Monday, August 30, 2010


"Was everyone else really as alive as she was? For example, did her sister really matter to herself, was she as valuable to herself as Briony was? Was being Cecilia just as vivid an affair as being Briony? Did her sister also have a real self concealed behind a breaking wave, and did she spend time thinking about it, with a finger held up to her face? Did everybody, including her father, Betty, Hardman? If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no-one was." --From Atonement, by Ian McEwan

Some pretty photographs for the next few days & I hope they will divert bizarre people away from my blogs. I'm being comment-spammed like mad. Found out last evening that my mailing address has been changed (for some things, not sure of extent yet) & much is missing.

I do not apologize for one single thing I have said or written (or thought) the last several days & weeks here...certainly I have much to atone for in my life. But my crime of late, if anything, is silliness. Which never killed anyone. Unless they died laughing. If I die laughing, many years from now (!), I shall be grateful.

I shall respond to your lovely comments & emails. Soon. Difficult week (more than usual) ahead.
Cheers, everyone.

[Atonement stills by Alex Bailey - the "happy ending" Briony, in her guilt, her atonement, granted to Cecilia & Robbie. I just reread the novel.]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week's End - On My High Horse

I'm up on my horse--Missus Ed--& pulling outta here. (Glenn Beck just exhorted all of us to ride a horse somewhere...unsure of where because as his very bad Charlton Heston-as-God impression drones on & the mixed metaphors fly & collide, I'm tuning out.) I'm drawing a line under the week here. I will be posting next week, pretty stuff, Strasbourg, etc. But mainly, I will be tottering around to various appointments. There are so many wonderful links here & on Julie's blog.

PS: Glenn is now yelling about England. Canada: you're up next, you pinkos:)

[Missus Ed in her stable, credit soon. Got so excited the other day by seeing a horse & a chandelier that I forgot mee-sef]

The Real Dream/The Current Nightmare

I thought I'd be able to stand watching this but it's beyond anything I can possibly explain. I'm about to crack another tooth. It's like being in the middle of Being There & Network. Toss in Dr. Strangelovian bizarreness. Where are the new Paddy Chayefskys? Glenn Beck is now having a predictable meltdown & boohooing as the invited speakers (those he invited) spray blessings over him. He is being compared to Jesus, among great personages. He (Beck) is being called The Great One. (Jackie Gleason?) Oh, yeah, & toss in Elmer Gantry.

Also, as this nonsense is being held in the honor of the sister of a veteran of Afghanistan, regular visitor to Walter Reed Medical Center, & the friend of many Vietnam veterans...I object to this cynical use of our veterans & their vulnerable families.

I am not being a reactionary. I'm reacting to a real threat. Ignore people like this at your own peril., in every country. Freedom of speech is here in my apartment, too. Below is a quote from Totally Mad, Man.

"...History demonstrates what a mistake it can be to treat a crazy fringe as merely that—particularly one with unfettered access to its audience and little sense of responsibility to distinguish between truth and fiction.

How else do you explain the fact that presently, according to a Research 2000 survey, nearly 60 percent of Republicans questioned were unsure if Barack Obama..".read the rest, here.
And then weep.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Dear Glenn Beck:

Dude, seriously, get a grip.

I've had my virtual skirts over my head trying to ignore the impending spectacle (tomorrow) at the Lincoln Memorial. I feel like I can say this because you are (negatively) affecting me personally: stay the hell out of my neighborhood. Oh, I can calm down because some Tea Party websites/blogs advise those-of-you-who-come-to-restore our honor (?) to stay out of certain neighborhoods/areas. Mine is one of them. Phew.

Ciao-meow from Susan & Giulia Geranium (la gattina)


To international visitors who are thinking, "Wha?" Good people, this person is a troublemaker, most definitely not of the stylish variety, & is suspicious (or worse) of you, too. You must be un-American 'cause you weren't born here. What might be of interest to non-Americans is what comedian (& neighborhood native) Lewis Black calls Glenn Beck's "Nazi Tourette's."

These nincompoops have the right to be here, of course, but they do not have the right to hijack Martin Luther King's message. If I can, I'll be at another event honoring Dr. King. If I'm too tottery, I'll watch via Twitter & listen to music. Anti-Tea Party folk - do not take the bait. Listen, it's already happening; they want violence, do not give it to them. (Update: I feel I should say, "some people want violence." Not everyone.)

This post obviously can't stand as a week's end, even by my much lower-of-late standards. Something pretty or cheerful over the weekend. tt4n

Update (already): Whaddya know? There's a new blog, Loonypalooza, which is monitoring the weekend's activities. I don't know the blog owner (yet) & must read it before I link to it. But they have posted a link to a Eugene Robinson's Washington Post column today: Even Beck Can't Mar King's Legacy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Being a self-respecting fashion photography obsessive, I love Tim Walker. Click here for a short Vogue Italia film. What self-restraint--only one photograph. It's like being on a diet. Just playing around, I can't do much at moment. Julie the Cat & I have been moon watching. In other night light news, I am happy to report that the annual festival of fireflies is lighting up a pagoda-shaped pine out back. I wait for it every year. Julie is still on a chair looking out, but her mewing-reportage has subsided so I think the show is over.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life Creeps Up

However smart we may be, however rich and clever or loving or charitable or spiritual or impeccable, it doesn't help us at all. The real power comes in to us from the beyond. Life creeps up behind, where we are sightless, and from below, where we do not understand. -D.H. Lawrence

Life creeps up & so does bang (fringe) creepage. It will take all my will & strength to make it across town to cure this unacceptable state of hair-affairs. It's a welcome gray, cool day here today. Don't agree (entirely) with the Lawrence quote, but it's how life feels nowadays.

[photograph by Amanda Mason/all rights reserved/via Audrey Hepburn Complex tumblr]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Liberty London Girl

Update/Explanation: I drafted the post below on 1 November 2009. It's posting today with no editing (until a point in abstract future) for a few reasons. 1) Whatever happened on Mad Men last night has even non-Mad Men posters busy as bees. So I'd best download it from iTunes & watch. 2) I feel like hell. More about which later this week (because I'll know something then). 3) I arrived home from my lovely house/cat sitting gig on Saturday open windows & the a/c chugging away. By the date on the "we're finished rehabbing your bathroom"slip (no you are not & I've busted you to the property manager), this state of affairs went on for at least 4 days. No money coming in & everything going -- literally -- out the window is causing huge upset. 4) Sasha, author of Liberty London Girl, is in the midst of blog troll visitation & it pisses me off. (I should explain that LLG was anonymous at the time of this draft; she has since popped out of her shell & is doing very well indeed.)

The Laura Burlton photographs (via here) reminded me of a sister who was a ballerina-in-training. And the sorts of things we used to get up to in old tulle & netting, as thunderstorms approached from Canada, on Lake Erie. It felt so wild & free. Very unlike today.

27 August 2011 Update - Laura Burlton, excellent photographer, stopped by with her new website address.


I enjoy this compilation of tidbits on fashion & life (not really in that order) by an English fashion editor living in America. I don't go looking for blogs often as so many of you have great links & recommendations; that's how I came upon this one--sorry but I don't remember where (perhaps, Wee Birdy). I instantly visited as Liberty of London patterns & fabric (& the main store in London) have been important touchstones to another era. One is wrapped around my neck quite often, my grandfather's WWII-era silk paisley scarf. More about which another time.

LLG's post Ex-pat Friends reeled me in again yesterday (Saturday). I can identify, though I'm not an ex-pat at the moment, I know what she means because I could easily be one of the Americans in her group. LLG's LinkedWithin widget popped up a post called Why I Never Lose Hope In America. I was intrigued & clicked on the video. Along with a strongly brewed coffee, it provided the oomph to get on with it another day.

As I watched the video, I thought of the young man who asked me to talk about the Human Rights Campaign & gay marriage last week. I was on my way to arrange my local Amnesty International group's gift-wrap-for-donation gigs at a local bookstore. I was feeling mighty crabby but I know what it's like to pitch one's cause (though I've not done so on a street corner in a zillion years*).

I thought about him, standing up there in the rain, when I watched this video. (And a younger cousin, who is gay & married--& I'm not putting that in quotation marks.

Thanks, Liberty London Girl. (And for all your excellent tips, too.)

*At 15 (1/2) years-old, I was surrounded, swarmed really, by the meanest bunch of capitalist hyenas in Pittsburgh. They yelled & cursed as I handed out flyers for a Democratic candidate near the plaza of the then-U.S. Steel Building. Two of them were from my church & I thought they were rescuing me from the pitchfork-wielding villagers. Nope. They were incensed that a "nice girl " of their acquaintance was doing this (outrageous, um, Constitutionally-protected) deed. I busted them--to our seminarian, a friend. They were lectured by our minister & shamed into apologies. I think they only felt bad that they swore at a girl from their church. (This was also the minister's opinion & it upset him very much.) Though many steelworkers & other union guys came to my aid, it was a traumatic experience. It felt imminently violent. I can't claim it for sure, but my successful plans to escape to another country for an unspecified amount of time might have been sealed that day.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week's End - Pip Pip Cheerio

Feeling rather drama-queen tragic. Therefore these Jeeves & Wooster photographs to deflate such idiocy. The second one is on the beach in Cornwall (which is becoming a sub-theme here). Back home tomorrow - I hope to a new bathroom. There are more Jeeves & Wooster DVDs in the mail box, courtesy of the Netflix Fairy. I've been quite entertained the last week by old (but still relevant) podcasts by Stephen Fry (via iTunes). Here's Stephen's website which is great fun. Yes, I follow him on Twitter.

I'll be by to visit people over the next few days & to respond to comments. Moving slowly lately. Toodles.

[Jeeves & Wooster images via tumblrs aplenty, here]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Odour of Chrysanthemums

The short story title popped into my muddled mind a few hours ago. Snipping herbs & flowers, snapping off a few small vegetables (where I'm house/cat sitting), I sensed a change. Of course, it is late summer & it will be too hot for some time yet. I usually welcome the nearly imperceptible shift, the flip of the switch, to a new season. Not today, though, for all sorts of complicated reasons.

But what-ho? (Too much Jeeves & Wooster this summer. I'll be saying 'pip pip' soon.). A new mini-crisis on the literal horizon to divert me. (That's a good thing.) The entertaining birds in the back garden have cleverly timed the emptying of their feeders for this very moment--oh thanks les oiseaux. Now I'll be awake all night if I can't fill them before I collapse from fatigue (which I am about to do). Oh woe.

Strasbourg-of-the-past is what this twaddle above is about. Some of it anyway. Can you see why I drone on about the-rest-of-France & I-love-Alsace, just from that photograph? I hope so. Paris is grand, yes, but it is not the whole country.

[Strasbourg by thexmunichxromance via deviantArt & for good measure, another flower lady via style(dot)com archives]

The Interrupted Concert

It was on this day in 1936 that the 38-year-old Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was executed, a few weeks after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. In those first weeks, people on both sides — the leftist republicans and the right-wing nationalists — were rounded up and killed, as many as 50,000, with particularly heavy casualties against the republicans. Lorca was a leftist sympathizer, an open homosexual, and a writer who wrote about oppressed people like gypsies, so he was an easy target for the nationalists.--The Writer's Almanac

"Seventy years after his death, his voice is just as alive as on that 19 August night when bullets tried to silence it." --conclusion to this 2006 article, Poet's Death Still Troubles Spain.

Here is the link to the bilingual Fundacion Federico García Lorca (in Madrid) created by Lorca's sister, Isabel. BBC link of Lorca's life in pictures, here. I can barely write a thing as this horrific murder makes me weep.

The Interrupted Concert

The frozen sleepy pause
of the half moon
has broken the harmony
of the deep night.

The ditches, shrouded in sedge,
protest in silence,
and the frogs, muezzins of shadow,
have fallen silent.

In the old village inn
the sad music has ceased,
and the most ancient of stars
has muted its ray.

The wind has come to rest
in dark mountain caves,
and a solitary poplar—Pythagoras
of the pure plain—
lifts its aged hand
to strike at the moon. (trans. W.S. Merwin)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dancing on Wine Bottles

Valued Exposure:17 year old Bianca Passarge of Hamburg dresses up as a cat, complete with furry tail and dances on wine bottles, June 1958. Her performance was based on a dream and she practiced for eight hours every day in order to perfect her dance. Photo: Carlo Polito/BIPs/Getty Images

Via BBC while doing some research. Utterly unrelated to people acting out their cat fantasies. On wine bottles? I'm too tired to make up anything sillier.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arms Akimbo

...Their guild is giving money to the poor.
The worthy poor. The very very worthy
And beautiful poor. Perhaps just not too swarthy?
perhaps just not too dirty nor too dim
Nor—passionate. In truth, what they could wish
Is—something less than derelict or dull.
Not staunch enough to stab, though, gaze for gaze!
God shield them sharply from the beggar-bold!
The noxious needy ones whose battle’s bald
Nonetheless for being voiceless, hits one down.
But it’s all so bad! and entirely too much for them.

From The Lovers of the Poor by Gwendolyn Brooks. Entire poem, here.

I'm just as guilty, by the way. But I fight it. (Hint. The labels on my blogs are commentary, as well as a way for me to keep track of things undone, unsaid, incomplete. Ongoing projects, etc.) Something funnier, no doubt, later. Like running down the street at ungodly early hour, after garbage collectors. In robe & nightgown. (I was wearing the nightgown/robe.)

As Julie's blog is on break (though I might take it off break, so much is happening), here is a link to the lists of places to send help to Pakistan.

Update on Thursday evening. Wow, I'm infuriated by the news. Here's another list of places to help Pakistan. As I say on the other blog, some enlightened self-interest is a good thing. So even if you don't care about 20 million people, you might want to prevent some pretty bad blow-back. Just saying.

[Joan Bennett, arms akimbo via Stars of Yesterday tumblr]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dare to Design a Shabby Apple Dress

Shabby Apple's announcement of their second annual Dare to Design competition was in this morning's email.You do not have to be a professional designer to enter. I'd love it if one of you goes for it. Please pass this along to any friends who might be interested, as well. You have until 15 October 2010, 11:59 EST. SA partners in a micro-finance program in India. This is not a small thing to me when considering a purchase.

I bought a Marseilles dress a year ago & I still love it (stripes!). This summer saw a French-inspired collection (stripes again) & the new retro apron line, Boysenberry Pie. I'm selecting patterns & fabric lately, not designing a thing (although I used to tweak patterns). If you're not up to entering a competition or are looking to buy something ready-made, Shabby Apple is also having a sale. There's a dress for everyone. No fighting!

[Suzy Parker via myvintagevogue; collage from Shabby Apple website images]

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Rose Bath

Pure heaven (if I can't see the Northern Lights) is a rose bath. In a house with electricity. Wireless & cable. Mad Men on a big screen, here I come. (If I can remember the instructions for turning it on.) Thanks to friends-at-the-beach who entrusted their lovely house & garden (not to mention Hermione the Cat) to me. Julie the Cat is trying her very best to be a humble house guest. (I'm dubious but she is giving it a go.) I am rediscovering the joys of refrigeration. A L'Occitane rose gel bath in the whirly-thingy bathtub - most excellent. Must be careful not to pull "a Lucy" & have great fluffs of foam topping the tub. A bit of the gel goes a very long way (I just rediscovered, uh huh). That's it, it's Sunday but wanted to proclaim my excitement at a real (& mold-free) bathtub/room.

Update - I think I just found the very "headboard" I'm looking for, here on From London With Love (via The Clever Pup). Off to shop. Seriously.

[Photograph by
Cig Harvey via A Cup of Jo]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week's End - Down the Highway

Well, I’m walkin’ down the highway/ With my suitcase in my hand...Dylan

OK, well, I'm not walking down the highway but expecting a ride down one tomorrow. (Though you should have seen me tromping down a highway last night, soaking wet, with a flashlight & fueled by indignation & a bit of fear.) And I'm trying to pack what I'll need/want. We've been without power AGAIN for the last few days. To say enough already is not adequate. Finally finally finally our Governor has had it, our County Executive has had it & who knows who else. I've been on a Campaign of Fury the past few days on the phone & radio stations. It will continue--not here--but at a place where the power rarely goes off & then for really good reasons. Like a hurricane. For Instance.

I've lost the contents of the fridge yet again. Not enough ice in the neighborhood. Until late last night, it was pitch dark, over 100 degrees in my apartment, & nearly as humid. Julie was about to sprout mushrooms from her little red head (for the uninitiated, that's the cat). Meanwhile, thank goodness for a fully-charged iPod (lent indefinitely) filled with hilarious & thought provoking podcasts by Stephen Fry. That darling devil.

Ciao for now. I'll visit everyone on the weekend/early next week as I take little breaks from off-line writing & trouble-making.
PS: As Julie's blog is on break, I cannot emphasize enough - somewhere - that millions of people are literally treading water in Pakistan. More than were affected in the tsunami. If you are so inclined--man, I hope you are--please go to Giulia Geranium for a list of places to help. Thanks. [photograph by Tim Walker]

Update: after posting this, the power went out again for 1.45 hours. (This is for record-keeping).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Idler's Academy in Port Eliot, Cornwall

They’re singing sea shanties. I’m at a festival where the lineup includes Jarvis Cocker, Luella Bartley, and Diana Athill and here is a Cornish men’s vocal group singing a capella sea shanties. The crowd— a mix of people my age, my parents’ age, and children— lap it up. This is either the weirdest or most brilliantly eclectic festival out there. I have fallen down some kind of rabbit hole into an alternate British universe without irony or hipsters. I am so confused.-Lauren Elkin

I've been musing with a friend about a Bath-Wales-Cornwall trip when I'm feeling better & have the wherewithal. When I saw Lauren Elkin's Maîtresse post, You haven't lived until you've seen an English field full of teepees at twilight, I thought, aha Port Eliot. Yep.
You can read Lauren's Letter from Cornwall: the Port Eliot Festival on Bomb . It's pretty inclusive. (I would've loved the Persephone tent arranged as Vanessa Bells's Bloomsbury sitting room. I don't see any photographs but I shall pursue. Here's the Persephone blog.)

Teepees are OK but I'm the Gypsy Bowtop Caravan type. Enough tents in my lifetime, thanks. The kids atop a bovine is not from the festival. I'm looking for decently priced rainboots. (To everyone who will email: Hunters, yes I know. The prices are out of the question presently & for the abstract future. Update--I forgot to say that they're now made in China. So, ugh.) I had wet feet most of last winter. Plus, it's so hot out, that I need to look at something green. My paternal grandparents had a cow* that I don't remember riding but I choose to believe that I did. And if I'm not mistaken, some time ago my father either bought a cow-out-to-pasture for hanging out or he meant to. Anyway, I've done this, yes.

From the website: This year the Idler’s Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment opens its doors for the first time. Tom Hodgkinson, editor of cult magazine The Idler, has established the Academy as a resource for these three valuable but generally neglected disciplines. This year’s curriculum includes Latin grammar, scything, woodwork, education theory, poetry and, of course, lashings and lashings of fun...

Bring on the rest of the weirdness.

[photograph of teepees by Bill Bradshaw; Gypsy Caravan via Port Eliot site; *bulls & asst. cattle are still bovine]

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Tiny Cat of Rome

This was gruesome--fighting over a ham sandwich
with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped
on my arm and half hung on to the food and half
hung on to my shirt and coat. i tore it apart
and let him have his portion, I think I lifted him
down, sandwich and all, on the sidewalk and sat
with my own sandwich beside him, maybe I petted
his bony head and felt him shiver. (rest of poem) from Another Insane Devotion, Gerald Stern

So you couldn't have found something pretty to write about a pretty Roman gatto? No, I'm feeling devilish tonight. Besides, I love this poem by Gerald Stern. (He was born in Pittsburgh, by the way.)

Thank you so much to Julie of Being Ruby for sending me a new version of the Coliseum Cat. She included an earlier version in a package last autumn, along with a beautiful handbag that I won on her blog. Julie publishes beautiful photographs of her travels & of her Sydney. This print sits patiently with many other things-I-love, ready to be placed just-so on a wall above the desk. If, when, if, when the wall is painted. Soon, soon. So I am told.

I love the nerve of this cat but I worry about him (or her), too. Don't blame the big cats for the hideous goings on at the Coliseum. Man invented it. Cats kill to eat, not to entertain themselves & others.

[photograph by Julie Newcombe/Being Ruby/all rights reserved]

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Redheaded Woman

Maureen Dowd (a redhead) wrote a terrific column last week about the death of the grown-up romantic comedy. She has an email give & take with Sam Wasson, the 28-year-old author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., the best seller about the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I agree that the stupid movies probably confuse younger people a lot. Too close an inspection of many cupcake & pink unicorn blogs is worrying. Infantilization--especially when you do it to yourself for cryin' out loud--ain't (grown-up) sexy. Here's a bit of what Sam has to say:

"I am not joking when I say that because there is nothing to see (especially, and tragically, in romantic comedy) my girlfriend and I have had to stay home and in some cases fight. If there were better movies out there, I am sure so many relationship disasters may have been averted. Also, romantic comedies, the good ones, taught me how to love, or at least instructed me on how to try. If I were falling in love now for the first time and going to see this garbage thinking this was real, I would be in deep [expletive]. It was only after I saw ‘Annie Hall’ as a wee Jew that I realized what it was to be a person in love. It has been a touchstone ever since." Really, you need to read the column, here.*

Today I thought good thoughts about all the (many) redheads in my family, friends, former colleagues, actresses, a great singer-song writer (who inspired the song), & a columnist for the NYTimes. If you choose to be a redhead, I salute you & welcome to the club. My hair hasn't been red-red in quite awhile, but most people still think of me as one. Here are a few for some Sunday fun. (Sadly none are of friends or family -- or me -- because I Have Yet To Scan, But I Promise To. Really.) ciao-for-now

And now, I'll add a redheaded man to the list; as much as he has peeved so many of us, Woody Allen did write & make Annie Hall.

Update - a few people have emailed, what the hell? So here's part of the song:

A red headed woman
It takes a red headed woman
To get a dirty job done
-Mr. Springsteen

[photographs via verdoux, myvintagevogue, AMC. There were others I liked but wow, tumblrs that I won't name because they are not sexy, they are gross.Ooof. See? These people don't know the difference.]

Friday, August 6, 2010

Week's End - Italian Flowers

These flowers will prevent a cascade of photographs of blue dresses, Cary Grant, Mad Men characters, & other faiblesses. (Yes, I am working on Italian Stuff, anyway.) The Design*Sponge post prompted me to look up from the laptop. There on the desk is the same terracotta planter thingy & I have a glass bottle inside. So if I can totter up to the farmer's market (near Chompie the Shark, see below) tomorrow, I will do my poor-writer version.

has inspired me to do several smart things this last year. (No small achievement, believe me.) A few recent ones: finally, fer cryin' out loud buy the missing manual for a sewing machine; rescue a (fake) wrought iron plant stand in a laundry room; refrain from tossing out an entire bed because surely something can be done with the headboard. I bought the terracotta all on my own because I love plant pots. Now, I'll get a ton of spam with those words in it; sorry suckers, I have tight spam control alerts on.

Have a great weekend, wherever you are (& where are you, anyway?)

[flowers via Design*Sponge, many more--including Italian travel pix]

Chomp & Circumstance

Sharks sighted off New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts and on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Sharks: still angry about sushi.--From The Ten Things to Talk About This Weekend

The above quote is #4 on Henry Alford's New York Times Crib Sheet from yesterday. I laughed out loud on the Metro when I read it. (Click & see whole list.) The only reason people looked at me is because one rarely laughs on the Metro nowadays.

My neighborhood is a bit wacky & this sort of thing is usually posted at Julie's blog, but it's on break. I thought those in other lands might like to see beloved Chompie the Shark. (There's an argument about the spelling of the name. Isn't there an argument about everything, especially in the DC-area? The Discovery Channel blog uses 'Chompie,' hence my on-the-fly editorial decision.)

His Nibs has been in storage for a few years, so on a mid-July walk, I was delighted to see his adorable self floating through the Discovery Channel building for Shark Week. The local festivities are nearly over (shark-shaped chocolates, open-air films, etc.) Walking to the post office on Wednesday, I looked up & thought: he'll be gone soon. Sniff.

A local blog, Thayer Avenue, coined the post title, so props there. The photograph is via Silver Spring Singular (Chompy: The Revenge). Here is the recently-posted winner & runners-up for the Shark Week photo contest (& captions).

And yes, people are much more attuned to the need for shark protection (as in, sharks need it, too). I've seen some outraged commenters shrieking about this...all because we're having a bit of fun. We know, we know.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Planet Without Flowers

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.--Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Not Murdoch's finest book, but she's so damned quotable. Very sorry to see secret-lover-for-thirty-years stories rising to the top in a quick Iris search. I thought cream rose to the top. Blech. (In March, I'm not linking to any.) Can no one keep their mouth shut anymore? Swine.

Photograph of Gemma Ward by Steven Meisel for Vogue 2006. It's via my crummy scanner (now deceased) but I see that it's in more than a few tumblrs, here. More photos from the Vogue 2006 editorial are in dustjacket attic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Night Lights

Each day concludes in a huge splurge of vermilions/... And night arrives in one gigantic step.--from Two Campers in Cloud Country (Rock Lake, Canada)*, S. Plath

I've always wanted to see the northern lights (aurora borealis). Canadians & Americans in the north will see them tonight. (Maybe.) Cool NASA link. Goodness. Meanwhile, off to the bath. I'm looking at bath posts for ideas & as always, Tina Tarnoff has something inspiring on Thought Patterns. Ready for a Bath? from August 2009.

Good night you lucky, lucky people up north.

*the poem is not about death, no matter what lunatics write; it's about sleep. And vacations, holidays. And how beautiful Ontario was on a camping trip. The End.

[bath & tree bed via Verhext tumblr]

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bad Apple

Mille grazie to Maria Caterina di Perugia for a wonderful day at her house. She even picked me up & brought me back; I'm rather tottery lately, so this was a huge help. Lovely lunch. Discussed possibility of trip to Bath, Wales, & Cornwall within a reasonable time-frame (well, you have to plan these things). MCat received a gorgeous red-fabric bound set of collected Jane Austen from the Jane Austen Centre for her first anniversary (yesterday). My haul: three kinds of tomatoes, little peppers, heaps of basil, rosemary, sage, black-eyed Susans, & marigolds. Yay. I look forward to house-sitting whilst they are away at the beach later this month. Birds, two cats (one being My Julie), breezy house, & garden. No weirdo neighbor with secret meth lab. (I'm only half-kidding.)

All clean & tidy & happy-ish, claws sheathed, I logged on to see (as I did this a.m.) where/why iTunes had not downloaded the second episode of Mad Men (yes, it is a should read & look at the stuff I have to, then you'd know why). Thought it was me; no it was not. That was no small sum I paid for a season pass. Bad Apple!

Hope you had a great Monday. If you're a Bachelorette fan, Joanna at
Cup of Jo is holding a series finale confab, here. (Me? No, but have a good time.) See ya in the funny papers.


[Natalie Portman photographed by Ellen von Unwerth, 1996 via
bohema tumbr]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Shopping - Sleep in a Persian Garden

It is no secret that I suffer from sleeplessness.

I just removed 700 words of fairly amusing drivel but it needs to be edited. As the tree near my desk is being whipped to a froth, the silvery undersides of the leaves showing, & the prospect of another power outage looms, I shall simply go straight to the shopping bit. The edited drivel will magically show up (in Parts I & II) next week.

In early June I finally tired of washing out a navy silk made-by-enslaved-masses sleep mask & needing it before it dried.
So I went looking for another one & did so much better by visiting Bonnie, mask-maker extraordinaire, of BibBon on etsy. Bonnie has over 100 hundred masks to choose from, including a plain black one (which is important, I think, not just for men but for minimalist moods). I chose the one above, Persian Garden.

The two adjustable straps idea is wonderful & the sewing is sturdy & tightly done. I will never ever ever buy a mass-made sleep mask again. Not only that--it was less expensive than buying that popular navy silk deal in Whole Foods, ULTA, or wherever you found yours. Yes, really.
The version I chose was $12.00 (yes, you read that correctly) + shipping = $US 13.30.

Bonnie will ask your choice of inner linings & guide you to what you want/need. That's it. It arrived quickly, washes beautifully, & I feel more glamorous than I should. If I am able to begin working (for money) again soon (please), I'll climb BibBon's luxury ladder for one of the silks.

Oh & a major side benefit about these masks from my perspective: Julie the Cat cannot budge the thing off my face as she can the other. While she seems to feel this has diminished her quality of morning mischief, I could not be happier (about that, at any rate). Go visit Bonnie at BibBon.

Have a great Sunday/Monday & I'll be back soon (if the power is on). Cheers & here's to a good night's sleep.

PS: Un grand bisou, Phoenix Olivier. Bon anniversaire!

[photographs via BibBon with permission, all rights reserved; Shell Cure for Insomnia via LIFE Archives]