I’m just back from a quick trip to California to see Exhibit B for her birthday.  Usually when I visit Los Angeles, I try to see as many friends as I can, going for three meals a day in a frenzy of catching up overeating and overdrinking.

Instead, I was mostly velcro’d to my exhibit and saw her friends and overate and overdrank with them.

The point is my appetite for life experiences is huge, but I just can’t do everything.  Is that a function of age, of resignation, of exhaustion? 

 I’m going to say it’s a function of maturity.  An awareness that there will be a next time and I can have different priorities on another trip.  If I didn’t see you, I’m sorry.

 

I am delighted that Shannon Watts is our guest today. She is a hero to me, for being a concerned citizen who actually did more than tsk to herself or preach to the converted. On the day of the tragedy of the Sandy Hook mass murder, this mother of five decided to organize other moms to advocate for stricter laws that would prevent more gun violence. Seven years later, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has hundreds of thousands of volunteers who’ve helped change laws all around the country. Her new book is called Fight Like a Mother; How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World.

Photo credit: Chris Langford Photography

Photo credit: Chris Langford Photography

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First, the five things that made my life better this week:

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1). The movie “Gloria Bell” which I saw on a plane last week.  It’s a remake of a Spanish language Chilean film called “Gloria”, and the English language version stars Julianne Moore, John Turturro, Michael Cera, and Holland Taylor.  It was written an directed by Sebastián Lelio, who made the original Spanish version as well.

I related to it, and I enjoyed it.Here is a divorced woman living alone, working in a meaningful job, but clearly lonely.Her 2 grown children are wrapped up in their own lives, and Gloria enjoys going out to clubs for a drink and a dance.That’s all I will tell you, because I think it’s work seeing.

 
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2. The proliferation of healthier food choices at airports.  It’s not your grandma’s food court anymore.  Well, yes it is, but there are more options than either Caesar salad or a chicken Caesar salad.  I am pleased to report that you can buy all sorts of other salads, non-dairy, and gluten-free foods, now that we all have leaky guts and newfangled food allergies.

 
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3. Flat and low-heeled shoes.  Doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s nice to be able to walk a good distance – let’s say 6000 steps -- without experiencing agony. I see young women wearing stilettos – even Meghan Markle or Melania Trump, and yes, their legs look great, but they cannot be comfortable.  That’s inconceivable to me.  If I could wear loafers or clogs all day, every day, I would.  You get the idea.

 
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4. Exhibit B’s birthday.  A happy, happy experience.   We had time alone, we had meals with with various people who are close to her, and a fantastic dinner with her besties at Tallulah’s in Santa Monica.  My girl said it was the best birthday of her life.  They have a photobooth!

 
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5. “The Investigation”, the reading of the Mueller Report (a callback to my former #5). Last week many of theater’s masters – Kevin Kline, John Lithgow, Annette Bening, Michael Shannon, and Jason Alexander, made up part of the cast of a dramatic reading at Riverside Church. The words were directly from the report, and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (“The Kentucky Cycle”) Robert Schenkkan turned it into something incredible. John Lithgow stunned as Donald Trump. Watch it.

 
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And here are the five things that make Shannon’s life better.

 
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1.            Noise cancelling headphones

 
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2.            Frank Ocean

 
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3.            The RealReal

 
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4.            The Real Housewives franchise

 
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5.            Moms Demand Action volunteers

 

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