Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Friday, April 29, 2005

Frivolity wins out

Newsweek says:
Jon Cronin's girlfriend would nearly cry each time she watched the ad where the guy slips his wife a giant rock on a trip to Venice. So when the Boston-based real-estate developer decided to propose four months ago, he flew her to Italy, where he popped the question in St. Mark's Square with a six-carat solitaire worth more than $100,000. "She's still in shock, I think," says Cronin, 38.
The Gemological Institute of America has seen a 41 percent jump since 2000 in the number of two-carat-plus diamonds that it processes. "For a long time, the one-carat stone was basically the standard," says Carley Roney, founder of TheKnot.com. "But for a growing set of people, it's just not good enough anymore."

If it's about the size of the diamond, do you really want to spend the rest of your life with this person? That whole' not good enough' phrase should be a big red flag, boys and girls.

He ran a good Olympics, but

doesn't the Governor of Massachusetts have better initiatives to work on than reinstating the death penalty after 21 years without it? Aside from the issue of whether the state should be in the business of putting its own people to death, which gets almost no attention, there is the recognized concern about killing those who are actually innocent. Romney assures us that
To the extent that is humanly possible, this would not ever result in a questionable execution.
because of new provisions, including (to paraphrase the NYT) requiring "conclusive scientific evidence," like DNA or fingerprints (also a longer New Yorker article), linking defendants to crimes and allowing a death penalty to be imposed only if a sentencing jury finds there is "no doubt" about a defendant's guilt, a standard that is stricter than "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Chilling quote of the day:
"It's better than nothing, and right now you got nothing" in Massachusetts, said Kent Scheiddeger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a pro-death penalty group in Sacramento.
The article (somewhat paraphrased) continues:
James S. Liebman, a Columbia University law professor who studies the death penalty and is personally opposed to it (said) "if you want to reduce the amount of risk that the sentence poses to the execution of innocent people and other kinds of injustices, this is the way you would do it." But he said Mr. Romney's proposal would be very expensive, with the cost of extra lawyers and commissions and juries, and would result in few death sentences. "Do you want to spend tens of millions every year when what you might get is one execution every 15 years?" he asked.

Mr. Romney said spending money on his plan would be a "high priority" because he believes that such a system would "have a deterrent effect and will save lives." Opponents said his plan would not deter murderers. State Representative Michael E. Festa, a Democrat, noted that Mr. Romney said his law would apply to a case like the recent courthouse killings in Atlanta. "Georgia is a death penalty state," Mr. Festa said, "and the man who committed that crime was not at all deterred by the death penalty statute."

I realize that's a heavy note to end the week on, but I'm confident that there's enough frivolity on this site for you to deal with it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I dare you not to LOL

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Tiny Ninja Theater is coming to a town near you ... if you live in the Pacific Northwest. The West Coast premiere of TNT's Hamlet takes place at the Seattle International Children's Festival* May 11th. Run don't walk.

*The children aren't necessarily international, but the performers are. Maybe it should be called the Seattle Children's International Festival? Just a thought.

Now we can stop buying exfoliator, ladies.

Apparently the full beard is back - where would we be without the NYT Style section to keep us up to date on all these trends?
"It's very, very current," said Jimmy Paul, a New York hairstylist who works exclusively on fashion shoots and who until recently did not take a beard trimmer to work. "It's a very subversive and strong look. It's like a new punk. I don't think you can really have a job with one."

Perhaps this is a new 'fire-me please' technique for lazy boys - now they can stop shaving and going to work. Sadly, the fabulous girls will have to be fired for tripping while breaking in new shoes or having a drink with the boys after work, being as glabrous as we are.

Stuck in 'He loves me, he loves me not' Land?

When you've got your own daisy-patterned mules made for walking, who cares? And the next time you know you'll 'run into' him ... well, I think we know what these shoes are made for.

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Thank you, Mr. Blahnik.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005


According to Maureen Dowd,
The uncombed, untethered Mr. Bolton is fabulously operatic - the Naomi Campbell of the Bush administration, ready at a moment's notice to beat up on underlings.

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Which one would you prefer as U.N. Ambassador? I'm just saying ...

So I've never been a fan

Of Jennifer 8. Lee (don't get me started on the "8") but where were the editors in this lede? (all credit fot this post goes to Gawker - just lighting my own little signal fire between Minas Tirith and Rohan)
On Broadway, the beauty-salon drama "Steel Magnolias" opened this month to mixed reviews. But in the real salons that tend to the city's countless cornrows and braids and weaves and other styles, there is a frighteningly real drama unfolding with a different sort of steel: the kind that is pulled out of a robber's pocket and pointed at the woman nearest the cash drawer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A literary goldmine

What a fabulous idea - Randy Cohen (aka The NYT Magazine's "Ethicist") proposes to create a map of Manhattan featuring the homes and haunts of literary characters who lived in the city.
It would be a lush literary landscape -- the house on Washington Square where Catherine Sloper waited and yearned, the coffee shops where the characters of Ralph Ellison and Isaac Bashevis Singer quarreled and kibbitzed, the offices where John Cheever's people spent their days, the clubs where Jay McInerney's creatures wasted their nights, the East 70's and Upper West Side avenues where the Glass family bickered (Salinger gives several addresses), downtown where Ishmael wandered the docks.

And he's asking us for submissions - irresistible.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Speaking of The New Yorker

One of the lovely/unsettling aspects of reading The New Yorker is that authors often publish first chapters or sketched versions of forthcoming books in the fiction section. So that one finds oneself in deja vu when leafing through new releases at the local independent bookstore. See Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, or Saturday by Ian McEwan. It happened again today with Nicole Krauss' The History of Love. An exerpt from the original article:
Once upon a time there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists. Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. They collected the world in small handfuls, and they were never unfair to each other, not once. When the sky grew dark, they parted with burrs in their clothes and leaves in their hair.

When they were ten, he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven, he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen, they got into a fight and for three terrible weeks they didn’t talk. When they were fifteen, she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. “What if I die?” she asked. “Even then,” he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her a Polish-English dictionary and together they studied the words. “What’s this?” he’d ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle, and she’d look it up. “And this?” he’d ask, kissing her elbow. “ ‘Elbow’! What kind of word is that?” And then he’d lick it, making her giggle. When they were seventeen, they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later—when things had happened that they never could have imagined—she wrote him a letter that said, “When will you learn that there isn’t a word for everything?”

Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl whose father was shrewd enough to scrounge together all the zlotys he had to send his daughter on a boat to America. At first she refused to go, but the boy also knew enough to insist, swearing on his life that he’d earn some money and find a way to follow her. He got a job as a janitor at a hospital and he saved as much as he could. But, in the summer of 1941, the Einsatzkommandos drove their armies farther east; on a bright, hot day in July, they entered S. At that hour, the boy happened to be lying on his back in the woods, thinking about the girl. You could say it was his love for her that saved him. In the years that followed, the boy became a man who became invisible. In this way, he escaped death.

Late to the party

So I promise I'm going to catch up on my New Yorker stash, finish Anna Karenina and Democracy Matters, and pick my knitting back up just as soon as I've cleaned off the video tapes of TV shows I haven't been home to watch in real time. But it's been worth it to slog through them if only for my discovery of Rachael Yamagata when I'll Find a Way showed up at the end of ER last night.
Wait for me, wait for me
Darling, I need you desperately, desperately here
And I'll find a way to see you again
And I'll find a way to see you again
The rain is like an orchestra to me
Little gifts from above meant to say
Girl, you falling at his feet
Isn't lovely or stunning today
Wait with me, wait with me
I'm alive when you're here with me, here with me, stay
And I'll find a way to see you again

Friday, April 22, 2005

Speaking of delicious

Ooh, the Washington Post Style photogs are clever, and I can't spend all day searching for a viable copy of this photo of Anderson Cooper and Jon Stewart on the red carpet at the Time 100 celebration, so click on the link.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


I live for those moments when men think they've got us neatly sorted into woo-able categories. - ok, I don't live for them, but they definitely warrant a clicking together of the stilettos.

Take Cooking To Hook Up (please), which apparently is a guide to sorting women (and for us to sort ourselves, 'cause that's something we've been waiting for help with) so that men can make the 'right' dinner (and *swoon* breakfast!) for the type of girl they find themselves with. Because 'Cooking is dead sexy', and apparently what you should cook and wear, etc., at said dinner is all predetermined by the girl-type. This is a plan with the shelf life of a souffle - fortunately most of us don't eat breakfast anyway ...

Peruse and giggle at will, and don't miss the photos of the darling couple who thought this was a good idea. And if you don't already know which one I am ...

More for the 'Why didn't I think of that' vault

Actually, it's because I think the USDA is useless, but Wonkette has a moment of brill, with New Food Pyramid is Totally Gay.
Once again, homosexual activists have hijacked a trusted icon of sensible nutrition to brainwash schoolkids into thinking sodomy is a perfectly wholesome alternative to lunch at McDonald's. The old food pyramid was simple and straightforward, with a traditional emphasis on loaves and fishes. The new one is actually twelve different food charts, all the better to promote "diversity."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Get a new job

Dahlia Lithwick takes on pharmacists who are refusing to dispense birth-control pills and emergency contraception, the four states with "refusal clauses" allowing them to do so (SD, GA, AR & MS), and the 12 with pending legislation. Choice quotes follow:

That means 11 state legislatures can't see any distinction between abortion and contraception; between what a physician does and what a pharmacist does; or between performing a complex medical procedure and scooping a pill out of a bin. (...) whatever you may think of the morality of taking a morning-after pill, the incontrovertible fact is that it loses efficacy after 24 hours and becomes virtually useless after 72. So, one pharmacist's refusal to dispense them can rapidly morph into an unwanted pregnancy. That means—particularly in isolated or rural communities—the religious objections of the pharmacist can trump the mother's legal rights. This may well lead to an increased number of later-term abortions. (...) for a pharmacist to subordinate a physician's judgment to his own is the height of arrogance. (...) a pharmacist's refusal to dispense a drug (could be compared to) a bookstore owner's legitimate refusal to sell a book. Of course, the worst thing that can happen if I can't get a book within 24 hours is that I only pretend to have read it at the cocktail party. Whereas an unwanted pregnancy represents a fairly profound violation of self.

You think? If you're motivated and intelligent enough to become a pharmacist, and you've suddenly realized you're God, get a new job. And don't move to Illinois, where the governor has "ordered pharmacies to fill prescriptions for women wanting the new "morning after" pill, even if it meant putting aside their employees' personal views." (NYT)
(For more information on refusal clauses nation-wide, visit Planned Parenthood.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Just Hit Repeat

There are songs out there you know you can count on. I'm not saying we all like the same songs - you know which ones are yours, whether the lyrics eerily echo the last week of your life or the musical hook has just embedded itself in the crevices of your grey matter. Am currently under the thrall of Cake's Love You Madly, although The Killers' Mr. Brightside also has my attention (possibly video-related - Eric Roberts = SO fun). And then there are those from the past - I used to write to Sinead O'Connor's Emperor's New Clothes - which can be hauled back out and re-visited as needed. I'm on the hunt for Bleed a Little While Tonight by Lowest of the Low, another fav from the 1990's that was part of my stolen tape collection. Alex never gets what she wants.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Giving Cruella DeVille a run for her money

I'd like to see Miranda Richardson, as Rita Skeeter, in this fabulous don't-hate-me-because-I'm-a-nosy-journalist ensemble, in a Celebrity Death Match with Glenn Close.

A kiss on the hand

may be quite Continental, but disassociated jewelry is a girl's best friend?

From Slate's Dear Prudence column (scroll down to the second Q&A).
Following (the questioner's) thinking, no woman should accept any piece of jewelry if she does not approve of the reason it was given. Were this the case, women would have many fewer baubles, and jewelry stores would be in tough shape. It is actually quite easy to dissociate a piece of jewelry from the donor. Don't ask Prudie how she knows this.

What colour is your name?

Very interesting article at Slate on the influence of names, and also how "white" or "black" names can be.
What kind of signal does a child's name send to the world? These are the sort of questions that led to "The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names," a research paper written by a white economist (Steven Levitt, a co-author of this article) and a black economist (Roland G. Fryer Jr., a young Harvard scholar who studies race). The paper acknowledged the social and economic gulf between blacks and whites but paid particular attention to the gulf between black and white culture. Blacks and whites watch different TV shows, for instance; they smoke different cigarettes. And black parents give their children names that are starkly different than white children's.

The names research was based on an extremely large and rich data set: birth-certificate information for every child born in California since 1961. The data covered more than 16 million births. It included standard items like name, gender, race, birthweight, and the parents' marital status, as well as more telling factors: the parents' ZIP code (which indicates socioeconomic status and a neighborhood's racial composition), their means of paying the hospital bill for the birth (again, an economic indicator), and their level of education.

The list of top 20 "whitest" girls' names includes seven variations on Katherine or Kaitlyn, while the top 20 "blackest" girls' names features four versions of Jasmine. (click here for the complete lists.) The boys lists are far less repetitive - only Jake/Jacob and Luke/Lucas for "whitest" and DeShawn/DeAndre for"blackest". (I know better than to publish any names I may have considered for any prospective kids, but let's just say I'm well within my demographic.)

In the end, they conclude (unsurprisingly) that it's not the name itself that matters:

The data show that, on average, a person with a distinctively black name—whether it is a woman named Imani or a man named DeShawn—does have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake. But it isn't the fault of his or her name. If two black boys, Jake Williams and DeShawn Williams, are born in the same neighborhood and into the same familial and economic circumstances, they would likely have similar life outcomes. But the kind of parents who name their son Jake don't tend to live in the same neighborhoods or share economic circumstances with the kind of parents who name their son DeShawn. And that's why, on average, a boy named Jake will tend to earn more money and get more education than a boy named DeShawn. DeShawn's name is an indicator—but not a cause—of his life path.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Bowing to the wit of others

I had planned to blog about the Royal Wedding, but when I came across this excellent post by Spirit Fingers, I realized there was little else to say. Except that those hats were ridiculous. Unless you're taking flight from the Guildhall steps for your honeymoon.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

I know an "It Girl" when I see one

and in these shoes, we can all be it girls, whatever that means. Thanks Kate!
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Also available in fuschia/orange. Warning: you can now shop directly for Kate Spade online.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Icons we mourn: Rainier of Monaco

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Proving once again that love does conquer all ... although becoming the principessa of a fabulously wealthy and très chic principality doesn't hurt.

Today we mourn the passing of Rainier of Monaco, who, although blessed with wealth, class and lifestyle few among us could imagine, had a personal life marred by tragedy. And now the hunt is on for the next Princess of Monaco - perhaps this week's Papal funeral and British Royal wedding will provide some suitable prospects for Albert. There's a Brothers Grimm sensibility to all this pomp. We are thanking the Manolo's Shoe Blog for the photo, and for the fabulousness of it all.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Acronyms to avoid

So, in yet another instance of a nation divided, CNN reports that 24 states prevent first cousins from marrying each other, while 26 allow it. But the woman who created Cousins United to Defeat Discriminating Laws through Education, or CUDDLE really should have consulted with someone. While recognizing there's not a scientifically significantly increased risk of birth defects to children born of such unions, there's a certain/ ick factor/ to intermarriage you might want to consider in your branding process.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Jealous again; the super-links edition

Not sure what axe Wonkette (or Greg Beato?) has to grind against her "neighbours" to the north, but I'm starting to think that a Junior A hockey player said he'd make her breakfast and then snuck out to make his early morning practice and never called.
Apparently anti-American sentiment sprang forth in the Great White North after 9/11 (wonder what the 13,000 US-bound plane passengers who were grounded in Newfoundland for a week would say about that). No, that was when y'all realized there are other countries outside your own borders, and that several of us other than France have mixed feelings.
At Canada.com the query du jour was "Are you surprised by the findings of a report that says US spy agencies were "dead wrong" in most of their pre-war judgements about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction?" Nineteen percent said they were surprised that that information was even released to the public, and 47.73% said "Only people who'd be surprised would be Americans." Why do you think there aren't Canadian soldiers in Iraq? Isn't it strange when foreigners have a more sceptical view of your government than you do? Anyone remember McCarthyism? Japanese internment camps?* Post-9/11 round-ups of Arab and Muslim immigrants?
Also enjoy that, while you can make fun of our exploitation of the letter "u" and the reversal of "er" (as in /theatre/), you apparently can't spell /barrel/. Maybe the trip over Niagara Falls had lasting effects after all ... ok, that was petty, but give us a break. Those guns are really big ...

* Yes, Canada also had internment camps, fact checker. Yes, we also made reparations, and to each internee's survivors, not just to internees themselves.

Shoes for your inner artist

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Thanks Shoewawa for alerting FabGirl to an eBay auction of shoes, drawings and paintings of shoe designs - FG likes the Nicole Miller pictured above (sadly the actual shoe doesn't appear in the auction). Also available, drawings by Paloma Picasso, Narciso Rodriguez and Kate Spade.

Mmmm Author fest

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel, Never Let Me Go, is reviewed this week in Slate by none other than Margaret Atwood, who's no stranger to the perils of the future and the potential for misuse of genetic engineering - see The Handmaid's Tale. So wonderful to read a review of an author by an actual author, makes me miss the New York Book Review.

Fabulous writing

from the NYT review of Julius Caesar at the Belasco:
Those cruel forces of history known as the dogs of war are on a rampage at the Belasco Theater, where a carnage-happy new production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" opened last night. Dripping blood and breathing smoke, these specters of martial havoc are chewing up and spitting out everything in their path: friends, Romans, countrymen, blank verse, emotional credibility, a man who would be king and even the noblest movie star of them all, he whom the masses call Denzel.

Love waking up to such language on a wet and cantankerous Monday. Did I mention I was Portia?