Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Goals For the New Year















It's hard to believe it is the end of the year, never mind the end of the decade. It didn't even occur to me until I started noticing all the "best of the 00s" lists going around... Sheesh. So much for the decade of my adulthood, which, as the New Yorker pointed out, still doesn't even have a convincing name. 


Anyway, as much as I don't think it makes very compelling reading, I am posting my list of endeavors for 2010 because I just looked back on my list for 2009 and I can honestly say I followed through on every one, and am a much happier, complete person as a result. So feel free to stop reading, my motivations are completely selfish!


Here, in a list of no particular order, are my big things to do in 2010:


1. Get my Spanish back. I used to be fluent. I used to dream in Spanish, and write papers and poetry in it. Now I can't get to two sentences with my brother-in-law (damn verbs!). And since the Venezuelan contingent is growing once more, and we are about to be outnumbered, and I figure it's wise to relearn the language of our conquerers. My approach will be to listen to Pimsleur tapes while I commute in the morning. Burning the CDs now. After that, maybe I'll get the entire Almodovar canon on Netflix. Subtitles off.


2. Appreciate my body. Love it because it keeps me alive. Feed it good food and water. Keep it strong and limber. This includes continuing my Saturday visits to the Power Center with Mr. SevPrez, and stopping at Whole Foods on our way home and to give them our Whole Paycheck. Bust through whatever health "situations" may or may not be going on with me right now with the help of my naturopath, my regular doctor, a healthy lifestyle, and a positive outlook.


3. Successfully organize and complete a grueling 20 plus mile run through Monmouth County. Have every participant finish, give them all cool t-shirts. More on Rule #1 Run to come. Also, do some more duathlons.


4. Re-caulk the tub, finish the trim upstairs (a project now going into it's 2nd year... sigh.)


5. Concentrate on family, however that shows up.








6. Keep writing, and keep sharing.


The Decade In Photos

From the New York Times, reader submitted photos. Maybe not as funny, but much more interesting that those VH1 "I love the 00s" specials.


A lot of people have asked me where I was on September 11th, 2001, having been a junior at NYU at the time. I lived in the same dorm as the woman who took this picture and have a picture taken from the same vantage point from a disposable camera bought at a deli that morning. Seems like a lifetime ago. 


Interestingly enough, my current job had its roots in that day. School was closed for a week and students had nothing to do but drink too much, watch CNN, and argue about politics. I decided I needed to do something more constructive with my time and emailed my current company, offering to take their trash out. Two years later they created a position for me. 


The rest is history.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sharing A Poem: Rejoice!

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog
by Alicia Suskin Ostriker


To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God's love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the slug of lust
implied by
your up-ended
skirt

To be blessed
said the dog
is to have a pinch
of God
inside you
and all the other dogs
can smell it 



from The Book of Seventy. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rectifying The Situation*




















The Canon PowerShot S90 will be coming home with me soon. It's been highly recommended to me by people in the know and when I walked over to Best Buy yesterday to check it out in person I was definitely pleased. It has a lot of manual features that I don't understand how to use yet, but I like the idea that I can grow into this camera. I'm really excited about the low light features, mostly because I want to improve my still-lifes for the blog. Yes, it has come to that! 


I was tempted to get a lighter weight, more compact camera after lugging around the Lumix DMC-TZ5 with 10x zoom, but I'd rather buy a camera that will take great pictures. That whole line of reasoning just makes me wish I had an iPhone so I could get the Toy Camera App. But I just can't use AT&T. I've seen their maps and it's not pretty.


*Apologies in advance if I keep referring to things as situations, I am currently in the grips of watching "The Jersey Shore" on MTV and guido lingo is permeating my being.

"Gotta Get The Spread"

I recently had a party at my house and appointed my good friend to be the photographer, as I am currently without a digital camera (more on that later). She was very diligent in photographing all the guests and various party highlights, including The Spread, which I have now deemed important enough to be capitalized. 


When she sent me the photo album of all her pictures I said, "Yes! You got a picture of The Spread!" To Which she replied, "As I leaned over to take the photo, [your best friend] said 'Oh good, you're getting The Spread. Gotta get The Spread at [SevPrez]'s house." 


I am glad to know that my friends understand how serious I take The Spread. Party on.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Costco Is Serious

For many of you, this is old news. Or perhaps you have taken for granted the gravitas with which your favorite big box wholesaler conducts its business. As a new member, I'd like to remind you.


First, you cannot enter without showing a card. Second, in order to obtain said card, you must 1) pay money, 2) produce a valid driver's license, 3) get your picture taken and printed on the card, just in case you intend to loan your card to a friend who's in dire need of bulk mustard. Third, you cannot stand near your cart while checking out. As the sign instructs, "Carts on this side ---> Patrons on other." If you forget this, you will be reminded. Fourth, you mustn't bring a bag into the store. Not even a fabric Baggu. This is to "prevent theft." Not really sure how a bag makes it easier to sneak away with 2 gallons of olive oil, but okay. Lastly, you must keep your receipt and your membership card out for the man (not the same guy who checks you when you enter) to cross reference your receipt to your cart, "you know, to make sure you weren't double charged," explained the well-meaning cashier who initiated me into these Eyes Wide Shut-type rituals. I left feeling like I must look very suspicious. And also proud that I escaped without spending over $250* -- they should give out prizes to anyone can spend under $100.


After transferring my smaller items into my Baggu bag before putting them in my car and unloading all the other massive items into my trunk, I wheeled my cart into the cart-wrangling area. (Mr. SevPrez yells at me when I don't do this). Running back to my car in the rain, I felt a twang of fear that a large man was going to materialize and yell at me for not returning my cart correctly and strip me of my membership. Is this what it was like in the U.S.S.R.?


If I am uncomfortable with my card-carrying status (it may be the final rite of passage into adulthood?), my gigantic bag of Stacy's pita chips and tremendous hunk of manchego cheese will console me until I feel better.


*My biggest act of restraint was taking the box of 80 pigs in a blanket for $15 out of my cart. You can't see me but I am bowing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Butternut Everything

I love butternut squash. I love the taste, the texture, the color, the shape. I love that now that I have a big-girl knife set, I'm no longer afraid of cutting them in half. I love that I now know that you can peel them with a vegetable peeler. With these problems solved, butternut squash is probably the vegetable I am most comfortable experimenting with in the kitchen.


So when I stumbled upon this recipe on the site of Puritan & Genesta, a health food store in Mystic, CT, I knew I would make it. And that I did, after a long day of work, some sample sale and grocery shopping, and a long, local train ride. (I only exhibit this kind of commitment to cooking on a weeknight for things involving winter squash.) 


I substituted spinach for chard, because I had a lot of it lying around (with a spoon in the bag to keep the greens fresh, a Heloise tip via Aunt D). I would advise you to be free with the lemon juice. I used more than the recipe called for initally, and every time I reheat the dish in the microwave, I add some more, with pepper, for more life and zing. 


The recipe yields a lot of food -- so far we've eaten it three days in a row, and we're not even sick of it, which is a testament to the variety of flavors and textures going on here.


PASTA WITH ONION, GREENS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1 (13/4-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (4 cups cubed)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups chopped onion
8 ounces mixed-grain bow ties or penne
1 pound chard, trimmed and shredded (about 12 cups shredded)
2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cumin. Place in single, uncrowded layer on baking sheet and roast until squash is fork-tender, 20 to 24 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and browned, 15 to 17 minutes.
4. Cook pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Three to 4 minutes before it is finished cooking, add the chard to the pot. Just before draining, add the beans.
5. Toss pasta with the lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss with the squash, caramelized onions and Parmesan. Makes 6 servings.


Nutritional analysis for each serving: 446 calories, 19 g protein, 68 g carbohydrate, 15 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 859 mg sodium, 242 mg calcium

Friday, November 13, 2009

Inspired By Rene Gruau
















A few years ago my sister-in-law gave me a wall calendar featuring the artwork of Italian illustrator Rene Gruau. At the time I had never heard of him. But twelve months later, when it was time to take down the calendar, I had become wildly attached to the brightness, ease, simplicity, and sophistication of his work. My heart grows ever fonder to this day. My favorite image from the calendar, above, hangs over my dresser. I think it was probably the subconscious inspiration for my yellow chairs. Who wouldn't want to be that woman? Or any of the women in his images, for that matter.









Particularly her.




















His posters and prints sell for several thousand dollars, and I can't find any new calendars or other low-price point items in the marketplace right now. Thank god I saved my calendar. And thanks to my sister-in-law for having such discriminating taste in the first place!


Gruau, who died in 2004, said, "I'm self-taught. I never had any formal instruction, I simply taught myself by studying other artists. I never took myself seriously but I took my work very seriously." Amen to that.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sharing A Poem: Melancholy Autumn, Autumn Ablaze


I love this poem by W. S. Merwin. It's so solid, clear, to the point, and yet, transcendent. Love him.

A Single Autumn
by W. S. Merwin

The year my parents died
one that summer one that fall
three months and three days apart
I moved into the house
where they had lived their last years
it had never been theirs
and was still theirs in that way
for a while

echoes in every room
without a sound
all the things that we
had never been able to say
I could not remember

doll collection
in a china cabinet
plates stacked on shelves
lace on drop-leaf tables
a dried branch of bittersweet
before a hall mirror
were all planning to wait

the glass doors of the house
remained closed
the days had turned cold
and out in the tall hickories
the blaze of autumn had begun
on its own

I could do anything

Monday, November 9, 2009

Speaking Of First Ladies...

Friday night I went to the Two River Theater and saw Tea for Three, a new one woman show co-written by and starring Emmy award-winning actress Elaine Bromka. The play captured three First Ladies -- Ladybird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford -- at the end of their terms in the White House. Over tea with the audience, they tell how they met and fell in love with their husbands. They reveal their varied understandings of the duties of a political wife. And they can't help but tell their sides of the biggest moments of their political and personal worlds. For Ladybird and LBJ, his unexpected presidency after the assassination of JFK, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the escalation of the Vietman War, and his decision not to seek another term. For Pat and Richard Nixon, Watergate, Vietman, and his ultimate resignation. For Betty and Gerald Ford, his pardoning of Nixon, Roe v. Wade, and his loss to Jimmy Carter. 


You might think that a play about tea with the First Ladies would be dull, but Bromka squeezes a lot of history and humanity into her performance. Humanity is the key. I may be a history buff, but I was humbled by just how little I knew about these women. In fact, as someone in my late twenties, I couldn't summon up a picture of them or hear their accents in my head. It may not just be my age. First-Lady-dom institutionalizes these women and denies the humanity behind the role. 


As Bromka told more of their families, upbringings, and personal history, it lifted the institutional veil. The First Ladies morphed from historical figures to relatable women. Hearing their improbable paths to the White House, I realize what a bizarre course it is from love affair to First Lady, especially in an earlier time when wives didn't necessarily have an equal say in their husband's career choices. Michelle Obama giving Barack the third degree about why he wanted to run, how he thought he could win, and what he would accomplish once in office is a testament not only to Mrs. Obama but to these millennial times. 


For more on the current first marriage, read this profile of the Obamas in the New York Times Magazine. For more on the lives and times of Ladybird, Pat, and Betty, see Tea for Three. Two thumbs up!


I had the opportunity to speak with Elaine Bromka after the show. She was fantastic -- passionate about her research, writing, and performance. A real triple threat in my book!


Breaking News

I have the same cardigan as Michelle Obama. (It was on sale at J. Crew!)























Also, how does this woman manage to be simultaneously cute and gorgeous in a Halloween costume? 

Rawr.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2010 Is Closer Than You Think

Being in the stationery industry, I have already come to terms with the end of 2009. I sent the 2011 calendar to press last month. In fact, I've even caught myself dating things 2010. I'm ready, and I'm here to get you ready. 


I didn't have a calendar in my office at home in 2009. I can't say I really missed it, since I keep everything in my date book, but my wall looked a little sad and empty. And since I don't want to end up with some Ansel Adams calendar from Borders, this year I am hunting down the coolest wall calendars for sale on the internet and reporting them here. (I'm limiting my list to wall calendars because I think those tiny card-sized calendars are pretty but ultimately useless.)


First there's the Dolphin Studio Calendar, which is pretty special but very pricey. But once you read about the FFrench ffamily, you may decide they have earned their $50 through sheer adorability.













Next up there's Nikki McClure, who you've already met. Her calendar is reliably thoughtful and easy on the eyes.


















Now this calendar from illustrator Nicole J. Georges defies description, but I will say that I thought it was the coolest calendar on all of Etsy (and yes I searched all forty pages of calendars.) Please don't be offended by the seller's description of it. I'm not sure what it means, I just like the illustrations, like this one...
















This one by Red Prairie Press is pretty cool, but I also find it a little disturbing. To each their own.  

















This Circus Train calendar is not actually what I mean by wall calendar, but I'm making an exception because I have a real thing for circus trains dating back to a single digit birthday party.  Way to be on the same wavelength Lisa Rupp Designs.


















Lastly I have mixed emotions about including this calendar by Kate Spade. I find that I like Kate Spade's marketing materials better than their actual products, but that's okay. What really bothers me is that I like this calendar because it reminds me of Maira Kalman. But it's not Maira Kalman. But she doesn't make a wall calendar, even though I suggested it to her on her Facebook page. Maybe you'll be able to decide whether it's a blatant rip-off of my favorite living artist.



















Not sure which one I'll order... I think it's between Dolphin Studio and the Queer Animal Odyssey. What do you think? Do you have any other recommendations, or are you just trying to get through the holidays?

Postcards For No Reason


I just went on a postcard sending spree and I'd like to officially recommend it to everyone. It made me feel so good inside, picturing my friends opening up their mailboxes and finding my messages amidst a pile of bills and unwanted solicitations. And I really love the collection of postcards I sent -- Nikki McClure's "Take Care" collection for Chronicle Books. 


Nikki makes the coolest stuff by cutting elaborate designs out of a single piece of paper. Talk about "exacting." (Those of you with a self-healing cutting board will get that one.) And because her work is such a labor of love, each piece has a message and  a lot of soul. I had a good time matching up the folks in my life to each image.



Nikki's work appears on a few other products -- children's books, wall calendars, and notepads to name a few. You can see all of her stuff, including her original prints (!) here. My favorite image from the postcards -- a black cat with bird in mouth -- was too inappropriate to send to anyone and so I gladly kept for myself. It's also available on a notepad for $3. You can't beat it. 





If I can find more exciting postcard sets I'd like to keep this mass mailing up. One day I'll even the score with all my very thoughtful friends who manage to have both stamps and addresses with them when they vacation. 


And to those recipients out there, scattered across the country, check your mailboxes!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

POTUSes with the Motuses


Friends look at me differently after they see my collection of miniature presidential figurines for the first time. They call my name from the other room and ask, is this a civil war re-enactment? Are these action figures? What exactly is going on here? They knew I was a little nerdy, but this, this changes something. It's my dirty little secret. 


But I can explain. I'm history major with a love of American history and the presidents, which was handed down to me by my mother  -- she founded our town's historical museum for crying out loud. I also inherited her love of antique stores and quirky historical commemorative items. (My mom is using my upholsterer, and upon visiting her house he said, "It's very evident that you two are related. And you look alike too.")


So a couple of birthdays ago I became the proud owner of a set of The Presidents of the United States by Marx. The set wasn't in it's original packaging or anything, just piled into a ziplock baggy. Jefferson may have a broken arm and I think I may be missing Kennedy, but that never bothered me. Then this morning a friend sent me a link to Verrone.com, a company that picks up where Marx left off (Nixon.) They've also branched out to include presidential candidates, Supreme Court justices, VPs, and other notable Americans. Please, please, contain your excitement, you're going to break my blog. 


I immediately called my mom to tell her the good news, and something tells me there will be some tiny statesmen under the tree this year. But the real question is, am I ready to welcome W. into my home? I'm not sure enough time has passed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Creepy Read for Mischief Night!


If you are really in the Halloween spirit and ready to be creeped out by a book, I highly recommend Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. It's a compelling read, suspenseful without causing nightmares, with a great ending.

To boot, Scorcese made a movie based on the novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley. It's coming out February 19th. You can watch the trailer here.

Lehane also wrote the novels Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone. Both were great movies, but I'm bummed I didn't read the books first, now that I know what Lehane has to offer.

On a side note, don't forget to park your cars in your driveway tonight to lessen the chance that they'll get creamed!

Boo!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Priced Out of ABC














Last night a friend and I ventured up to ABC Carpet & Home to check out the Madeline Weinrib Atelier sample sale. I covet almost everything she does and always thought I'd give my pinky toes for her amazing patterned woven rugs and bright print pillows. Like everything in ABC, Weinrib's stuff is expensive, and I had been warned by a friend that the stuff at the sale was still pretty pricey, but it might be worth it if I found something I really loved. So we journeyed up to the sixth floor hoping that I would find something that spoke to me.


Lo and behold, right away I spotted two yellow ikat print throw pillows that would be perfect on my white couch, but there was no sign or tag to indicate the price. My friend mosied off to locate a sales person, and when one finally materialized from a secret back room she told me that the pillows were "four fifty." 


My brain couldn't really register which "four fifty" she was referring to -- $4.50 or $450? Neither made sense. I would have thought maybe $45, or even $145... but $450!?! Mary Mother of God that is expensive!


The tall blond sales woman in the sophisticated dress and heels must have been able to tell from the look on my face that it was taking me a while to process this information. She smiled and slowly backed away. I put the pillow down, made a show of circling the rest of the room, touching textiles here and there. When I finally reached my friend who was casually browsing another display of pillows, I sidled close enough for her to hear me say "we need to get out of here immediately" without moving my lips.


Once we were safely in the elevator, we ranted and raved about the incomprehensibly preposterous world we had just glimpsed. We left ABC and walked across the street to Fishs Eddy, a store packed to the gills with adorable kitchenware in our price range, and soon everything was better.


Looks like I will be ordering my ikat items direct from Uzbekistan, for the nice price of $19.00. Ah, the wonders of the internet.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alexander Girard at Urban Outfitters

This is not exactly breaking news, just something I realized I forgot to share. Check these home goods licensed by the Girard estate for sale at Urban Outfitters. Girard is part of the pantheon of iconic mid-century modern designers, having designed textiles, objects, and motifs for Herman Miller and others.

I picked up his love pillow a few months ago and it's aiding me in the quest marry my two biggest aesthetic cravings, the first being historical ephemera and all my antique store buys, the second being  graphic, happy moderism with a sense of humor (see yellow Trina Turk chairs).












In this vein I recently acquired two clear acrylic chairs from Ikea to take the look into my dining area, a contrast to my lovely built-in hutches and excessive amounts of molding. I know I'm taking my house in a different direction when my mom, who very generously volunteered to go to Ikea for me, left me a voice mail of disbelief that I could possibly want these pieces of furniture for my home. The chairs look fabulous, though, mixed in with my more traditional dining chairs. They're an excellent alternative to very expensive molded Eames chairs and Knoll Saarinen tulip chairs, and the clear acrylic helps my very small house seem a little bigger.















Back to Girard. The collection debuted this summer, and I have a feeling it's all going to go on sale soon. I'm trying to hold out for my next purchase, a duvet cover in colors I have never, ever been attracted to: creams and oranges, with a little purple and green thrown in for good measure. But I think it will be a welcomed change in our tiny bedroom whose walls were supposed to alabaster but are much closer to butter. (I really wanted to paint the entire house white but was shamed out of it by our lawyer at closing. As new home owners on our way to the paint store, we lacked confidence.) It's a color that plagues me daily, but I hate painting so much that I refuse to do anything about it. I do think this pastel duvet is just the thing I need to change the context of the room (which really only fits a bed and is filled with butter colored built in shelves and drawers.) I'll let you know when the sale starts!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spooky Activities

I don't know about you, but I long for the Halloween of yore, the kid version of Halloween. Maybe I've been hanging around New York City for too long, but I just don't find the get-drunk-and-wear-a-revealing-costume version of the holiday all that inspiring. I want rustling leaves, hayrides, jack-o-lantern contests, and really amazing hand crafted costumes. But if you don't have kids, and you're not friends with Martha Stewart, it can be hard to find a way to celebrate this version of Halloween as an adult. 


That is why I am so excited about this development, just a few miles down the road from me on Route 34.









Mr. SevPrez finally agreed to accompany me on the Haunted Hayride, after much pleading. Apparently once you're married, dangling the old "I'll cling to you when I get scared" line doesn't really hold much water. Anyway, weather permitting, we'll be screaming for mercy this weekend in the woods of Holmdel. To be followed by eating of apple cider donuts and stealing from the supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups we got for the neighborhood kids. 


What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Couple Of Things

I know, I know, it's been silent around here. I've been busy with a lot of different things, which doesn't always stop me, but then my camera broke. Then a couple other things broke too. I threw a pity party, which I'm only now leaving -- and no goody bag.

But there have been a few things I've been meaning to tell you, especially referring to this lovely time of year.

1. Katy Elliot's coverage of pumpkin-adorned homes in New England was particularly inspiring to me.













 I don't have any amazing doorways or cornices, though, so i just bought 4 petite pumpkins and placed them on the railing of my white wood front stoop. They've been making me quite happy.

2. Butternut squash soup is still amazing. Check out this very healthy, cream-free recipe from the Times, but add curry.

3. Remodelista.com is a cool home design resource. Check out their coverage of kitchen sinks, for instance.

4. Martha Stewart Living's November Issue included a piece on purple toned table tops and floral arrangements. I knew I was onto something.

5. I have fallen in love with a man who's not my husband. For more of an explanation, look up Paul Chek and the C.H.E.K. Institute. This Christmas, everyone in my family is getting How To Eat, Move, and Be Healthy whether they want one or not!

6. On the spur of the moment, I did a sprint duathlon (run-bike-run) and was the second place female to cross the tape. It was more fun than any running race I've ever done. I'm in this photo. If you can spot me, you win a prize!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ryan Hall Wins The Philadelphia Distance Run!




















And I finished 55 minutes later,* taking more than a minute off of my Spring Half time. It was a beautiful day, as it has been the three previous years I've run it, and my running tribe of a half dozen people all had great races (even the ones who swear they didn't). Next time though, I will remember that the course is almost entirely shady and I need to bring my sleeves.


One other note: what is it with racers who wear shirts with pompous and/or obnoxious sayings on the back? It's race pollution, if you ask me. It just makes me want to pass them... Maybe I shouldn't condemn them, if it's good for me. 


* Well, not in real time. We started in waves (a great idea) so I actually finished more than an hour later. They let the fast people go first, and put the walkers in the back, etc.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Ever Get To Nantucket...

Be sure to do the following things:

1. Rent a cruiser with a wicker basket.


















2. Explore the bike paths.
















2. Ride to Sconset. When in Sconset, be sure to pick up supplies at the market, like cookies as big as your head, water, fudge, and cigars, if you're into that. Enjoy these items at the beach, or store them in said wicker basket for later.
















2. Go down strange streets that lead to nowhere.
















3. Get some ice cream in a hand-rolled waffle cone at the Juice Bar.
















4. Watch the Pats score two touchdowns to come from behind and win their home opener.




















These are my personal recommendations on exploring a far away isle in New England. Enjoy the wildlife and the silence. And the ice cream.  And the football dynasty. Make plans to come back again.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On The Topic Of Heydays









Those who know me well can attest to my use of the term "heyday." I find it an apt description of many kinds of happiness and/or periods of time in which the universe conspires in your favor. In a recent text message exchange, my friend on the West Coast and I were contrasting our heydays -- his entailed seeing Phish on their reunion tour, mine meant having friends over for grilled food and pie on the deck. He wrote, "All paths, whatever they be, lead to Hey." Well said.

My love of "Hey" springs from my second favorite children's book of all time, Marie Louise's Heyday. It's an odd little out of print book, but I still love it to this day.






















I found an excellent summary on the web to fill you in on why you should care about this overburdened mongoose and her quest to eat a banana.
















On this Labor Day weekend, I wish for you a Day of Hey.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Maira Kalman Continues To Be My God
















How did I not know about this before?! Maira illustrated my favorite reference guide, Strunk & White's Elements of Style -- a book which not only endorses the Oxford Comma but also gives me the possessive apostrophe I very much deserve, in a one-two punch.























I beg to differ, Maira, I think you come pretty close.

Family members and good friends, please note my birthday is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I look forward to receiving my copy.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to put the finishing touches on my Maira alter.