Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Day

Oops. Best laid plans, etc. Dashing out on errands & now a last-minute babysitting request (for the afternoon). Happy to help but that pushes some things off my list right now. I may be back before midnight, maybe not. I will most certainly be on Twitter. Happy New Year already to Julie & Simon & others I don't know. For those without televisions, there's a live webcast from NYC's Time Square beginning at 6pm EST. Join in!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Irish Coffee Break

Off for Irish coffee & then to see the ZooLights. It's been a mild winter here, so far (keep it up, weather gods) & the outdoor holiday walks have been superb. A friend & I had a funny run-in last week with the most hideous looking Irish coffee. It was not a good sign that the child waitpersonne had no idea what that was (seriously). At least she was good-humored. She took away the offending oily black liquid dumped unceremoniously into clear glasses & brought us seasonal beers. Which were quite good.

But...I've been craving an Irish coffee ever since. So off to the local pub, a good one. However, I look forward to having a house whiskey again. Never leave your good liquor out for bums to drink up. (That's a whole 'nother story.)

I hope everyone is having a good holiday. I realize that not everyone has a block of time off. But you can do little things like walk past pretty (& free) holiday lights, city department store windows, have a drink with a friend to make up for it. Also, primrose alert: they're in the stores & about $3/4.00. It will cheer you immensely. I promise. Back tomorrow...

PS: Turning off comments; it appears to have become burdensome.

(photograph via Martha Stewart)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winter Reading

If you can steal some moments away to read but have finished a book & are flipping through the same 3 magazines, or are at home & can't get out to the library or bookstore, I have a few links. I remember being on more than one trip & in the same situation & not even close to an inadequate newsstand.

Lori of automatism has a good label, magazines + newspapers (& she always has beautiful photographs to share). Poets & Writers magazine's annual Inspiration issue arrived yesterday. I've not had a moment to open it, but it usually lives up to its title. The New Yorker always has good features accessible to non-subscribers, though it's not the same if you don't subscribe. The Guardian has an excellent book site, including links for children & teens, suggestions for seasonal reading.

If you enjoy poetry,
The Poetry Foundation's website is excellent with many searchable features. Here's The New York Review of Books (I am only 3 issues behind, ahem). To round off the New York pubs, here's New York magazine which is always amusing. And if you miss Frank Rich in the Times, remember, he moved to NY magazine. Here's his latest column: The Molotov Party. Even if you don't live in the States, you should read it. Make that, especially if you don't live here, you should read it.

I need to finish reading a manuscript but picking it up just before I go to sleep has not been a good idea (& it is a good story). So off to read today. If you've something to recommend, please do. I love having lists to take to the library, bookstore, & newsstand & not just the end-of-the year lists by The New York Times (though theirs is always good).

I'll be back for New Year's Eve. Cheers everyone!

(Woman Reading by Gabriel Ferrier via Art Inconnu)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

I was just made aware that it is already Christmas Eve in some parts of the world. Hello, Antipodeans:) So all hemming & hawing about which photograph & links is over - now. A merry Christmas & a Happy Hanukkah to all. If you are feeling grumpy, remember that today is Festivus & air your grievances. (History of Festivus clip.) But as I exhort people on Twitter, air them stylishly with your Shakespeare Insult Kit.

Yesterday I met up with a friend & we walked around the city. A quick check-in at the holiday market was nice but it ain't Strasbourg. We had fun though: a drink, a quick errand to buy this beautiful liqueur, & a last-minute decision to walk to the White House to see the Christmas trees. A good evening.

Tomorrow I'll lunch with a friend who will be wildly busy as she is a makeup artist. But after we lunch, she'll hand me over to colleagues for a facial & a manicure. I'm so looking forward to it.

If you have little kids--or are one, occasionally--have a look at the Santa Tracker. It's fun. Also some last minute ideas are always on Martha Stewart's site. My friend Mary Kay swears by these cocktail & punch recipes.

(photograph via Pinterest but years ago I chose it as a Christmas card from Galison. Still looking for ultimate source. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Lights

From the sublime to the ridiculous... I'm far behind in reading a manuscript & holiday prep & everything.

Friday a friend & I went to a garden of lights. I expected to love it; it was more wonderful than I'd hoped. The word magical is so overused; this was a fairytale come to life. It finally felt like the holidays. If you live near something similar, I urge you to go. I wish there were really good larger photographs to show.

Sparkly holiday Paris is my laptop wallpaper of late. Very cheerful in the 7am shadows. You can get the link to the large size on Giulia Geranium. And of course, what would the holidays be without the continuing showdown between inanimate fairy lights & Julie? With some flower garlands tossed onto the pic?

I cannot believe it is 10.56pm on the last Sunday before Christmas. Back soon. Cheers!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Farewell, Hitch

There's really nothing much more to say because it would be far too long. Lovely photograph of Christopher on the picket line, on the left, where I wish he'd stayed. Via Prospect. Washington just got a whole lot duller, believe me. His tag at Vanity Fair.

Update - Ian McEwan's beautiful remembrance in The Guardian.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Nutcracker at the Movies

Those of you in Europe & Australia who love ballet & love seeing films in the theatre: keep your eyes & ears open for New York City Ballet's Nutcracker opening this month. (The times/places aren't listed yet.) It showed live in the States last evening. Here's the good review in today's New York Times. I'm thinking of popping up to a cinema in my neighborhood to see the Bolshoi's Nutcracker. I think the ballet-in-cinema is a positive development. While many of us have access to live ballet performance, many do not (or we just cannot afford the live ticket prices right now).

(photograph by Paul Kolnik for The New York Times)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Copenhagen Christmas Tree

I've been going through the photographs on the Giulia Geranium site & sizing, correcting attributions, etc. I loved this photo in 2008 & I still do. Worrying about getting a tree home (tricking/fast-talking taxi drivers was wearing on my nerves; asking busy friends was also nerve-wracking), I loved the idea that it was possible somewhere in the world to do-it-yourself on wheels. Here's Mikael's Christmas tree tag with cyclists & their arboreal hauls.

Also, I've read posts bemoaning the lack of space for a tree. I think they grew up with gigantic trees (I did & I love them) & would rather have no tree rather than "give in" for a small one. I think this because whenever anyone gives them ideas for a smaller version, there's a digging in of heels & a setting of jaws. "No, no, cannot." Hmm.For the rest of us, here's a take on a Christmas tree that made the rounds back in 2008, too. A great idea, especially if you have a lot of "stuff."

Do you put up a tree? Will you have a photograph of it that we can see?
Now, off to the market to provision the pantry & make these orange-y delights. Cheers!

(photograph by Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagen Cycle Chic)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let the Games Begin

I'm half-way through several mini-cleaning projects & everywhere I turn is another (literal) obstacle. Yesterday I opened two boxes of decorations. Even though Julie doesn't feel well & is not eating much, she sat right up & ran over to investigate. The annual fairy lights v. Julie has begun. She cracks me up.

I also have several drafts going for both blogs but I can't push it right now. Giulia Geranium publishes almost-daily as a way to keep myself going. I'm working on a Facebook page for GG; integrating Twitter into both blogs (it's easy but I don't like most design icons I've seen...yet); & what we'll call "miscellany."

I'll be around to soon to comment. I've read some terrific posts, I just haven't been able to summon up a lot to say. (Yet) xoxo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reading Tolstoy

You will not hear me grousing about the holiday season. I like to make the best of it. Those who go full-Scrooge seem to think they're original, even witty. (Oy) If you are active on Twitter &/or Facebook, the double-dose of Bah humbug is wearying - & it's only December 1.

Instead, I'm mixing it up with planning outings with friends, solo outings, movies, & reading that feels like a project, but in a good way. This translation of Anna Karenina was a revelation to many, including me, in 2001. It's time to move on to War & Peace; this will be made more enjoyable by checking in with C.M. Mayo's Reading War & Peace & following her links. She's a terrific writer (& teacher) who lives here in Washington, DC (when she's not in Mexico). She's also a very generous blogger.

Now go get that poinsettia or start collecting the spices you need for cookies or mulled wine or decide on a new calendar (there are sales already) or string some fairy lights around a window or mirror. Or take a walk to the library. On the way, buy a toy & take it to the holiday toy collection for a child in need.

(Woman Reading by Alexander Deineka)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Central Park in Fog

I don't do gift guides & shopping posts (though I enjoy reading them) & I'm certainly not paid for anything I recommend. Occasionally, though, I like something so much that I do link to it. I've loved Canadian Irene Suchocki's photographs on flickr for ages, enough to click 'contact.' People use her photographs quite a lot without mentioning that she has an Etsy shop, Eye Poetry. {finger wag}

Eye Poetry features three calendars this season & some discounted prints; there's a Cyber Monday discount on other prints as well. These are excellent prices, though, even without the discounts. Her subjects are like a round-up of what-I-love. Italy & France, animals, New York, fairy lights, carousels.

The holiday order deadline is past for Europe (& obviously Australia:) but as I said on Giulia Geranium, subscribe to the idea of the Twelve Days of Christmas & relax, man. The deadline for the States is the 5th, Canada, the 6th. Love those calendars.
This bridge in Central Park is featured on a small black & white vintage-photograph holiday card that I've sent twice. I really love these, too, though they are mass-produced.

Cheers all...

(photograph by Irene Suchocki)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

De Officiis

There are some also who, either from zeal in attending to their own business or through some sort of aversion to their fellow-men, claim that they are occupied solely with their own affairs, without seeming to themselves to be doing anyone any injury. But while they steer clear of the one kind of injustice, they fall into the other: they are traitors to social life, for they contribute to it none of their interest, none of their effort, none of their means.-- Cicero (De Officiis)

He could be such a scold...but...isn't it so irritating when someone is correct?

Update: I think I've solved the computer problem. I don't feel very well at all but am trying to get ready for Thanksgiving (at friend's in-laws).

Main Subject: I'm pissed off that most of the few emails I received re: IKEA soft toys discussed the virtues of up/recycling toys & buying local. I proclaim the goodness of buying local on both blogs. On Twitter. On Facebook. This is a global fundraising effort; it works well. So basically what I'm saying is eff off. And, you go tell children who must participate in such programs as Toys for Tots that they should be happy with a used toy. I am so angry.

If you've read this far, Tom Palumbo's site has 3 good slideshows. Under celebrity, play the slideshow & you'll see wonderful shots of the young Miles Davis. Oh, & the only reason I chose these photos is because the top one has been labelled 'pout'. My beloved grandfather was generally pleased with me, but mentioned my lower lip problem rather often.

If you celebrate American Thanksgiving, have a happy one. If not, have an easy coast down to week's end. xoxo/Susan

(Tom Palumbo from the Les Halles, Paris 1962 series)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

IKEA Soft Toy Aid 2011

Hi. I'm having computer issues & trying to figure it out: frustration & angst & fear. Meanwhile, if you go to IKEA (no matter where you are in the world), please note that this year's soft toy fundraising campaign is on through December 24th. I won't post the adorable video again, but you can watch it here.

On everyone's IKEA country page, there are blogger tools to spread the word. Even if you don't post about it, please consider posting on Facebook &/or tweet about it. Toys for Tots in the States is in major need & IKEA donated to them this year. I've been beating this drum for years: buy one or more & then donate to a toy drive in your town. Done & done. These are cute toys & they're affordable (even for me).

Let me know if you post about it & I will link to you on the Giulia Geranium blog. Thanks!

(photograph via IKEA)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My flower obsession is in full, um, flower. (Forgive me.) I have approximately one million things to do but I just spent many minutes looking at & for information on antique bulb glasses. I didn't find everything I wanted but there's always this afternoon/evening. There is actually an organization called Hyacinth Vases & it has many pretty photographs.

Kevin Lee Jacobs blogs for Garden Home Design; he has a good step-by-step for a variety of spring bulbs (& also many lovely photographs). I just realized I probably won't be able to grow the hyacinth as I don't have a spare fridge (I used to - it was very useful). So. Another plan.
I hope everyone is having a good week...we're coasting down to the weekend as of noon (EST).

(photograph by
Kevin Lee Jacobs)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Views from My Desk Chair

Wow, people. I am getting desperate (in the creative department). Here are two views from behind my desk & the chrysanthemums are on it. Julie is lounging nearby (as always). Since the snaps are so limited due to tech, I grunged'em up but good. I tweeted another shot yesterday a.m. & said that though in an urban area, this is indeed from my apt. I lucked out nearly 22 years ago. (I moved in Thanksgiving weekend, 1989.)

If you know Ruth Orkin's photos of an American girl in Italy, you might remember that she took pictures out her New York City apartment windows for 30 years. Another (mainly) from-where-I-live tumblr I enjoy is by Jennifer Ehle. Her photographs of the countryside in & around her home are lovely, some very painterly. She also has a wonderful, cheeky sense of humor. Do take a visit.

Now, I must get some errands done but I hope some of you excellent photographers will let me know if you have some shots from where you sit. And if so, might we see a few? Here's hoping.

I put up the viral video of starlings on the GG blog in case you've not seen it yet.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Girl in the Red Beret

Life's cinematic moments. Here's one captured in Melbourne by Andrew of Cuba Gallery. Click through to read his description. I'm posting this because I saw it a year ago but it just rolled around in my memory. Then, of course, I went off to look at berets, red & otherwise. Picasso & Mary Cassatt have girls in red berets. There are photographs all over the place with the title. People posing in Paris mostly. Not a small thing, either, is that the last post has Halloween in the title. So let's move on, even if it's at a limp.

PS: I vaguely recall a tweet by Simon about Melbourne's design & Paris. Enlighten us, will you, Simon? Because I looked for something but not a lot came up. And I am in a wild hurry.

(photograph by Cuba Gallery)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I am about as excited as this model this morning. I'm going out with friends & their little kids to a Halloween neighborhood block party bash thingy tonight. It's heaps o' fun so I'll perk up. I'll be wearing this on my head. Lots of blogs I link to, here & on Giulia Geranium, have terrific Halloween posts. It's a favorite holiday; someday I'll get it together before the morning of & post my own pix.

If you're stuck for last-minute ideas for Halloween, I highly recommend Martha Stewart's site. If I could find the proper wire in the next 10 minutes, I'd make this headband. If you're all caught up & feeling smug (boo;), these pepita recipes are fast & very tasty.

Meet me back here later this week to tango. Seriously.

Jason Wu lace mask on Vogue Italia)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ballet Workers

I'll be going to this exhibit at The Phillips Collection more than once, I know. I remember a reproduction of a Degas painting & some (repro) drawings at my maternal grandmother's house. I never had the reaction that others did of "oooh pretty." I liked them very much but I remember saying/thinking: They're working so hard that it might hurt. And also it might be boring sometimes. I learned not a few years later (through a sister & later on, friends) that this could often be the case. Not that they would trade their training for anything. So there you are.

There's also a Degas exhibit on in
Boston (nudes) & one at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. There are some good articles in the New York Times & a good slideshow on The Guardian. Here's the Degas label on The Guardian, too, so you can see all the article titles at once.

I hope to post more regularly as autumn marches on. But I've said that before. Part of the problem is deciding how to use the space. I've not been writing from prompts as much as I did at the beginning. Maybe I don't have to define what I'm doing but it feels like I should.

(Dancers at the Barre/
Phillips Collection via Wikipedia)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Toast Travels

I just walked in from a belated birthday lunch & it was wonderful. A chilly breeze has made everything a bit too cold & Julie is asleep in a pile of blankets next to the desk. The area around the desk looks much like this photograph from Toast (though I made my jam).

Toast has a little blog, Toast Travels, where they post on a wide variety of topics. I particularly like the latest one In Defence of Darkness.

The other online thing I loved this weekend was looking through Jilly's Menton Daily Photo. I'm behind in everything but enjoyed the ongoing wedding series. You have to follow the thread back as there's not a dedicated label. It's worth it. (I really really really get sick of everyone's wedding festival look-at-me stuff - this is so very different.) Also, Jilly's photographs of (male) flamenco dancers are gorgeous.

Have a lovely start to the week tomorrow.

(Happy Monday to Australians)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Butterfly Questions

I've seen several butterflies the last few days; it's awfully late in the fall for them to be hanging about. Plus, it's quite rainy & windy. I thought they, well, that they went somewhere. I love them & I am frightfully ignorant about them, as it turns out.

Here is a link to
lovely butterfly drawings by Nabokov. And there are a gazillion butterfly earrings, here. Turns out: not my thing. Or maybe what I had in mind is not available. That happens with everything from shoes to bags to clothing. It's in my head but nowhere else.

(photograph by Taesang via Автор)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moony Mood

I'm in one hell of a mood. Be glad that I've not been around to comment for a couple of days, though I will be later today/tomorrow evening. Will restrain self from snarling. The thing is this mood goes from distracted moon-swoony to full-out tooth gnashing. Wah.

I've started to pay attention to my Pinterest boards, after a year or so. Nothing like the fear of spending money to get that going. (I just deleted about two grafs of semi-rant re: many images people pin over there. It's their thing, I'll let it go. Until comments here, if any.) If you'd like, you can request an invite on the site. It's not as exclusive as many designers/bloggers/etc would have you believe.

PS: Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday greetings in late September!

(Paris photograph by Darien Chin)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fragmented Flowers

Singaporean photographer Fong Qi Wei went deeper than just taking photos of flowers and created an amazing series of Exploded Flowers – images that show the radial symmetry of flowers.--from DeMilked (via Illusion)

A lovely & clever art project. See the entire series, here.

I had these on GG blog but I really like them so now they're here....and...I just noticed that I still have on nightclothes. Oops. *Damn you, Twitter*

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ira's Advice

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

Oh, Ira. I love you. (photograph by Stuart Mullenberg)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Something From Nothing

If you like Instagram photos but don't have an iPhone, here's your program. Pixlr is not new but it is adding lots of new effects. You can run the app on other smart phones or via the web, on an iPad, etc. Here's the Pixlr blog where you can keep up. I do love free stuff & a way to make something out of nothing, using what you have. It's a fun way to kill some time while you're doing something boring, too. (It's also a way to eat up time that would be best spent elsewhere but that's not your problem; it's mine:) Cheers, all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I'm posting this to move on from the Oxford Comma. Also to post a pic of Julie in her new polka-dot collar given to her by a friend. I think Julie looks very Kate Spade NYC. If you want a USA-made dog &/or cat collars leads, etc. this Upcountry label is very nice. It's carried in some pet stores, but you can order online. Thanks to Hermione's mama for such a great gift.

The straight-faced, breathless fashion press declarations over the polka-dot (or stripes or whatever classic) revival make me laugh. It's necessary, I suppose, for covering the shows. See how nice I'm being? We all know that the polka dot never goes away. I have the pattern everywhere, on every conceivable piece of clothing (yes, everything:)

Very busy here. The tragic culmination of a 20-year death penalty case looks like it will be tonight, unless there is an unexpected stay. I am gutted along with millions, yes millions, of people around the world.

(photographs via Nastygal)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In Defense of the Oxford Comma

The illustration above floated down my Twitter timeline last evening just before my (-.-)Zzz... *night* tweet.

I have let so much of a pedantic nature *go* - I really have. (I thank Stephen Fry for this. I downloaded the blessay from iTunes last summer. Stephen is funnier to listen to, IMHO). I try to refrain from teeth gnashing on matters of a grammatical nature; but when it comes to matters of clarity, peeps, this stuff is important.

From a comedy perspective, though, I am glad that many omit the Oxford comma.

Comedy, like success, has many fathers (& mothers) but I saw this via the grand Nina L. Diamond, journalist & writer extraordinaire. She is a one-woman news bureau with entertainment division on Twitter. (Here is her Facebook Fan page for more information.)

(illustration credit is not easy to pin down via tumblr via the fabulously-named Edith Wharton Wants Your Shoes)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

La Lettre de Photographie - Call for Photographs

If I had a working SLR (or DSLR) camera, I would have already responded to this call. It's not a contest, though there is some judging going on. I can think of many people who ought to go right now & fish out a minimum of 7 shots from their folders & email them to LLdP. Don't make me come over there! Here are details of submission. It's a great opportunity.

PS: Blogger pal, Catherine sent in a terrific photograph for La Lettre's holiday stretch.

PPS: I wish I could wear orange (can you?)

(pretty photograph by Yuli Bow)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Refuge from Misery

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”Albert Schweitzer

I have both; also, great good fortune: the cat shares my eclectic taste in music.

Here's an article on Human-Cat Psychology. Also I laughed at this article on The therapeutic value of cats. It's from a scientific journal. If you are inclined to read it, it starts in the lower right-hand corner & continues onto next page. What made me laugh were the comments from a scientist & from one Simon Teakettle the Younger.

I watched this lovely video several times last night. Wicked insomnia. I logged on to Twitter & there it was...I think everyone in the world has seen it but me. I love the East African music, too.

Trying to catch up is not going well but I forge ahead.

(photograph by Leslie)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ballet Beautiful at Home

A quickie. I am slammed, exhausted, pooped. Julie the Cat is in her little house, listening to my iPod's French Pop playlist. I am not kidding. It makes her feel better. She also enjoys my Ocean & Rain playlist. I wish I could beam it out to's wonderfully relaxing.

On to exercise: I can vouch only for the Ballet Beautiful streaming video called Swan Arms. Ouch ouch ouch ouch.There are additional videos ($8.00) & finally some DVDs for sale. I've read about people who have the videos on their smartphones! Just thinking about doing ballet videos anywhere but in the privacy of my apartment behind a triple-bolted door makes me laugh. Out loud. I assume these people aren't doing butt blasts in the park.

Of course, if you have some money to spare & are in NYC, take a class. And then tell the rest of us about it. I follow Mary Helen Bowers (the founder) on Twitter & she's quite nice.

I hope for a semblance of bloggy normalcy soon. Whatever that means. Cheers!

(photograph by Mads Teglers - from his lovely Josephine portfolio)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storm Warnings

Internet is back on at home but now Hurricane Irene approaches. And a tornado watch. Because an earthquake on Tuesday wasn't enough. Sigh. I'll be decamping (with Julie) to a friend's house, probably tomorrow, because the power will go out for who knows how long. I'm on Twitter until the power goes. Stay safe!

PS: Here's a link from the New Yorker's Book Bench blog (tweeted out yesterday) with Six Shorts to Read During a Hurricane. I enjoyed it.

Sunday update - I can scarcely believe my good luck: the power remained on. Back early next week. Have to get Giulia Geranium re-started after a too-long hiatus. xo

(photograph by
Anna Bond via Cup of Jo. Anna's pretty blog, here)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blogger Ten Commandments

Perhaps this should be about the Biblical Ten commandments. After all, we had an earthquake yesterday. Those of you who are used to tremors & earthquakes: enough with your alternate giggling & hands-on-hips annoyance at the attention it has received. It felt stronger than a 5.8 in other areas. Something about the geological formations here in the eastern U.S.

Also, those of us in the New York & Washington, DC areas are on edge because of the tenth 9/11 anniversary. Shaking buildings = terrorist activity. We were relieved that there was an earthquake, actually. I have a funny story to relate at another time. Briefly: I was outside with a friend in a high-activity urban area & made up reasons why the earth was shaking that had nothing to do with an earthquake. My imagination is intact, if not in evidence on the blogs lately.

Anyway, locusts are here, the heat wave is in a break but it's been horrible. The first real threatening hurricane to the east is on the way (Hi there, Irene). Boils must be next.

The internet crisis, along with my health problems, continues. Julie the Cat's near-death two weeks ago (while I was house-sitting in northern Virginia) was so upsetting I can barely relate it. It is her asthma again. We spent most of the day at the emergency vet, after a taxi ride from N.Va to DC (yikes) & back. Lots of meds & she's still on them. She feels better, finally, after quite a long time of not knowing if the medicine was effective. The chronic nature of the illness is really worrying, though.

To the post title: here is an excellent summation of most of what I feel lately (& always) about blogs. I have some items to contribute but that will have to wait for now. Mrs. Monologues is hilarious. I haven't been able to keep up but I think I'll follow her on the ol' tweeter.

Big thanks to Australian bloggers Simon & Julie for their continued support in more ways than I can catalogue here. xo

Finally, I am able to tweet most days from a coffee shop. So join me if you like. I'd love it.

(Claudia Cardinale via Almost Famous Cats via Pinterest)Link

Monday, August 8, 2011

Alice Under Waterland

Try to stay cool & calm if you're under the same weather as here - that is, very hot & beyond-belief-humid. Trying to catch up with much & the internetz are not cooperating. Check out the underwater photography of Elena Kalis. I'd love to be standing there right this minute.

Update - Tuesday. I'm having trouble w/internet at housesitting gig. It comes & goes w/out rhyme, reason. I am a jinx:( But I am able to hang out on Twitter. Join me, won't you? Lots of blogger peeps are there.

Tuesday - 16 August 2011 - I have hopes for internet access at home tomorrow (Wed.)

Wednesday - 17 August 2011 - My hopes are dashed. Leaving coffee shop dejected. Growl.

Sunday - 21 August 2011 - As the kids say, OMG. I've been here all day trying to post & cannot form cogent thought out of swirling mini-thoughts. Plus: Julie the Cat has been very sick. Verizon is on strike & I cannot get the internet re-installed. I am hoping that news this a.m. re: strikers returning on Monday while talks continue bodes well. I shall return tomorrow.

(photograph by Elena Kalis via Tangerine Tangent as seen on automatism)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Travel Galleries

If I don't leave this coffee shop now, I'm going to have a public anxiety attack. It's nuts here today. Also, I haven't slept well & Julie (the Cat) & I are leaving to house/cat sit tomorrow. It's going to be like a vacation - I am so ready to be somewhere else even if it's in the DC-area.

I read many interesting things today & saw wonderful photographs. However, balky bandwidth & several inexplicably crashed sites are making it more-than-difficult to construct anything worth posting. I think I better get home to pack & decompress.

Summer Travel Galleries refers to a search on LIFE. If you aren't interested in Vladimir Putin's Manliest Moments, you might find Speedos: Gift or Curse? a hoot. (Three guess what I say about them. Oh gawd. I had a boyfriend not too long ago who insisted on wearing one. He's neither European nor an Olympic swimmer. These are the two categories I will accept--grudgingly--in Speedo sporters.)
There are many more summer photo galleries for your viewing pleasure. Have fun.

I'll check in on Friday night (US East Coast time) if all goes well. And I'll respond to email, comments, & blog postings ASAP. I'll be in a better mood, too. I promise.

(photograph is from LIFE but I've wasted nearly an hour trying to find the credit. Phooey.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dare to Design

Isn't this lovely? I adore fashion illustrations, modern & vintage which reminds me that Shabby Apple's dare to design competition 2011 is open for another week. You don't even have to sew the darn thing. Really. Maybe I should give it a go.

Check here for the details. Listen, someone has to win. Why not you? Pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested. Here are some free online drawing & painting tools that might be helpful.

(illustration by genius René Gruau for Dior via automatism)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Playing Beauty Parlor

I'm fooling around with this virtual makeover thingymabob. Ads pop up - you're warned. I know what looks good on me & so don't really need to do this but it's fun. The only problem is the photo available on my laptop has Julie the Cat in it. She looks great with red bangs (fringe for UK, Australia, etc)

Mad Men is now available on Netflix Instant for those who have it. (Drop in at Basket of Kisses, a Mad Men blog for all sorts of analysis, etc.) I got half-way through the pilot but it slowed down too much. And a guy near me kept looking over at a Don-&-Midge love scene. Euwwwwwwwww. Gave him the stink-eye to no avail. Must work on threatening looks.

(photograph via Pinterest. It sure looks like Christina Hendricks but cannot find the source. If anyone knows, please let me know.)

On the Ceiling

No more of ceiling talk unless it's about Fred in Royal Wedding. (If you have Netflix Instant, it's available.)

The vote passed, there really was no choice. However, I am furious at the cuts that will be exacted upon the backs of those who can least afford it. My screech on that will be written next week when I have enough bandwidth to research properly.

(photograph via
Fred Astaire Annex)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shakespearean Insult Kit

Thou vain sheep-biting malt-worm!
Thou spleeny hell-hated puttock!

Thou dissembling rump-fed jolt-head!

Thou saucy ill-nurtured bum-bailey!

That will get you started. But then visit the
Shakespearean Insulter for more taunts & disgusted (& amusingly disgusting) descriptives.

I've been using it on Twitter (along with virtual cream pies). Because truly I need to blow steam. I am ready to burst
due to the insanity here in DC. (And really, elsewhere, it's not just here).

In a coffee shop. Yes, I'm still here.

(photograph probably by uncredited still photographer Bob Penn/The Taming of the Shrew)