Sep 29 2008

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

shapeimage_2-1_3The happy, pasty people in this picture don’t know how tired they are.  They won’t know for a few hours yet.  As of the time of the taking of this picture the bone-deep fatigue is still hovering in the periphery, floating on the jittery thermal winds of coffee and adrenaline, punctuated by fuzzy memories of unfettered dancing, hilarious snatches of conversation, trippy barefoot runs through darkened woods, the kind of laughter that makes your cheeks hurt and music. Music. So much music.  No, it will be much later when the debilitating exhaustion will settle around their shoulders like a heavy, leaden cat and they will begin to unravel and take inventory of the extent of their mysterious injuries: head aches, bruises, sore necks, lost voices, blisters, maimed toes, puncture wounds.  What the fuck happened last night? they will ask themselves.

*  *  *

This is what happens when you put six couples in a super posh Wisconsin lodge/manse with a gorgeous and well stocked kitchen to cook in; two to three refrigerators stuffed to the gills with beer, wine, spirits and the fixings for elaborate and toothsome meals, appetizers and late night snacks; a huge support beam covered in beautifully ornate American Indian ceremonial headdresses just begging to be brought back to life; cozy fireplaces and smooth wooden bars strategically placed throughout; canoes hanging from the ceilings creating warm canopies, the feel of a Northwoods tiki bar; sparkling chandeliers made of spindly, ghost-like antlers; coffee tables strewn with fashion magazines and books; vintage photos of American Indians – weathered, noble and austere; and beautiful and exotic taxidermied animals everywhere you look, their calm eyes belying the sensations they must have felt when last they ran.

Around every corner there is somewhere to retreat, something new to see, someone to share a laugh with, someone handing you a beverage . . . and here is the clincher: six couples in this over-the-top, unbelievable, verging on psychedelic outdoorsman paradise lodge without the collective sixteen children roughly spanning the ages of 8 months to 12 years that they lovingly and wholeheartedly parent the other 363 days of the year.  Sin chicos! Sans enfants! Nein kinder!

It was pure, unfettered debauchery . . . but the kind of debauchery that makes you feel good, not bad.  Doctor Dash and I marveled at how genuinely happy everyone was to be there.  Everybody brought it!  I haven’t experienced that kind of instant group chemistry since college, where many many crazy and funny nights slur together to form a comfortable backdrop to any new adventures.  Maybe the chemistry came from the fact that we’re all in the same boat right now, walking the fine line between enjoying and surviving young children.  Maybe it was the extraordinary surroundings.  Maybe it was luck.

During the day everyone did what they needed to do, whether it be a run, a walk, a brisk jump in the lake, a sauna, a dip in the hot tub, a nap. Some people retired to a comfy couch to read, some watched sports, some watched a movie. Some drank green tea, some drank emergen-C, some drank Coke, some started mixing drinks at lunch - to each his own, come as you are, live and let live - we were all just happy to be there.  Mellow and happy.  Good good mojo all around. 

At night there was a joyous amoeba-like quality to the festivities.  If people were prepping dinner in the kitchen, everyone generally hung around, getting the candles lit, queueing up the next perfect song, wiping down countertops, setting the table, collectively and unconsciously working out the tempos and crescendos of the night.  Dinners were boisterous and luxurious candlelit affairs, with amazing wines and delicious, sustaining food, leaving us sated and fortified for the rest of evening.  

And did I mention there was music?  And did I mention there was dancing?  And did I mention there was tequila?  Señor Patrón rides again!  Maybe it was the snow-white mountain goat perched in the eaves, but climbing up to dance on coffee tables, couches, bars and barstools was peculiarly and simply irresistible.  

Oh babies, did we shake it!  We shook it and shook it until all the shake in our shakers was shook out!  

*  *  *

And within hours of the time this picture was taken, the music was quiet, the dust had settled and they were gone.  Only the mounted animals remained, gazing forlornly over the empty space.  The couples left as quickly as they had come, speeding back home, hearts suspended, bone-tired but pulled like moths to flame – to small arms and delighted shrieks . . . to home.

Sep 25 2008

Should I be worried?


shapeimage_2-2_2Oh, look how darling! Supergirl’s kindergarten class has all its paintings hanging in the hallway. It looks like a sweet little gallery. You sure can tell they had fun! And their teacher wrote down each child’s explanation of his or her painting. Look at that. Just adorable. Oh here’s Supergirl’s! Wow!  What vivid use of color! And look how she fills the page! Such bold and confident strokes. I guess this explains all the paint on her clothes every day! And is that a little sun in the upper corner? Let’s see what she says . . . oh dear . . .


Sep 24 2008

I ain’t no Delilah.

shapeimage_2-3_3O.K., I’ll admit it.  I have an unhealthy attachment to Saint James’ hair.  To me, the unruly mop in this picture is perfection.  I have no trouble having my own hair cu, keeping Supergirl’s in a neat little pageboy, taking scissors to Devil Baby’s myself on occasion, but I feel like I die a little inside every time I take Saint James for a haircut.  I just love a boy with shaggy hair. Always have and always will. Goes for big boys too.  Every time Doctor Dash asks me to make a haircut appointment for him, I protest and pout and tell him it’s just starting to look perfect and who cares if he looks unprofessional, and maybe he could buy a short-haircut wig for when he has to see patients.  And then I try the flattery approach and tell him he’s got great hair and a lot of guys would kill for his hair and he shouldn’t just waste his hair by keeping it short and he rolls his eyes and makes his own appointment.  

Watching Saint James play soccer with his flippy pouf of hair makes my heart go pitter patter.  If I look away, I can spot him again in an instant by his dirty-blond halo.  It’s a beacon.  That’s my son, I think proudly to myself.  My beautiful boy.  

Today is D-day.  It sneaks up on me every year.  I look at the calendar and school pictures are in a few weeks and he needs a haircut because even though his hair is perfect today, it will look ridiculously long in three weeks and it needs time to grow in so he doesn’t look like a complete dork in his pictures.  This particular haircut is the most painful cut of the year because all the summer blond goes. The locks of cool chlorine and hot sun are lopped off, floating softly to the floor, making a blanket tinged in gold – the hair underneath left exposed, dark and unfamiliar.  And as he emerges from the chair my heart skips a beat. Suddenly, I can see his face again. I can see his eyes again. He looks so much older, his features thinning out. I search for signs of my baby and see none – just flickering shades of a handsome older boy, just down the road a stretch, but fast approaching.  

Sep 22 2008

Party Love

shapeimage_2-4_3Brothers and sisters, I do love a party.  I love LOVE LOVE a party.  I love a big party, I love a small party. But I especially love a big party.  If there’s music, even better.  If there’s dancing, then you’ll need to be ready to catch me when I swoon from happiness. I love getting ready before a party. I love busting a move at a party and I love the afterglow of a party – even if it involves generalized wooziness and fatigue, which is clearly the obvious byproduct of a goodparty.  

Hope Rocks was a good party.  First of all, a private concert by Soul Asylum – fun, loud, indulgent, nostalgic, sweaty rocking out – the base thrumbing through your ribcage – all the best there is to be gleaned from live music.  And every one was there.  People from school, people from book club, people from playgroup, people from the park, people from work, people from other parties.  It felt like the best kind of college party in that you get to sashay around with a drink in your hand and bump into someone you know every few feet.  And just like a college party, there are certain people you simply give a friendly wave and keep on keeping on – and then certain people you chat with for a few minutes before you keep on keeping on – and then there are those you just love to see, people who are bright spots and make you laugh and make you want to stay awhile.  Bright spots.

And there’s always the sweet spot of a party, both spacially and temporally, when your favorite peeps are in a particular spot having a particularly good time and though you may stray for a little jaunt around, you go back to that spot because that is home base for the party – the place you want to be.  I stumbled upon my sweet spot when I shimmied to the left front of the stage and to my shrieking delight found Crackerjack and Nanook and their hubbies, Renaissance Man and Gear Daddy in a dancing tangle with a bunch of other fun people.  At one point in the frenzy, when the first hints of thirst were firing around in my brainstem and hadn’t even reached my cerebrum, Renaissance Man casually handed me an icy cold Red Stripe.  I hadn’t seen him leave, I hadn’t seen him come back, I hadn’t even seen him standing next to me with a beer.  His timing was exquisite and he really made it seem like he just pulled it out of his sleeve.  Mind reader and magician.  Thanks RM – that was the swing beer of the night.

And then there’s the wingman, the partner in crime.  A wingman is usually who you came with, and who you leave with, and who is up for going on adventures to find drinks, food, pot, whatever.  Gigi the Animal Whisperer and Neighborhood Scat Expert was mine and a fine wingman she was.  The best kind of wingman is a wingman who has no problem venturing off on her own, has her own sweet spots to check out and people to see.  A wingman you have to worry about is not a wingman at all.  Gigi is low maintenance and high energy (and a shitload of fun) – I’d take her anywhere.  She even brought me cookies at the end of the night.  Another mindreader and magician. Doctor Dash is usually my wingman and he’s also a good wingman in that he’s fine on his own and he lets me do my thing at a party, but he’s always good for a laugh. His only fault is that he’s much less of a diehard than I am and is usually suggesting we leave when I’m still fully entrenched.  He thinks I don’t know this, but I realize he’s giving me the equivalent of the five minute warning you give your kids at the park when he first suggests we leave, knowing full well it’s going to take me a solid half hour to finish my business, assuming one of my many favorite songs doesn’t come on and then all bets are off and he has to begin the extrication process all over again.  

So wingmen and sweet spots and bright spots: the anatomy of a party. Some things never change.  And then some things do.  I was chatting with a dad from school – total bright spot for me and I won’t say who it is because I don’t want to stir up any trouble.  Suffice it to say, he’s adorable and funny in that smart understated way I just love (i.e. Dash) and I love his wife and they’re just a cutie-pie family.  So we’re having a laugh and all of a sudden a matronly and rather unattractive woman literally grabs Mr. X by the arm and pulls him away . . . about three feet away . . .  three feet away from me.  And I see her simply say “Hi.”  Well, well, well, was the church lady looking out for Mr. X’s wife?  Did she think we shouldn’t be talking and laughing and carrying on?  Granted, I was dressed a little more sexily than usual, but so was everyone – apparently she didn’t get the memo.  The point is, I found it very interesting if not a little unsettling.  She probably meant well, although it was none of her business and how dare she presume anything about me?  I guess now, unlike in college, we need to navigate our bright spots with a certain awareness, some sense of appearances, no matter how pure our intentions.  Don’t laugh too hard with someone else’s husband because everyone knows laughing leads to shady business.  The church ladies are watching, ready to protect your husbands from sluts like me.  Sad but true.

Another difference from college:  Apparently it is not possible to have three children and then expect to drink many beers and jump up and down dancing without peeing (a little).  My parting words to Gigi as I left the sweet spot were “I gotta go pee . . . because I just did.”  And then I get to the bathroom and another mom from school is muttering, so I guess you can’t have four children and expect to bounce around . . . Also, sad but true.

Sep 17 2008

Just a teeny bit vulgar.

shapeimage_2-5_3The designer Roberto Cavalli said “Right now, the line between sexy and a little vulgar is very thin.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Which is probably why I thought it was okay to purchase a pair of skintight purple jeans.  It’s also why I plan to wear a tie-dye bubble dress which is much too short for a woman of my age to a benefit this Saturday night.  It’s a rock concert to benefit Faith’s Lodge and the attire is cocktail with a rock-edge, so my dress (which I realize sounds atrocious but is actually pretty cute) coupled with a pair of scrunchie gray booties, should fit the bill nicely.  I also bought some silver eyeliner but Devil Baby used it to scribble in Saint James’ March of the Penguins book.  The penguins are all looking super fly, but unless I find a sharpener between now and Saturday, there will be no silver eyeliner for me.  

The line between vulgar and sexy has always been thin – at least for a certain kind of sexy.  Of course there is librarian sexy (think eyeglasses on chains, tweed skirts, buns begging to be unfurled and whipped around),  horsey sexy (boots, jodhpurs, riding crops - thwack!), hippy sexy (long hair, tan shoulders, sundresses, no bras), TV lawyer sexy (killer suits, killer pumps, killer office view), Queen Mum sexy (little hats, little suits, little white gloves, tea – wait, scratch that last one).   

But something about just plain sexy sexy, borderline vulgar sexy, is just feeling right on these days in terms of fashion. Maybe it’s the lack of pretense. The fact that it takes some confidence to pull off unapologetically, “confidence” simply being code for: I don’t give a shit anymore.  It just is what it is and if you don’t like it you can avert your eyes, or gossip about me, I don’t care.  Maybe it’s boredom, a bit of an autoimmune response to spending so much time trolling through Bed, Bath and Beyond looking for storage containers for my new house. Mostly, although I hate to admit it, I think I’m wanting to toe the vulgar line because if not now, when?  The clock is ticking . . . snap, snap . . . the time is now.

Sep 14 2008

David Foster Wallace

shapeimage_2-6_3I guess I just don’t want to let this day pass without paying my respects to David Foster Wallace.  

Last night Doctor Dash got home from work around ten thirty at night, looking ragged and hangdog in the shadows of the mud room.  The first words out of his mouth: I just read something really sad . . . David Foster Wallace hanged himself.   Noooo I softly wailed from the couch, no, no, no.  Suddenly, the flickering lights of the TV seemed garish and intrusive.  Oh God, no.  

We are not among his most diehard fans, but fans we are.  We both read Wallace’s crazy, genius, and hilarious Infinite Jest and loved it.  Dash is the only other person I know personally who actually finished it (besides me).  We have lots of friends who tried to read it but put it down.  It is an enormous and sweeping book, and almost too much for one brain to process, which is to say nothing of how incredible it is that one brain created it.  This book, 981 pages long, with nearly a hundred additional pages of tiny-printed footnotes that serve as lush background, insane riffs, convoluted tangents, vivid color, and hysterical, hyper-focused explanations, is a work of pure literary muscle pounding away with so much force yet such finesse.  Wallace’s mastery of the English language leaves you dripping wet on the floor, mouth agape and exhausted.  Words, words, words, strung together in ways so insanely poetic and, I’ll say it again, hilarious, and dark and sad and shameful and shocking and redeeming and tender and exaggerated and true. Never for a second, does he stray from what is true – no matter how insane and over the top, Wallace is true.  True to himself.  True to his characters.  True to his reader.  

Where the hell does he come up with this crazy shit?  Never have I flipped a book over so many times to look at the picture of the author.

Dash and I read this book before having kids, when we could invest that kind of time in art. We went to see him at the Boston Public Library when he spoke for a book signing.  Dash stood in line with our copy of Infinite Jest and his pharmacology book from med school for Wallace to sign (there is a ton of really specific and, according to Dash, spot-on pharmacology know-how in this book – not surprising, considering it is set in a half-way house and a posh tennis academy where the kids used lemon-scented  Pledge as sunscreen).  Wallace turned Dash’s pharmacology book over curiously, chuckled and signed it.  

Dash said he felt like the wind got knocked out of him when he read that Wallace had hanged himself.  I knew exactly how he felt.  It’s not like we know him or are some sort of fawning disciples.  We aren’t seeking out vigils and lighting candles and trying to talk about this with people.  It’s just that we read what will now be his greatest accomplishment and were blown away by his talent.  The world is a poorer place without him in it.  A huge loss.  Even if he never wrote another word, his passing is a huge loss.  

But what is sadder than our collective loss, much much sadder, is the fact that Wallace was so sad.  His despair must have been blacker than black. It must have been razor sharp and unfathomably deep - superhuman and incredibly exhausting to be able to quash his will, his spirit, his ability to experience pleasure.  I don’t know anything about him, but I can only assume that creating Lateral Alice Moore, a secretary who could only move sideways, had to have made him chuckle.  Les Assassins de Fauteuils Roulants (the Wheelchair Assassins), are a Quebecois Separatist group in the novel who all lost their legs because their initiation involved playing chicken with freight trains.  Those with the biggest balls were pulverized, but the next ballsiest ended up amputees and the top tier of the AFR’s leadership.  How could this not have brought Wallace pleasure, exquisitely warm and velvety pleasure?  I would be hugging myself for the rest of my life if I had come up with that and it was just one tiny hair in the thick textured braid that was the novel.  The self-discipline alone it must have taken to write Infinite Jest proves that Wallace was anything but a quitter.  He was a sorcerer with language and story, but any one who has ever tried to write anything knows magic is never enough.  He had to have been one hard-nosed and determined son of a bitch to finish that book.  

Hell, what do I know?  This kind of thing happens over and over and every time it is such a waste and such a pity and so very very sad.  I am just so sorry he was so sad.  

I have nothing left to say.  

Sometimes, apparently, words are not enough.

Sep 12 2008

One man’s trash

Is usually just trash.  Most of the stuff IN peoples’ houses is junk, so chances are extremely high that what they actually choose to throw out, deserves to be thrown out, and probably should have been thrown out a long time ago.  I’m the woman who’s always trying to get rid of things. Simplify. Good riddance. Which iswhy it was alarmingly out of character for me to blow by a little pile of curbside stuff with a cardboard sign labeled “FREE”, only to stop the minivan and actually back up on Penn Ave.  Supergirl was in the backseat and as I threw the car in reverse I muttered “Let’s just get a closer look at that painting . . . thing.”  


She sprung out of her seat, landed in a soft crouch, swiveling her head to and fro to make sure no one was going to move in on our find.  She was so excited she was panting.  I rolled down our windows simultaneously and I imagine that the sight of our mugs being slowly revealed was rather amusing if anyone happened to be watching from the house: Supergirl in her plaid jumper with a huge open expectant smile and bright eyes, me in big sunglasses covering my need for another cup of coffee, a look of mild distaste mingled with curiosity stamped on my tired face.  

shapeimage_2-7_2“That’s so beautiful!” gushed Supergirl.  The die was cast.  The minivan door slid open and out she popped for her first dumpster diving expedition.  This pastoral Northwoods scene is painted on a piece of plywood, about 20” by 25” so she had to use all her muscle to hoist it into the car.  

It is so obviously the work of an amateur.  It is so obviously something that has moldered in the garage collecting grime and the occasional paint splatter for the past twenty years.  But something about it is compelling.  For one thing, it makes my daughter happy and I can’t help thinking that this two minute episode may end up being one of those salient moments that she remembers for the rest of her life – as opposed to the piles and piles of other moments when I’m being crabby and impatient and not my best self.  Maybe this will be the shiny pebble that she can clutch in her hand someday in the far distant future.

Moreover, it’s a reminder of that little sputtering light inside of us. The flicker that mostly gets tamped down, but sometimes, with a little luck or grace or a change in circumstance – with the stubborn set of a jaw or a deep breath or a rash move, gains a little strength and burns a little brighter and prods us to try something new, causes us to scratch the itch and venture outside our comfort zone, through our fear and do something that we may very well suck at. 

When I look at this painting, I imagine it was painted by a crotchety old guy, someone who worked the same job his entire life and didn’t go in for artsy fartsy stuff at all.  He probably loved being outdoors.  Maybe he had had a cabin somewhere.  Maybe he was retired and one morning as he stuffed his stiff feet into the slippers by his bedside he sighed, gingerly massaged his swollen knee and wondered why he should get up at all.  Maybe he stared down at his frayed moccasins for a while, turning it all over in his head.  What was the point?  Maybe he pulled his feet back out of his slippers and laid back down, closing his eyes and giving into the soft heavy blanket of depression.  Maybe his wife poked her head in and asked him if he was sick, retying her light blue chenille robe as she stood in the doorway with an impatient look on her face, her cheeks still shining from her night cream.  Maybe he said Joyce I’ll be down in a minute to get rid of her and let himself sink into his sheets, his blue-veined eyelids flickering as he marveled at the stubborness of breath. Coming and coming and coming, whether he willed it to or not.  Maybe he held his breath once, just to see if it would work, a tear streaming down his temple from the exertion.  Maybe when he was lying there, thinking of everything and nothing, he remembered that old piece of plywood in the garage. And that box of his daughter’s paints from college.

The painting is signed (on the left) by Savle.  Who is Savle?  Savle . . . Savle . . . Salve . . . Save.



Sep 9 2008

The little flannel shirt.

shapeimage_2-8I have been raiding my eight year old son’s closet and I’m worried about my sartorial impulses.  It all started rather innocently a couple weeks ago at the pool.  It was freezing, we were diehards in the name of squeezing the last juices out of summer and the only warm thing on hand was Saint James’ gray hoodie.  I shoved my giant Foo Fighter arms into it and scuttled to the bathroom with my sauv blanc (that’s what the kids working the snack bar call it) in hand to make sure I didn’t look entirely too absurd.  It didn’t exactly “fit”, but it fit, so I zipped it up and didn’t give it another thought (until Saint James got out of the pool, teeth a’chatter and I had to give it up).  

And just now when I was pretending to look for dirty laundry on a Friday night while waiting for Doctor Dash and Supergirl to come back from their collective run/bike and sit down to the lovely dinner I have prepared, I found a softy soft green flannel shirt that I bought for Saint James in Ann Arbor for when he was bigger and the tag says “10” and I put it on and it’s dreamy and comfy and perfectly shrunken à la Wes Anderson and although I would never buy myself a flannel shirt now, there is something about a flannel shirt that feels so perfectly perfect now that the weather is cooling and there also must be something tugging at my gut-strings considering I spent most of my drunkest and happiest and most carefree years shimmying around in flannel and since Saint James has a uniform now and quite dislikes shirts with collars, chances are this particular collared flannel would never get worn by him and the tag says it cost ten dollars and was originally forty-eight dollars, which is absurdly expensive for a shirt for a boy, but is probably why I bought it in the first place because that’s what I call a shopping triumph, and I love love LOVE a shopping triumph (although I much prefer shopping triumphs that result in something new for me) and so this shirt is mine even though the sleeves barely reach past my elbows and even though tomorrow, without my sauv blanc in hand, I may rethink this.  

Southbend Indiana, circa 1991.  You can be sure that the photographer also had a dueling flannel on -probably in red – which she got from J. Crew.  Next to an adorably apple-cheeked Doctor Dash is our good friend the Fox who is going to come visit us soon with his family, and next to the Fox is McPhee who we haven’t talked to in years but should, and next to McPhee is Boots, or Botas, so named because he used to stride around campus in knee-high suede fringed Davy Crocket boots and a pair of smallish cut-off denim shorts. So good.  Where are you Botas? 

Sep 5 2008


louuniformYesterday Supergirl bounded into her new life: that of an elementary school kid.  She’s now a full fledged kindergartner and never has there been a girl more ready to fly.  I keep watching for signs of insecurity, chinks in her armor.  I don’t want her to feel like she has to keep a stiff upper lip.  I want her to know it’s o.k. to be scared, o.k. to be nervous at least.  Despite my hovering and searching looks and leading questions, I just see a girl powering through, happy to be out there and ready for it all.  I’m not sure how she got to be this way.  I certainly wasn’t like that, which, I think, is why I have a hard time accepting that she’s just that confident.  

I was as anxious and butterfly-bellied as could be on the first day of school.  I had long, long hair which I wore in a barrette on the top of my head.  Only my mother could put the barrette in, or so I believed, because my hair was so thick and heavy and the barrette was too small.  I lived in fear that the barrette would spring open leaving me to survive the rest of my day as a little Latina Cousin It.  Tallish and knock-kneed,  I remember being afraid of the big kids, afraid of the special-ed kids, afraid of riding the bus, afraid of dropping my tray in the cafeteria.  I had a pair of light blue polyester slacks that had a gum stain on the butt and standing for the Pledge of Allegiance was a torture for me.  All for naught, it turns out because no one really picked on me.  I was more likely to be ignored than bullied.  

To this day, one of the most stressful experiences I can remember was spilling Love’s Baby Soft in my desk at Shroeder Elementary.  I remember taking off my socks to soak it up, but the smell, nothing could stop the smell. It was like I had released a genie shrouded in cloying pink fumes and I couldn’t get it back in the bottle.  I was in a cold sweat – my teeth literally chattering.  Mrs. Watson was my teacher and she never noticed – at least I don’t think she did.  Supergirl would never bother to take Love’s Baby Soft to school.  And if she did, and if it spilled, I think she would raise her hand and tell her teacher.  Simple as that.  What was Loves Baby Soft anyway?  A perfume?  Probably a body splash – those were big in those days.  Remember Jean Naté? Friction Pour le Bain!

Another mom sidled up to me after school yesterday with a concerned look on her face and told me that she had been at recess and Supergirl had had a moment of being a “little upset” and had told her she wanted to call me and come home.  I was surprised, but I was all over it, ready to listen, soothe and assuage like only a recovering Nervous-Nellie can.  Later, after the celebratory first day of school Dairy Queen stop, as I gently tried to prod some detail out of Supergirl, the only thing I got was her quick and snappy version of the story:

“I was bored because we couldn’t play on the monkey bars because it was the first graders’ turn, and we were only allowed to play on the driveway and that’s, like, sooooo boring, so I wanted to come home.”

Sounds about right.

Supergirl, may you always run faster than the worries and fretting and don’t turn around – take it from me, you’re better off without them. 

Sep 2 2008

Words cannot describe why we love it so much.




Sep 1 2008

Five pounds of fabulous.

vogueJust as I was bemoaning the end of summer, something really good happened.  My big fat Fall issue of Vogue came in the mail – the September giant that weighs at least five pounds and never fails to get me all in a lather for boots and frocks.  Even before I subscribed to Vogue, in fact even before I was out of a Catholic schoolgirl uniform, the Fall issue was synonymous with the change of seasons and the fun new clothes that went with it.  

In Michigan we have apples up the wazoo, so to me, cider and Vogue portended cool winds, piles of crunchy leaves and the faint smell of backyard fires.  I would spend hours pouring over pictures that were beautiful and challenging, confusing, even. There were clothes I didn’t understand, but knew on some level were the ne plus ultra.  If I wanted accessible, I could go to Seventeen magazine – and, of course, I did that too.  

Now I want fantasy, inspiration, escape . . . and my lovely Vogue brings me all of those things.

Example:  something I stumbled upon buried deep in the pages of Vogue simultaneously tickles my funny bone and my covet bone and is helping, in some small way, to take the sting out of fast approaching Autumn.  The inimitable Karl Lagerfeld has succeeded in realizing a twenty-year old idea with the help of his resourceful Roman furrier friend.  They have succeeded in creating . . . are you ready for this?  They have succeeded in creating GOLD FUR.  GOLD FUR, people!  G-O-L-D FUR!!!  If you think you detect a note of sarcasm, you’d be wrong.  I love this.  I don’t care who thinks me vapid and cruel.  I love the over-the-topness of it.  It’s gorgeously ridiculous – ridiculously gorgeous!  Leave it to that white-maned, pointy-booted, cigarette-panted, cape-wearing, dark-glasses-clad wily fox to come up with something like this.

These sartorial mad men have figured out a way of sending the fur through a space-age washing machine where a bar of 24 carat gold sits waiting to act like a fabric softener.  The gold is pressurized into a mist and at some point the cellular membranes of the fur open and absorb the gold and then when the pressure returns to normal, the gold is sealed into the fur forever.  Genius.  I love the idea of research and development for gold fur.  I know, I know, we need to find a cure for cancer, but Karl would not be doing that anyway (his fluttering fan would knock over the test tubes), so let him dream up the unthinkable and send his minions on fantastical treasure hunts, luxe and bizarre wild goose chases.     

Alas, I will never own a gold fur.   C’est très chic, mais très chère.  But once again, my big fatty fall fashion mag has succeeded in giving me something delectable to chew on.  Can’t wait to go back and peruse the rest.

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