July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment


Larry Kramer got married! Congratulations to him and his husband!!


Blogger Appreciation Month Week 4 – Joanna Goddard Continued: Linkapalooza!

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Joanna Goddard who writes A Cup Of Jo.  (With apologies, last week events conspired against my posting my last two posts about Ms. Goddard which is why (you may notice) she’s in weeks 3 and 4.)

One of my favorite things every week is the Cup Of Joe Friday e-mail with a little blurb about what Ms. Goddard and her family are up to for the weekend and then a bunch of great links to fun and interesting stuff all over the web.  Here is last Friday’s to give you a taste.  I’ll often save these Friday posts ’till I have the time to click every single link.  I have my browser set up to make new tabs every time I click a link so I’ll have this huge lineup of tabs and then I’ll work my way through – it’s like eating dessert on the internet.  Anyway, I can’t hold a candle to the Cup of Jo roundups, but here are some of my favorite links for your clicking pleasure, nonetheless:

This and this are two of my favorite youtube videos of all time (note that both are educational!)

The recent Royal Baby Watch reminded me of this gem

And, speaking of, here is an excellent chart about Royal Succession

The man who turned dog walking into a business recently died

If you didn’t see it, I encourage you to watch the President’s remarks about Trayvon Martin

My friends Jeffrey and Joseph have a podcast that is wildly successful! (maybe you would like it too?!)

Little People street art

This new service prints you a backup key if you accidentally get locked out of your apartment! (would you use this?)

Lately I really want to make these, these and these (if only my 1 year old felt the same!)

Blogger Appreciation Month Week 4 – Joanna Goddard: Relationship Advice

July 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Joanna Goddard who writes A Cup Of Jo.  (With apologies, last week events conspired against my posting my last two posts about Ms. Goddard which is why (you may notice) she’s in weeks 3 and 4.)

Some of the Cup of Jo posts I think back on most frequently are the ones where Ms. Goddard offers some tip or advice from a purely personal perspective.  I often think of this one and this one.  By the time I read it, I was too late to put this one to good use, but I passed it on to a girlfriend or two.

Anyway, I figured I would share some relationship advice of my own . . .


Meet once a week to check in about how the relationship is going. 

Maybe that sounds daunting or boring, or lame, or un-sexy, but it doesn’t have to be any of those things.  Honest!  My husband and I started doing this to balance out my inclination to react quickly and over-talk any conflict or emotional issue that came up during the week and his inclination to under-communicate about the same sorts of things. We’d usually do it over brunch on Saturday or Sunday when we were feeling relaxed and (even if we sometimes had to have a hard talk) it became a really nice ritual.

Early on, having a weekly meeting let me take a deep breath and cool my heels about upsets (which let some of them simply evaporate) and forced my husband not to sit on things that were upsetting or irritating for too long.  It isn’t that we didn’t talk about stuff as it came up the rest of the week, but having the meeting let us feel okay about not dwelling, especially if we didn’t really have the time to sort things out right then.

These days, our talks are much more casual and we’ve been known to accidentally skip a week here and there when things are too frantic, but stuff still comes up.  Also, the talks have become a nice opportunity to appreciate one another or offer support – it isn’t always about a problem, it’s a chance to do a quick tune-up to keep our relationship in good order.

What do you think?  Would you try this?  How have you addressed “relationship maintenance” in your life?  Leave a comment and let me know!


Blogger Appreciation Month Week 3 – Joanna Goddard: Products

July 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Joanna Goddard who writes A Cup Of Jo.

Over time, I’ve picked up more than one great recommendation from Ms. Goddard. Most notably, two great sunscreens – one from Josie Maran (which we use on ourselves and the kiddo) and one that’s somewhat less pricey from Say Yes To Cucumbers which has been great for the kiddo and which comes in stick form (super convenient for getting it on his face but not in his eyes).

So, I thought today I’d share with you my five favorite cosmetic products:

1. Tarte BB Cream.

This stuff has changed my life. Worn alone with a little (tinted or not) lip gloss, I’m all of a sudden way more pulled together and “adult” than I was the 45 seconds before I rubbed it all over my face. Bonus: it does nice things for my skin while I’m wearing it!

2. Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick from the Body Shop.

This is what Chapstick wishes it could be: it’s thick enough to make an impact when your lips are feeling chapped but it’s great as a gloss when your lips are in great shape too, it’s never sticky, and it tastes great. I wear it alone all the time, but even days I want to be more made up, I use a lip pencil all over my lips an then this on top.

3. Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Tone Correcting Eye Cream

A couple of years ago, Consumer Reports did a study of a bunch of anti-aging creams and found that Oil of Olay’s products were the only ones that really lived up to their claims. Also, putting this on immediately makes me look brighter and more awake.

4. Frederick Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Cream.

My hair used to be stick straight and, since I’ve had my son some of it has turned wavy. So, I can’t vouch for this on super curly hair but it’s pretty amazing on everything short of ringletts. Picture this: you fix your hair. It looks good. You rub a pea sized dollop in your hands and then work it through your hair and – BAM! – now you look like some professional hair person did your hair. I bullied my friend Sarah into trying it just the other day and she was instantly won over – it could have been a commercial.

5. Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System

Okay. I don’t have the Mia. I have an old version that you can’t get anymore but if I were buying one today, it’d be the Mia. I also have a Clarisonic toothbrush and I feel like the company’s products are excellent in general. The “skin cleansing system” does a great job of gently but thoroughly cleaning my face and helping keep my skin nice – a lot nicer than before I had the Clarisonic.

As you can probably tell, I’m not so much a “makeup” person as a “try to keep my hair and skin looking nice without too much makeup” person. But I think what’s great about that is that, when you (or I) want to add makeup on top, it’s even easier and prettier.

Leave a comment with your favorite product. Or try one of mine and let me know how you like it!

Blogger Appreciation Month Week 3 – Joanna Goddard: An Introduction

July 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Joanna Goddard who writes A Cup Of Jo.

Ms. Goddard is a delightful blogger and I always look forward to seeing her posts come up in my reader. What are the things that I love about A Cup Of Jo? I’m glad you asked.

    – The excellent use of images in every post. They add energy and, in longer posts, I feel they really compliment the sense of pacing in the writing.

    – The writing style. Ms. Goddard writes in a way that, to me, feels honest and open and very specifically personal to her and her experience. The result is her repeated ability to touch on not-so-easy topics in a way that’s meaningful and graceful.

    – The kiddo posts – from advice to recommendations to super-cute stories about her son* – her blogs about parenting are always great. (I love this one.)

    – The recommendations – Recipes! Gear! Gift Guides! Outings! Shoes, Shoes and more Shoes! If she’s recommending it, chances are pretty good I’m putting it on some Pinterest board for later.

    – The Friday link-a-paloozas! These are like blog-candy: every Friday, Ms. Goddard posts a bunch of links to all kinds of awesome and interesting stuff around the web. Sometimes I save this post in my feed ’till I really have time to explore all the links – it’s such a treat!

This Friday I’m going to try to post my own super-link-fest here. If you have a favorite internet thing, post it in the comments! Maybe it’ll make the list.

*Ms. Goddard recently gave birth to a baby boy! Congratulations to her and her whole family!!

Blogger Appreciation Month Week 2 – Maggie Mason: Life List

July 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Maggie Mason who writes MightyGirl.

A major through-line of Maggie Mason’s internet presence is the idea of a Life List. She made her own . . . I’m not sure when, but years ago. Then she started to spread her idea. She created Mighty Summit and then Camp Mighty – small and larger scale retreats, both designed to help people fulfill their Life Lists. Most recently she founded Go Mighty – a whole company devoted to using Life Lists to help people better themselves and their worlds/communities.

All along, I’ve been like “Life List. That’s cool. Not my thing.” As an actor in NYC, I’ve generally felt that my career goals – and the interim steps to achieve them – were my life list. And, when it comes down to it, I don’t have 100, I have one: to be a working, NYC-based actor who fully supports herself as an artist. That would be huge.

Still, this week is all about Ms. Mason so I’ve been gearing up to take my own stab at a Life List. I went back and read hers, I’ve poked around Go Mighty a bit more than I had before and a funny thing has been happening: as I’ve been reading and thinking this time around, the whole Life List thing feels a lot less “not my thing” than it did before. Maybe it’s having a kid and not having the freedom to do whatever whenever anymore that’s all of a sudden bringing me around to the idea? Or just the general (and generally different) perspective I have now versus the one I had then.

Life Lists and I still aren’t running towards each other across a field with open arms but I’m feeling much more ready to take a stab. Here goes:

1. Return to dine at Chez Marcel.
2. Sleep in a fancy grown-up tree-house.
3. Visit Greece to see the birthplace of modern drama.
4. Make awesome Halloween costumes for my kiddo every year ’till he’s too old.
5. Become a better sewer so that I can make (simple) pieces of clothing.
6. Finish my play; have a reading.
7. Take a bike vacation with the kiddo.
8. Take my mom on vacation for Mother’s Day in 2014 (Bermuda?!).
9. Produce the web series.
10. Visit New Orleans and eat all of the things.
11. Attend a clam bake on the beach.
12. Have an oyster party where I get a bunch of oysters and shuck them and then we eat them with delicious cocktails.
13. Become an Intermediate Ukulele player.
14. Own an ice cream maker and make my own.
15. Perform the role of “Dotty” in Stoppard’s Jumpers
16. Visit India
17. Make delicious Floating Island.
18. Go curling (ideally in Canada).
19. Get serious about Badminton.
20. Have a professional encounter with Jon Stewart.
21. Visit the Sol Lewitt walls at MassMOCA
22. Go back to Hawaii and become a solid “beginner” surfer.
23. Have a spritz in Venice.
24. Take a vacation with my husband and son AND a bunch of other friends.
25. Smile for a photo without feeling badly about my teeth.

Phew. That was hard. But also fun. Take a stab at making your own Life List and link to it in the comments so we can all see!

Blogger Appreciation Month Week 2 – Maggie Mason: Manic Pixie Dream Blogger?

July 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

This month I’m appreciating a handful of bloggers I love and admire. This week, I’m looking at Maggie Mason who writes MightyGirl.

Here’s a pro-tip from me to you: don’t vacuum your computer with the regular vacuum, even if you’re using the fuzzy attachment on the end of the hose attachment thing.

Here’s another pro-tip: When you need to fish something important out of a vacuum bag (a number 3 computer key, perhaps) use disposable wooden chopsticks. They prevent your dunking your hands in dirt and yuck and you can just throw them out after.

So why was I vacuuming my computer? Because the corner of my home – behind the sofa in the living room – that counts as my “office” has been having a bug problem. Teeny tiny little grey bugs. I first noticed them because I’d be sitting there working at my computer and feel a tickle – “what’s this little bug on my hand? Oh, look, more on the computer.” I’d squish them and move on. But earlier this week it became clear that the bug situation was escalating so today, I found myself standing in Bug Corner, as it is now known, trying to suck up all the little jerks.

And during all of this – indeed, all week – I’ve been thinking about Maggie Mason. How could I honor and appreciate her here? And, truly, her writing has made me such a better blogger than I would otherwise be (which is not to say there isn’t still some room to grow).

Suddenly I remembered that Maggie Mason once had a bug problem! And she had great advice about how to clean a computer (much more specific than mine above). That made me remember her homemade salad bar (so clever!) and snack dinner (Number 2 in this post but read the rest of it too; I think about number 5 a lot).

As I thought back on so many great posts, I think what makes them all so great is that Ms. Mason shows a lot more than she tells. When she writes about her bug freak-out, she doesn’t explain that she was freaked out and analyze the many ways and reasons that’s the case, she just freaks out in writing and we get it. Of course that’s a generalization and there are times that some explanation is called for (and even then, I think she has a nicely light touch). Still, I think this is why it’s been so hard to find ways to blog “in homage” to her – she’s just a good writer writing about her life. If I can manage to be a good writer writing about my life, it won’t look like an homage to anyone (I don’t think), but we can all know that Maggie Mason had a hand in the matter.

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