)

 

Starting with the nominated actors, let’s put them in order of least favorite to favorite dressed in each category!

Best Actor:

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Best Actress

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Best Supporting Actor

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Best Supporting Actress

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I was amazed at all the black and white this year!

Speaking of black and white, a few of the men tried to break out of your standard penguin suit:

 

As for the dynamic duos…

 

As you probably know by now, I am a huge fan of color and not a fan of the lack of it…usually. There wasn’t much color last night, except for a strong showing of reds and oranges. Here are a few of the colorful standouts, with a few paler hues that stood out for me.

 

Before we do my favorites and least faves, perhaps my favorite category: the, “I can’t make up my minds” — or the ALMOST Faves

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And now, for my least favorite looks…

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The best looks of the night, IMO:

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Some faces I missed seeing on the red carpet, and would like to see next year: Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone! See ya then!

And That’s a Wrap

I LOVE THAT PARASITE WON BEST PICTURE!

That was such a highlight for me at last night’s Academy Awards. I feel like the movie’s dominance last night was the only surprise all night. And Boon Jung Ho deserved his oft-mentioned drink last night, lol! I have a feeling he and the cast had a lot of fun at the after-parties!

What else did I like from the event?

I loved Chrissy Metz (from This is Us TV fame) singing “I’m Standing with You.”

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She was amazing.

I laughed out loud at Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig and their bit. Why aren’t they hosting the Oscars? The show keeps wanting to be pro-women, but would rather go hostless — a huge mistake — than hire smart, talented women like these?

Utkarsh Ambukar’s rap about midway through was on fire! I mean, he probably planned some of it but had to have composed it pretty much as the show rolled. He was great, and slightly but not obsessively political, and I bet a lot of people are googling him today.

Utarsh Um

I was wrong on my Billie Eilish prediction — but loved the way they used her talent. Great call having one of the hippest young music stars today sing during the In Memorium tribute. It was a way of drawing in the young viewers, showing her paying homage to those who came before her. The Awards has been struggling with declining viewership over the years, and I think they are trying to make the show more relevant to a younger audience. They are bringing in more music, which resonates. But Eminem? Why? What did his performance have to do with today’s movies? Don’t get me wrong: I love him, but he is 47 — he could be Eilish’s grandfather.

They also brought in some younger stars to do some face time. They were often relegated to introducing bigger stars, who were, in turn, introducing bits.  That’s kind of a weird thing, IMO. And I don’t think the names were big enough to really draw young viewers if that’s what they were trying to do.

Another fave moment was watching Rebel Wilson and James Cordon making fun of themselves and their turn in probably the biggest catastrophic flop of the year, CATS. Their 4 minutes or so on screen were probably better than the whole movie.

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I also wasn’t too keen on Elton John’s performance, but I really think it was because the sound quality wasn’t great. He’s awesome (and I can’t wait to see him live this summer!).

On the other hand, there were quite a few things I didn’t love. As I said before, I hate the no-host thing. After Janelle Monae’s very cool intro performance, they humiliated two former hosts, Steve Martin and Chris Rock, by making them poke fun at being non-hosts. The jokes fell pretty flat to me — I mean, poking fun at Jeff Bezos was amusing at first, but they took it too far (why was he there, anyway?). And frankly, I felt that Martin was there to be a foil for Rock — cue the white male privilege jokes.

HWSNBN and I had a huge issue with the Idina Menzel Frozen 2 song performance. Not with her — she’s a phenomenal singer, of course. But they had singers who had performed the Frozen songs in other languages on stage with her. Great idea, but where was the diversity there? No one from China? Or Africa? And basically, two singing in the same language (Spanish and Castilian are awfully close). We both were pretty irritated by that. If the Academy is striving to promote diversity, that would’ve been an easy way to show some.

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And you know a joke is tired when HWSNBN comments that he has seen it before. The Will Farrel Julia Louis-Dreyfus bit where they don’t know what a cinematographer does has been recycled enough. It’s rude and disrespectful to cinematographers.

And why were some things introduced twice (Anthony Ramos introduced Lin-Manuel Miranda, who then introduced a montage about the importance of music in movies.

And why were some performers not introduced at all? Chrissy Metz, Elton John, and Randy Newman all just sort of started performing. Very weird.

Some performers, like Randy Newman and Elton John, weren’t introduced at all.

And sometimes even presenters got presented: Lin-Manuel Miranda, for instance, got a full WWE-style introduction from Anthony Ramos, in order to to…introduce a montage.

All in all, I liked the show. I know that every year they have to work around the movies that are nominated to create the show. That makes sense. And I know that there were lots of things that didn’t happen this year (no women directors nominated, for example, And yes, having women in starring roles, like the first female conductor (even though she was only conducting for a segment and not the whole show), was a good call. But it does still feel like a desperate move in a scared town. There were some amazing movies this year, and I think that’s great. I guess the problem might be that as we raise the bar on movies, there will be more wonderful ones to pick from, so more will not be recognized. I mean, Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated for anything this year.

Clearly, it’s tough to be a woman in Hollywood!

(tomorrow I’ll post about the fashions. Don’t worry: I’m still as trite and superficial as ever!)

Predictions are a Production

The Academy Awards are tonight!

I managed to see all the best picture nominees and most of the acting ones. Here are my predictions for some of the awards — decorated by fashion splashes not yet discussed during this awards season!

Best Supporting Actor

(Haven’t seen Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, or Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes).

Who I liked best: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  I’ll be honest: this year has changed my opinion of Pitt. I never really paid attention to him before, although he stood out from the generically handsome slew of men in Hollywood in Inglourious Basterds. But this role seems, well, like who he is in real life. And after watching him in this, and in all the interviews and red carpet and award show appearances, he’s kinda hot. He’s sexy to me now, both as a hunka man and as an actor. Hoping for cool stuff from him in the future!

Who will win: Pitt. Easiest vote of the night. And he should have a cool, aw-shucks, ma’am, speech.

Fashions I liked from the BAFTA awards:

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Best Supporting Actress

(haven’t seen Kathy Bates in Ricard Jewell)

Who I liked best: Florence Pugh, Little Women. I have heard some folks say she shouldn’t win because she was so much older than her character in the book, and she was a British woman playing a thoroughly American role. I don’t really care about either of those things — and those were choices made by the casting director, not by her. From the minute we entered the theater, I realized this was a different, thoroughly modern Little Women, and she was perfect. She fleshed out Amy March in a way I’d never seen done before and made her a strong, complex woman, not just a spoiled brat.

Who will win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story. She was good, don’t get me wrong, but Best? Nah.

Fashions I didn’t like from the BAFTAs:

Best Actor:

(Haven’t seen Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory or Jonathon Pryce in The Two Popes)

Who I liked best: Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker. He completely embodied the character and made him sympathetic. His performance gave dimension to an almost comical villain, and the film is more of a treatise on the plight of the poor and those with mental illness, and how the haves don’t always get what the have nots need or want. Phoenix was sad, and sweet, and gruesome and powerful and beyond impressive.

Who will win: Phoenix. A given.

Fashions I liked at the SAG awards:

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Best Actress:

Who I liked best: So many great performances here! But I have to say Renee Zelwegger as Judy Garland was heart wrenching and lovely. My number two choice would be Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story. So nuanced! She was so good you could almost forget how stupid beautiful she is.

Who will win: Zellwegger

Fashions I didn’t like from the SAGs:

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Best Director: 

Who I liked best: All 5 deftly handled complex films with lots of different challenges. I wouldn’t be bothered by any of them winning, but I might have to say Bong Joon Ho for Parasite was the most impressive to me, followed by Sam Mendes for 1917.

Who will win: Most likely Mendes — although Hollywood does love itself enough to give it to Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Best Picture:

Which I liked best: I kind of feel like Parasite should win, with 1917 in second place.

Which will win: 1917 — or Once Upon a Time.

My biggest surprise prediction: Billie Eilish will debut her new James Bond song! And I can’t wait!

Time to go get cozy, and watch the show! See you soon!

 

Take your Fish on a Date

Whenever HWSNBN attend social events — company parties, dinner clubs, drinks with friends — people always have the same fascination. The same desire to know, to pick our brains.

“So…tell us about those date nights!”

We chuckle and look at each other. He sips his drink, and I start talking.

The three questions we get asked most:

  1. How does it work?
  2. How often do you do it?
  3. Where do you get the ideas?

So how do the date nights work?

Our date nights stemmed from a  conversation HWSNBN and I had in late August 2018. Singer Girl had just left for college, and the nest was empty. My husband of just weeks shy of 25 years looked at me and said: we are in a rut. He said he didn’t want us spending the rest of our days just going out to dinner and binge-watching Netflix shows. I agreed,. But I said I didn’t want this to be a one-sided thing, where I have to plan everything and then feel (whether rightly or wrongly) like the pressure is on me for us to have fun.

So we came up with a plan: we would take turns planning date nights. If it was my turn, I’d have it all planned out, with no input on the planning front from him — which meant he couldn’t veto what we were doing. The same goes for when it is his turn. That veto thing is the most important part of making these date nights work. How many of us come up with an idea for something to do on a Saturday night, but when we ask our significant other, they say “I don’t know, Nah. I’m not feeling it”?

If the other person doesn’t know what you are doing, they can’t kill the idea.

This also means that we get to do things we want to do — even if we know it wouldn’t be the other person’s first choice.

Our first planned date night was my choice, and we went mini-golfing at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. that night, we also tried our first selfie. We are really bad at those and have pledged (well, one of us did) to do them every date night. We try to send them tt he kids, partly to let them know we still exist, partly to let them know we are doing ok (and partly to brag. Singer Girl has wistfully proclaimed she can’t wait to be 21 so she can hang out with us, as we seem to know where all the cool places are!).

How in the world do you find things to do?

We have done a lot:

Trapeze classes.

Plays.

Museums and galleries and art festivals

Countless amazing restaurants, bars, and breweries.

Scavenger hunts.

Pottery classes.

Inflatables courses. Pumpkin carving extravaganzas.

Lantern festivals.

And so much more!

It is super easy to find things to do. I have always been a list maker and a collector of information, so I have folders of ideas. I have a paper one, filled with articles I have cut out of papers and magazines. I also have a computer folder with things I have seen online. The internet is amazeballs for this sort of thing: once you start clicking on things, you get suggestions thrown at you left and right. I mean, all you have to do is think about something and you get targeted ads, right? Well, imagine what happens when you start actively looking for things to do.

If I can’t think of something new and timely, I search local calendars. My absolute fave Twin Cities one for kooky ideas is City Pages. I have signed up for their suggestions, as well as tons of others. Here are a few interesting ones:

Only in Your State

MSP Magazine

Eater Twin Cities

Thrillist

Sometimes you have to plan far in advance. I planned this Friday’s date about 3 months ago because I needed to buy tickets for something. I know he would’ve said no if I asked him, but afterward, he will say “I am glad we did this.”

How often do we manage to do date night?

Do we do it every weekend? No, but we try to. I have it on the calendar: Donni plans date night, HWSNBN plans date night, alternating weekends, so we know in advance who’s up to bat (yes, we’ve been to baseball games — and football, and soccer!).

Sometimes life gets in the way and conflicts inevitably arise. It is a lot harder to do when the kids are here, and, full disclosure, we are kind of glad when they go back from whence they came so we can get back to our adventures. We are also pretty busy socially in other ways, so sometimes we have to squeeze stuff in. The holidays are tough. His work travel can make it challenging.

But we can feel when it has been too long.

We start to go back to the boring, with not as much to talk about. Let’s face it: marriage is hard! We have been married 26 years this fall, and actually have known each other for 34 years. When you start out with someone, often the moments are somewhat stolen, and you fit the person into your life. They don’t know you, and you don’t know the, so every little factoid is fascinating (“you use toothpaste? I do too!”). Relationships are like fish: if you don’t keep swimming, they die.

HWSNBN sometimes says he feels like the date nights are a competition. I do not. I feel like they are a great way to learn more about ourselves and to do things that make each of us happy. Maybe I feel this way because I have always felt that pressure to make sure we had a good time, and now I feel it is shared equally.

One side benefit that we didn’t expect: all those people who ask us about date nights. I have people (often life-long Minnesotans who are younger than us) asking for suggestions. I think it’s so cool that we inspired folks to get off the couch and try new things.

Yes, it’s my turn this weekend. We will hit the road around 3pm and drive to an unknown destination (that’s another fun part: keeping it a secret as long as you can!). We have to be back by 930 the next morning, as we are booked solid: the Chilly Open for him in the morning, our Gourmet club Sat night, the Klondike Dog Derby Saturday and Sunday, and cramming as many movies in before we take the couch for the Oscars Sunday night.

And the couch will be okay then because we know that our next adventure is just a few days away! Happy dating to you all!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

 

Argentina by way of Italy is a Delicious Trek

We visit a lot of new restaurants, so I thought I’d throw in a review here and there for ones we love. We visited Martina in December as part of a double date with folks I’d never met. HWSNBN works with him, and he thought we’d have fun together. So forts we trekked over to the Minnesota Landscape arboretum to ooh and ahh at the holiday light show. This was on my date night list already, so I was happy they chose that as a fun thing to do. Afterward, we went to dinner. It was awesome!

I expected a tiny, overcrowded restaurant and was pleasantly surprised! While the bar was jam-packed, the restaurant itself was open and light.  I also appreciate the combination of trendy and classic decor. Martina is like the love child a California fern bar and a millennial industrial hot spot. Green plants soften stark white walls, and weathered wood tempers exposed metal (I am obsessed with the copper water pitchers and want one NOW). Service was relaxed and friendly, starting with the lovely hostess (n a red blazer I also coveted). Bartenders weren’t as chatty, but let’s face it it was three people deep and no one could hear anyway. But their smiles were loud enough! Our server was great and didn’t look down his nose at his 50-plus customers, even if none of us have tattoos and the men were clean-shaven. That is not always the case in “hip” restaurants, lemme tell ya.

Martina is known for its cocktails, so we ventured in that direction first. I was worried that mine (can’t remember the name) was gonna be nasty (my husband picked it for me) as the only liquor listed was vermouth, which I hate. But it was herbaceous and light and refreshing. He had the Mare, which actually was good for a giggle. He didn’t read what the asterisk signified on the menu (denotes a warning for those with shellfish warnings), so he was worried about what would be in it. We still don’t know what maritime essence is (don’t ask don’t tell), but he liked the drink a lot and the floating mini lilypads were frickin’ darling.

Dinner! First, we had an amazing wine from Cicada that went down super fast and easy and we would’ve ordered another bottle but two of the 3 drinkers were driving and the 3rd felt a solo bottle would be overkill. Settled for a delicious wine by the glass. Our server was able to steer us right which is always appreciated.

Apps: our table had the leek and gorgonzola empanadas (I could’ve made a meal on those) and grilled beef tongue bruschetta. I didn’t get to try that, mainly because it was gone before I could even say “may I try…”

Entrees were plate cleaners as well. Martina’s culinary focus is Italian influenced Argentinian, which is fascinating and oddly a lovely marriage. I had the chef’s take on cacio e pepe, created ravioli style versus with the traditional spaghetti. Each bite was a burst of silky cheesy peppery happiness. My husband had the prosciutto-wrapped cod, because he was fascinated to see how that flavor combo worked (he loved it). The others at the table had the special which was Argentinian-style beef tenderloin, and the grilled octopus which was a visual stunner, and, it’s consumer said, the best he’d ever had.

I left that night excited to come back and took the hostess’s card. I was hoping to arrange a night there for our dinner club but they don’t like to do large parties unless we reserve a whole room. Instead, this will be on our date night list for the future!

Martina: https://www.martinarestaurant.com/

And the Nominees Are…

So my dance card is shaping up for the next several weeks!

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday — of the 9 films nominated for Best Picture, I have seen 4, which is pretty good. I typed up my new “to-do list,” and was able to cross off at least one in each major category:

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My first plan is always to see all the Best Pic noms, then fill out the rest of the major categories. So that’s 11 movies minimum to see before the big show, which is on Feb 9th. This year I really want to attend one of those film fests where they show all the shorts, so gotta start looking for that.

Before I make my plan, I have to see which ones HWSNBN wants to watch with me. I assume he’ll say yes to the Joker, The Two Popes and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. He’d like 1917, but war movies have become very hard for us to watch since Sailor Boy joined the Navy. I’m on the fence as to whether he will want to join me for Marriage Story, Bombshell or Richard Jewell. The rest I know he will say thanks but no thanks, lol!

So if you really want to see one of these, let me know and we’ll get it on the calendar! This week I am focussing on stuff I can see online (new foster puppy, book club weekend, and big Secondhand Hounds event to plan for next week). But starting next week, if you want to find me, you’ll have to look in a darkened theater!

Oh — and as a quick goodbye, here are some looks that caught my eye at the Critics’ Choice Awards last night. Can you guess which ones I liked, and which ones, well, not so much?

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It’s (Fashion) Award Season Again!

It’s Awards Season, which means I will be obsessively doing two things: watching movies and posting about fashion. Today we cover the show that makes me think of boobs: the Golden Globes (really: what were they thinking when they picked that name?).

Before I start sharing pictures and thoughts and snarky comments and envious gushings, I want to remark on something I heard Howard Stern say on his show the other day. Mind you: I literally only heard a couple of sentences, so this is TOTALLy without context. Maybe he said more afterward, but I was rushing between appointments and I only heard this bit, so I can only comment on this.

He said that with very, very few exceptions, the women looked awful at the GGs. He said their stylists were doing them such a disservice by not flattering their bodies. He specifically mentioned that the bodies were hidden in material, that the ones that showed cleavage smashed their breasts in an unflattering way, and that they should have their hair loose, not pulled back, because so many have such gorgeous hair.

Mr stern, I know your job is to be a shock jock. Frankly, until I started listening to you last year, I and the impression that you were a wretched sexist pig. I have since learned to enjoy your show, even if I do skip over certain parts (your interviews are s=awesome — your sidekicks are not my thing). I admire your animal advocacy and your obvious devotion to your wife. But about those comments:

Yeah, lots of the outfits were weird. I agree, and I will call folks on it. And many will disagree with my opinions, which is fine, because they are my opinions, and I am as entitled to them as you are. But I think you miss the point on the red carpet fashion.

The women re not necessarily dressing for you, or for other men. In my heart of hearts, I hope they are dressing for themselves. But I know they are dressing for other women. We do that. It’s why we spend so much time at Sephora when our men say they prefer us without makeup.

Some of the women are just trying to get press. Some are trying to project an image they have or one they want. Their appearances on these shows are more about business and brand than anything else. I will comment on people in this blog I have ever heard of, and that means they have succeeded. In some cases, I googled them, and learned about a project they were a part of, and maybe added it to my watch list.

That means their weird, boob crushing, severe hairstyle worked.

Just like your shock jock persona works for you.

Thanks, Mr. Stern, for letting me vent. Now: on with the fashion show.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Imma start with this one because it is gold. There ya go. I actually love this, and it ALMOST made my top 3. It’s elegant, but modern at the same time.

I am a big fan of color on the runway, and this year we got splashes all over the place!

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And there was a whole flock of ladies in red — all conducting trains:

On the other end of the spectrum were the ladies who went for classic black and white.

Greta Gerwig and Cynthia Erivo had the same idea: a black column dress with white framing the neck and face. Ervio’s was way better IMO. Gerwig’s severe horizontal neckline, with her tightly pulled back hair, only emphasized her broad shoulders. That may have been what she wanted, but I didn’t like it. Ervio’s, with the glittery movement and nipped waist, made the look more exciting and flattering.

 

Ruffles and bows and wannabe lingerie looks were all over the place as usual. We just can’t get away from the Little House on the Prairie influence. Pity (at least the flesh-colored gowns were absent from the lineup).

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As for the other ruffly bits…

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On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the ladies who wore pants!

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Let’s turn to the menfolk on the carpet! Men’s fashions are fantastically, fabulously pushing the envelope lately, and I am here for it! From the classic:

To the “in a class by himself”:

Billy Porter

And everywhere in between!

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The couples:

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Before we move on to my faves and least faves, I want to mention two women who were on both lists depending on who was voting, If nothing else, they were very haute couture. Fashion is an art, after all!

My least favorite looks were some people’s favorites (and vice versa).

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The absolute worst was Jennifer Lopez. WTAF??? I included a picture of her from another gala that week, that she should have worn instead.

JLo

Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, Arrivals, Convention Center, Palm Springs, USA - 02 Jan 2020

Some looks were SO CLOSE. They could have been amazing, but something felt lacking. Is it better to be safe, or to dare? (always dare)

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And my three favorite looks of the Golden Globes were…

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz: this is how you mix quirky, formal, creative and classy!

Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellwegger: the color slays, the fit is wonderful, the style is cool

Zoey Deutch

Zoey Deutch: I would wear this out of all the looks. I LOVED IT!!!

 

As a parting gift, here is a slideshow of some of the best and worst looks from the Globes after-parties.  You guess which ones I liked and which ones, well, not so much.

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New Year, Old Habits

Before I lay out this year’s resolutions, let me see how I did on last years!

  1. Lose weight: I did great for a while, but now I am heavier than I was this time last year. Been back on Weight Watchers for 2 days now. Wish me luck. It worked before.
  2. Blog more regularly. Well, we know I didn’t do that, dammit.
  3. I did not take more bubble baths.
  4. I did not clean out the crap under the deck.
  5. I do think I was in more pictures, but not enough. I really suck at selfies, and no one in my family likes picture taking. We even asked friends to take our family pic at Christmas and failed to get it done. Ugh.
  6. I DID attend an event at First Avenue if not a concert. I’m gonna call this one a win!
  7. I used some of the gift cards we collected from auctions, but not all.
  8. I partially cleaned out the weird plastic junk bin.
  9. I did NOT tackle the scary mass of electrical cables.
  10. I did fight less with Singer Girl.
  11. I did NOT frame and hang the old family photos.

So. This year:

See above. Do that.

And:

  1. Print, frame and hang vacation pictures on our dining room wall.
  2. Purge and organize the attic (this one is tough, as I have to do it in either spring or fall so I don’t melt or freeze).
  3. Stop talking to HWSNBN through the dog.
  4. Purge and organize under the basement stairs.
  5. Take a trip with my mom.
  6. Create an address label database for my Christmas cards.

I think what I need to do is check in monthly on this, to keep myself accountable. I now have about 15 things on my list. That’s more than one per month.

Wish me luck.

 

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!

Do you still write Christmas cards?

I do.

I love receiving them, of course, but I also find it fun to send them. I’m not sure why.

It can be a lot of work — typically I send out about 100 cards, and it’s ever so simple as buying a boxed set at the store. I mean, I’ve done that before, but I like to be creative.

For years my kids drew our Christmas cards, which was so much fun. Then they got too old (or too cool) for that, and we went to the photo card. I also do a letter some years. I try to keep it balanced, so it’s not too braggy or too whiny.

No letter this year, but I was stoked because I actually had a picture of the four of us. That doesn’t happen often, what with the kids living in different states. So I had fun designing a card this year — totally not a typical holiday card, but that’s ok. We’re not typical people.

I was frustrated with myself, however, because another year has passed without me putting our addresses into a label database. So I steamed a bit as I grabbed the old address book and starting hand-writing all 100 addresses.

But then I started to smile.

And I think I figured out why I like to do the cards.

As I wrote each person’s name down, I spent a minute or so reflecting on them. How did I know them? Have I seen them this year? What is it about them that makes me want to keep them in my postal life?

Every year I inevitably stop sending a card to someone or add new people. Sometimes I have to update an address, or, sadly, cross a name out of my book because we lost a person.

But no matter what, I realized that this tedious process I was dreading was actually pretty cool.

Maybe I’ll forget to make those labels again this year…

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