The Oscars

Meet Ruby

It’s rare, a day like today. Leap year only comes around every four years. Today’s twenty four hours feel rather special. How are you going to spend the time that will tick, tick, tick away oh-so quickly? You may be at work, or at appointments, or fulfilling obligations, but I hope you can take a step back from the daily grind and think big picture. This month, this year, we’ve been given the gift of just a little bit more extra time. This concept of an extra day is a beautiful thing.

Today, I would like to take this opportunity to make an introduction. Friends, I would like you to meet my little bike. Her name is Ruby.

IMG_3494 (1)

Ruby is a cruiser – front and to the left. She is slightly impractical for long rides on dirt paths, but she serves me well as we pedal through neighborhoods and along paved trails. She even has a cup holder for my coffee! While only equipped for one speed, this strong willed character with two wheels has become a welcomed companion to weekend adventures and jaunts that take us out and about.

Ruby has been hanging upside-down in our garage for much too long. The snow and cold weather kept her waiting patiently for brighter days that are on the horizon as February comes to an end. The teaser of spring is tantalizing my senses and Ruby is shaking in her fenders, ready to hit the road once again.

The weather this weekend was absolutely stunning, and I loved being able to be out and about in the sunshine. I enthusiastically took Ruby down from her storage hooks, pumped up her wheels, and took an adventure ride through our new neighborhood. As the sunshine warmed my shoulders, and the fresh air blew my hair in my face, I was reminded of the simple beauty that comes from hopping on a bicycle and taking time to explore.

Also, this weekend was the 88th Academy Awards. For those of you who don’t know – this is one of my favorite nights of the year! This, my friends, is my version of the Super Bowl. I love watching the glitz and glam of the red carpet, and celebrating artistic achievement in the wonderful world of movies that Hollywood creates. For my thoughts on last year’s awards, you can click here.

This year’s ceremony was quite controversial. Conversations about racism and sexism, diversity and inclusion permeated Chris Rock’s monologues and jokes, and I am sure that the Academy made intentional choices in selecting presenters, speeches, and entertainment alike. I do not intend to create a space of controversy or argument here in regards to these complex, multi-faceted issues.

I do, however, think it is fascinating that Hollywood brought these issues to light in front of an audience of millions of people. Thank you to Lady Gaga, too, for her powerful performance of “‘Til It Happens to You”. Her authentic efforts of advocacy in support of survivors of sexual assault are inspiring and much needed in our culture. This clip gave me the chills. We do have so much room to make progress.

Living in the tension and making choices to be kind to one another, to talk through difficult conversations, to create space for healing, and for bike rides. Those are beautiful things.

 

And The Oscar Goes To

“Girls in white dresses, and blue satin sashes. Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes. Silver white winters that melt into Spring. These are a few of my favorite things!” Was anyone else blown away by Lady Gaga’s performance at The Oscars? I think that moment was the oddest combination of memories for me on screen. Here a few of my favorite things. The Oscars. Julie Andrews. Winter melting into Spring. When will that be happening? Lady Gaga does not typically belong in the mix.

Flashback – I am in 8th grade wearing a long cotton skirt, a white button up shirt, and a yellow striped apron that drops to the floor. My hair is in a bun high atop my head and I have braces on my teeth. I’m standing in front of my English class for our largest report of the year. I had a friend play the piano and I shakily belted out “My Favorite Things” to about twenty other awkward thirteen year olds.  When I chose to present for thirty minutes on an artist of my choice for our English class masterpiece, Julie Andrews was a no-brainer selection. From falling in love with Mary Poppins to acquiring a taste for Maria Von Trapp, the characters played by Julie Andrews literally sang and danced through my childhood. It was odd for me to watch such a wonderful tribute to a magnificent human being performed on the screen on Sunday evening.

I delight in the Oscars. I’m not sure why, but I have had an appreciation for the cinematic spectacle since I stopped wearing stirrup leggings. (4th grade ok!…. are those coming back?) I think maybe my obsession started because I was able to stay up way past my bedtime in elementary school. The jokes, the dresses, the glamour, the famous people. It draws me in if only for one night. This year I thought amazing progress graced the red carpet with the #askhermore hashtag, and Patricia Arquette’s speech certainly caused a stir. It was only minutes until Meryl Streep’s reaction became a GIF. Women are continuing to make their mark on an industry that openly admits that The Academy has a way to go in terms of progress in equality for all gender identities. As a woman, this is beautiful to me. We do have ideas and creativity and contributions to make that go beyond the clothes we wear.

Once New Year’s passes my next holiday to look forward to is the release of the Academy’s nominations. This day is bigger than the Super Bowl. I try to watch as many movies that are in the running as possible before the show. This year, I’ll admit, I watched less of the contenders than I had hoped. However, The Theory of Everything did make an appearance in my house last Friday night. This. is. a. beautiful. movie. (Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne who won the Oscar for Best Actor).

This is one of the movies that speaks to your heart if you let it. The bravery exhibited by Jane Hawking. The courage and determination demonstrated by Stephen Hawking. The beautiful cinematography that uses spiral imagery to spin you into the moment and out to the grand spectrum of how we connect and relate to time. There exists an intense emotional portrayal of accepting our own limitations, and hoping with all you have that love will compensate for the gaps that we want others to be able to fill for ourselves. The movie made me tear up a little bit, and I’m not one to usually weep at movies.

I know that Hollywood, and celebrities, and fancy dresses are desirable. Wouldn’t it be nice to be wealthy and seemingly have all your worries wiped out by the promise of financial security. No? That’s just me? Yet, when all of the glitz and glam and gets wiped away, and that image of Neil Patrick Harris in his undies fades from your corneas, truly invoking stories remain. That is what this movie is; a truly invoking story. Watch it. It is beautiful.

Essie Nail Polish: none this week

Biscotti Update: Pumpkin Biscotti dipped in melted Caramel Chocolate Truffles by Whole Foods

Ps – thanks to Nick and Hannah who let me invite myself over so I can enjoy your company and mooch your cable TV to make the dream come true