Today I’m Grateful

Yesterday I was clicking around my usual websites, the Daily Beast, The Onion, and The Huffington Post, in a failed effort to find something comical and witty to write about. After all, this is the Lounge, and it’s my duty to keep things funny, right? Somehow, I ended up at the New York Times site and a name caught my eye; it was unusual and I knew there was no more than a handful of people in the United States with that last name. I clicked on it, and the headline popped up:

Homeless Man Dies, but He’s Far From Alone

Underneath was this photo:

I immediately recognized that person as Steve, the first real boyfriend I ever had.

I went on to read the article, trying to comprehend how he ended up homeless and dead in a park in San Francisco. I mean, does that really happen to people? Even though more than 30 years had elapsed, I still could not process the photo and the information I was reading.

I remember meeting him during one of my summer jobs at the Giant Computer Corporation, I was 18 or 19 and he was 25. He was a third shift employee and somehow we crossed paths at a morning staff meeting, and later that week I bumped into him at the local watering hole. I was smitten by his blue eyes and funny sense of humor; he used to sit in the meetings with sunglasses on and close his eyes while the boring boss droned on. I guess I always loved people that bucked authority.

Soon we began a summer of dating; I remember riding in a speed boat across a lake on a summer’s day, and climbing into his white pick up truck, complete with his behemoth St. Bernard dog in the back. I remember drive-in movies, 4th of July fireworks, laughing at the local pub. I remember his mullet, his sterling silver shell bracelets, and the puka shell necklaces. I remember my sister going “really, he wears clogs?”

I can still see the cork wall he constructed in his apartment, with an array of poems and drawings, and I swear he said he could astral project himself. He was quirky, interesting, and a dreamer. And let’s face it, I was a new college student, he was in the workforce, and there were other people…. so we parted company on a crappy note. Of course, we both still worked at the Giant Computer Company and he finally stopped me one day in the hall, and said he was sorry and he would like to be friends. So 34 years ago we parted ways with a smile, and I hadn’t really thought about him since then.

I’m so sad he ended up this way, but comforted a neighborhood cared enough to send him off with a memorial and remembrance:

Next time I look up in the sky or stare across a stretch of ocean, I’ll say a prayer, remember him, and be eternally grateful for the life I live.


What Not To Wear. Really!

Glamour and glitz abounded on the Oscar red carpet last night! Actually, it looked more like a bunch of movie stars that are sick to death of award season and can’t wait to go skiing in Vail. Tired and bored, everyone.

If Meg could wear one gown, she thinks it would be this one:

Meg thinks Jessica Chastain of “The Help” has the perfect balance of skinny black plus the bonus glow of metallic thread. LOVE.

Usually people bring their A-game to this event, but oddly enough, it was the fashion mishaps that Meg noticed the most last night.

Oh J-Lo, you are usually so fashion forward, but you looked like an optical illusion disco ball! Didn’t do a thing for her.

Meg loves Tina Fey, so smart, so funny. But did she really need a peplum to add weight to her middle?

Sandra Bullock, so classy and elegant, but shouldn’t the top of this dress have been fitted to her gorgeous figure, so it didn’t look like a potato sack?

Meg thought Emma Stone was so cute and refreshing as a presenter on stage, but all she could do was stare at that bow, and imagine why on earth Emma wanted to copy that horrid look Nicole Kidman wore several years ago. Plus red hair and red dress? That is a no.

Colin Firth and his wife Olivia are usually adorable, but I can’t help but think she must have thought she was attending a Renaissance festival last night.

George and his date Stacey looked like they were the Wolfgang Puck edible statues on top of the chocolate cake, but what up with the woman in blue? For heaven’s sake, get some Spanx!

Awards season is now officially over, and I guess we can all go back to missing Oprah. At least Jimmy Kimmel is trying to lure her back to daily television:

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It might be Monday morning people, but just remember, you are all stars to Meg! Carry on.


The Rules of Inheritance – A Book Review

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.

Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, as she poignantly takes the reader on a journey through the five stages of grief, as famously outlined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler Ross.

“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.”

This quote could easily be Claire’s touchstone; in each chapter of her life she struggles to comprehend life without her parents. Early in her adolescence, her mother becomes ill with cancer and Claire spends her high school years on eggshells, navigating teen friendships, her first love, and finally acceptance into a Vermont college hundreds of miles away from home and her fragile mother. As Claire maneuvers through each rite of passage, she is acutely aware her mother’s time is limited.

Instead of embracing the time they have left, Claire is dismissive of her elegant and charismatic mother, setting up walls of denial, desperate not to feel the pain of her mother’s inevitable demise.


Photograph: David Trood/Taxi

After her death, she and her father begin a tender and tentative journey together, in which Claire finds herself dealing with her elder father’s health issues, a burgeoning career as a writer, and a boyfriend beset with his own issues, unable to relate to and support Claire.

Her journey of grief also takes her on a dangerous shark dive in the Philippines, where she flirts with danger; hoping one of her parents will reach from beyond and send her some kind of signal. It’s here in the dark ocean; on the other side of the world, that Claire finally realizes that only she can rescue herself.

After close to a decade of grappling with her grief, Claire finally sheds her insecurity and grows to appreciate and embrace her parents for who they were; more importantly, she is finally able to make peace with herself, and with the memory of her parents.

The Rules of Inheritance will ring true for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one. Smith’s style works well for this type of memoir, as she deftly reaches back into her past and weaves together the fabric of her life with each stage of grief. It’s a heartfelt and touching story that is authentically sad, but will ultimately leave the reader feeling a sense of reconciliation and acceptance.

Does the death of a loved one make you look at each day in a different light? Does it renew your appreciation of how to live in the moment?

You can join in the lively conversation about the Rules of Inheritance on the BlogHer Book Club page:

http://www.blogher.com/bookclub/now-reading-rules-inheritance


How to Fundraise

Or I could title this post “swoon”:

Oh my, if he could just take a song request for me, I might find some extra cash for the DNC.

Shall we picture Newt Gingrich singing “Fly Me To The Moon”?
Mitt Romney crooning “Oh Where or Where has My Little Dog Gone” (he’s on the roof of your car, doofus)
Rick Santorum belting out “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy? (because yeah, we should make him sing that OVER and OVER again).

Hmm, better put my check in the mail this afternoon.


Potpourri for $100

February is winging by at lightning speed, the daffodils are starting to peek out (no kidding!) and Meg’s least favorite month is coming to an end. Thank God it’s only 28 days, otherwise she’d have to shoot it.

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In local news, an arrest was made at a local supermarket for basket rage in the 12 or less checkout aisle. I’m not making this up. Luckily Meg drives to ANOTHER TOWN to do her groceries in peace. She doesn’t care how much you save on sour cream and red peppers, Market Basket is the equivalent of an insane asylum.

Plus if she goes to the cool market, she finds stuff like this:

Crepini’s come in sweet and savory varieties, Meg especially loves the portobello mushroom and parmesan.

Secondly it’s school vacation week. I rest my case about what happens in restaurants, malls and the gym during this 7 day period of making parents and kids have forced fun together. She hates to bear witness to all the tantrums, and she especially hates trolls who idle their cars waiting for a parking space. It’s nice and sunny out, don’t you think some exercise would be good for you?

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Meg has been on a mission painting woodwork, as well as this room:

It’s a nice sunny color called Windham Cream, that has the perfect touch of yellow in it; it makes to room ultra warm and
pretty. So far this corner is complete and back in place, and the family will continue the project next weekend, where they tackle the Downton Abbey part of the room, aka “The Library”.

Meg actually has a complete set of old Dickens novels displayed because she thinks they look cool, and that’s what makes it a very British library.
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To make spring feel more like it’s on the way, she purchased this navy and white Ikat jacket:

It looks much better with the collar down and the sleeves joojed up.

Love NAVY AND WHITE!

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Let’s all count down the days til’ spring, shall we?


I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Doggie Edition.

Meg is taking a break from her usual snarkfest to bring you bring you some cute and adorable little faces:

This is Tommy, and he is officially up for adoption today at the Humane Society of Nashua (NH):

Meg and her husband sponsored Tommy’s trip from San Antonio. Their very own Jack took a similar journey a little over a year ago, and has been the best little buddy the couple could wish for:

He’s gearing up for spring training here. Things are starting to go to his head, he is about to be a star on a local cable access show. Meg will post the episode when it’s ready, but he assuredly will be the cutest dog!

Ever consider adopting a shelter dog? Just check out the story of Rufo, the stray that never gave up on finding family that was perfect for him:

If that doesn’t make you cry, nothing will.

Jack hopes everyone who is looking for a dog heads to a shelter to find man’s (and woman’s) best friend. You won’t regret it!