Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Birthday Roses my mother. I sent her this bouquet for her birthday (this Friday). While I was spending an inordinate amount of time, money, & shattering my last nerve* having the new laptop fluffed & folded, she called to say it's beautiful. At the hairdresser's last week, I flipped through Martha Stewart Living to see how inadequate I am (lately). There was an advert (& a 15% discount code through December 31) for the collection. The code is LIVING15. Cheers.

*and that of a friendly, patient young college student who had the misfortune to be on duty when I arrived with my list of questions & worries.

[Martha Stewart Radiance Birthday Bouquet via 1800FLOWERS]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week's End - Slow Down & Look Around

People in town for the National Book Festival. People calling. People soliciting advice. People seeking the counsel of someone afraid of her new laptop? Think about it. Here's good advice for writers (& in general) at any level. The photograph synchronizes with Giulia Geranium today because, frankly, the bewildering assortment of photographs & images on hand is, well, a jumble. My tiny kingdom for a camera. Yesterday's foray to the new farmer's market near the White House (& assorted wanderings) called out for one. On the desk sit about-to-bloom pink lilies & stripey grasses from a cut-flower farm, Wollam Gardens, featured in yesterday's Washington Post.

And that's that. Happy weekend.

(Easy Day by gloeckchen via we heart it
-via deviant art. The artist's gallery, here.)

La Coiffure

It's no wonder that this is from Cute Overload via We Heart It. It's from a GG post last holiday time but I wanted to see it over here now. Maybe it will balance out my sarcasm. The great kitten hunt is on after the weekend. A gift for Julie/Giulia (& me).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Against the current, ceaselessly

"They were careless people, Tom and Daisy--they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made..."
The Great Gatsby

It's F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday (see here for novelist Leslie Pietrzyk's tribute & a bathtub gin recipe); he's buried not too far away. It's sad beyond measure. I resist dipping into an abundance of photographs--personal & otherwise--to illustrate reckless, careless people. I do possess some common sense, no matter what I've written (or allowed to be quoted publicly--in print--for crying out loud) the past several years.

Instead, I will be at the new farmer's market near the White House. (Thank you, Michelle Obama., I love you.) While I'm riding the rails, I will muse on a newly-acquired phobia (& how to exorcise it). I'm convinced that my much-anticipated, first laptop will connect itself, without my assent, to the neighbor's wireless service. Before it has its configuration day spa outing at the local Office Depot. "It" has already indicated a willingness, nay, an eagerness to zip over & grab the hot spot. I will have a cow & kittens if this happens.

Friends have queried, why isn't the DSL working yet? Why not the wireless? Have you even turned the freaking laptop on after spending months researching it & driving us crazy with questions? Well, OK, man, geez. This, this...thing was delivered on September 3. It is September 24. The evening of the 19th, after 4 hours of looking at it (not full-time!) on the coffee table, I turned it on. It fully charged & the mess called "Vista" loaded. I activated the anti-everything -bad programs. Then I turned it off & Julie the Cat returned to lounging upon it. I feel this was a major success but have been told otherwise.

I am reminded that...I was unaccountably afraid of a chainsaw in my Washington, DC garage. (If an inanimate object can be accused of lurking, it lurked. This is why I avoid horror films, books.) Friends thought it hilarious then & still do. This is not helpful, people. You want me to communicate faster, better, watch those YouTube thingies...& even do things for you (ahem) that require resolution of this problem. So maybe razzing me--no matter how amusing--isn't the way to go. (No, these are not careless & reckless creatures...though they've re-enacted my in vino veritas chainsaw confession to others. For which I will never forgive them. OK, I will.)

Photographs are from a series by Frenchman Yannick Vigouroux. He's part of a cellphone photography (photophonie) group. Eh, bricolage. Yannick's project is called Au coeur des pixels. Which I love. I stress that these Parisiennes-on-the-Métro are not careless (insofar as I know).

Session over; carry on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Maintaining One's Composure

First, obtain some composure. It's on the to-do list. This photograph of Suzy Parker is by Nina Leen via myvintagevogue. Here's a link to Nina Leen photography. Where I learned that I have misspelled her first name. For over a year. The shame will eat at me while I am out today... no time to correct the attributions. This is seriously compromising any composure that I have had for a few hours. (I am not kidding. It is a sickness.)


Friday, September 18, 2009

Week's End - To Autumn

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?/ Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,
--John Keats, complete poem...

Oh no, another Keats post? You bet. Thank you, Jane Campion, for your new film Bright Star. I heard high school students talking this afternoon & the word 'Keats' floated through the air between them. This wasn't in a school building.

Keats arrived in Rome (via Naples) 21 October 1820; the ship was quarantined & he did not arrive in Rome until 15 November. Though he did not write poetry in what were to be his last months, he wrote one letter, to his friend Charles Brown. It's heartbreaking, especially the last two lines. "...I can scarcely bid you good bye even in a letter. I always made an awkward bow."

The photographs are from the Keats-Shelley House near the Spanish Steps; the salon & Keats' bedroom. In these very rooms & at the Protestant Cemetery, I have disgraced myself several times with squeaky sniffs. Once, I embarrassed a younger sister & have not yet been forgiven. Ever after, I have visited alone.

A lovely weekend to all. (Sniff.)

Lungo Tevere by Giampaolo Macorig via flickr; Keats-Shelley House photographs by frattaglia via flickr; Protestant Cemetery, Keats' grave by Piero Montesacro via wikimedia commons.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gloria in Black & White

We will have real health care reform in this country or I'll eat my huge, polka-dotted umbrella.

[Photographs by Yale Joel for LIFE, 1965]

Monday, September 14, 2009

La Rentrée

Returning is decidedly difficult. Too many to-do lists. So off to make phone calls to remedy the situation, to swim, to ease la rentrée. It's usually one of my favorite times of year. (Except for natal day dread; more about which, perhaps, later.) Jumping into the autumn city swirl would be more graceful, I'm sure, if wearing a blue coat like this 1962 Yves Saint Laurent. One could glide in anywhere & no one would dare yell "You lie!" Yes, I'm still annoyed about the incivility towards our President. I keep referring to Professor Forni's Choosing Civility to keep myself under control. Yesterday I had it with me at a table wherein I had to hear all about why we [the organization] were wrong, misinformed, the usual. I kept glancing at my open tote, the book's title visible. It helped.

So that I don't just list complaints...I can report that I have been able to purchase some new clothes, books (a pile!), renew subscriptions, memberships, & so on. I am grateful.


PS: I first saw this Paul Schutzer photograph in myvintagevogue's flickr stream. Jessica has several terrific archival blogs. Her lovely official website, here.