Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Thursday, December 29, 2005

mmmmm Rest

Tonight, la famille managed to dine en suite, here. Run, don't walk. I know, I know, you're nowhere near here. But if you find yourself here, go. I had roasted beet salad with goat cheese to start, roasted jerusalem artichoke, du Puy lentils, spinach (which was the darkest, richest spinach ever), and preserved lemon fricassee with truffled sweet potato puree. And the cheese plate for dessert, with warm, house-made walnut currant bread. Others ate moules et frites, (with chorizo, saffron & smoked paprika - the moules, not the frites), and braised pork 'tourtiere'* (slow cooked with roasted root veggies & potatoes in puff pastry crust with preserves), and Dungeness Crab spring rolls and salmon 'osso bucco' (braised salmon & marrow steak with sauteed dinosaur kale, white beans, bacon (yes,. they make their own bacon. Sit down, bacon fiends.) & pinot noir juice.) More menus here - but I should mention that they serve candy floss for dessert. Candy Floss! (having a TK moment.)

And stop at Stratus winery first, for amazing wine and an extrordinarily designed winery, top to bottom.

*traditional tourtiere described here

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Belated Pooh Day

Can't believe I missed Pooh's birthday - and his 80th, no less! Thanks Rainster!

The Big Leagues

"This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people."- a spokesman for the White House, on reports about the government's terrorism inquiries.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Miss me?

I miss you too. Have essentially been eating and drinking far too much to do anything other than watch hours of scandalous late night 51st state TV (who has the First Amendment again?) and turn book pages ... slowly. There has been so much excellent beer & wine, I haven't had a cocktail in 10 days, probably a new Olympic record in FG nation.

While watching said TV, I came across an ad for this item (now you know just how late it was), and had to share it with you all. The good news is, none of us are old enough for this. Yet.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Come and knock on our door ...

Wonder what Tucker thinks of us now?

Canadian Court Allows Clubs for Group Sex
Group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday as it lifted a ban on so-called ''swingers'' clubs. In a ruling that changes the way Canadian courts determine what poses a threat to the population, the top court threw out the conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have group sex in a private room behind locked doors. ``Consensual conduct behind code-locked doors can hardly be supposed to jeopardize a society as vigorous and tolerant as Canadian society,'' said the opinion of the seven-to-two majority, written by Chief Justice Beverley

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tucker, grow up already

There's an ongoing conversation among my female friends on both coasts about the inability of some men to act their age, but Tucker Carlson takes the cake. In addition to his childish pomposity, illustrated by his insistent sporting of bow ties, he's fallen into the obvious Heffalump trap of picking on his peaceful, underpopulated neighbour to the North. To wit:
Last week, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson, a well-known conservative pundit, let loose with a string of anti-Canada rants. "Anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York," he said.
"Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada."
Carlson also said it's pointless to tell Canada to stop criticizing the United States.
"It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right?"
"It's unrequited love between Canada and the United States. We, meanwhile, don't even know Canada's name. We pay no attention at all," he said.

First of all, lots of people go to New York. NY is hardly even an a recognizable US city, it's more its own micro-nation, filled with people who have fled New Jersey, the Red States, and yes, other countries near and far. Tell you what, Tucker. Send us back our Canadians and see how funny you are. I'll be on this side of the 49th parallel, laughing along with Samantha Bee, Mike Myers, Dan Ackroyd, Jim Carrey, etc, etc.

Second, "your retarded cousin at Thanksgiving"? Clearly Tucker is one of the compassionless conservatives -I suppose it's one's own fault if one is mentally challenged. (Not that he finished college, but I digress.)

Finally, wake up. EVERYONE is criticising the US, including your very own Republicans., Tuck You can just hear us best b/c we're closest, and, surprise, are your largest trading parter. Look it up. We're stalking you b/c we know from whence our largest threat commeth, and we can identify more than two countries on a world map. Keep not paying attention - that should wrap up the Iraq problem, for example, in no time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Icons we mourn: John Spencer

From the West Wing & LA Law and many a film. You and your great smile are missed already.


Wanted: A Fairy

An Accessories Fairy, to be exact.

Let me explain. Although I am considered responsible and capable by most who know me, I'm just overwhelmed by the number of accessories this season's weather has forced me to keep on my person at all times.

My sunglasses are generally with me when there's the least chance of sun, and those are easily dealt with. But the weather of late has forced me to add a scarf, gloves and, often, a hat as well. Yes, it's been just that cold, and, in my defense, I have not been the only one so attired.

Accessories herding isn't much of an issue on arrival at work or to one's vehicle - that's what back-seats and hooks are for. It's more about clubs, restaurants, bars, coffee spots, etc. Coat pockets are limited in size, if they exist at all, and filling them with bulky gloves and hats distorts one's silhouette in a most unflattering manner. Unless one is over 50, presumably one's handbag is also minute. Where are we to store these items in a public place? If you're anything like me - ie: doing more than one thing at once - the result is lost items. In the past two weeks, I have lost one hat, left a pashmina at a friend's house in the Rose City, and dropped the same glove three times.

I just want someone to hand these items to who will make them disappear until it's time to go. Is that so wrong?

Note: former bag wallahs may apply, but the requirements of the position are far more magical and the temperatures vastly different than previous engagements.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fragile much?

It's panic time again in D.C., as the Patriot Act is passed by the House and sent to the Senate.
"In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment," Bush said, in a statement issued by the White House.

Umm, really? I'm pretty sure that, somehow, the country wouldn't fall apart. If only because the entire House & 1/3 of the Senate are up for re-election next year. Is there anyone of significance who's not looking for another term? One wonders how these United States got through the first 225 years. They've got until the end of the month, and it's not as though there's anything else going on at this time of year.

This reminds me, in a far less significant way, of the fuss made by my American friends at the news that the Canadian government had 'fallen.' Yes, that's what it's called, no, there hasn't been a coup.

In other countries, far beyond the land mass you call home, there's a system of government known as parliamentarism. The main issue y'all would probably have with it is that those checks and balances you are so proud of between the executive and legislative branches don't really exist, as the head of the party with the most votes becomes the Prime Minister (head of government), while the head of state is the Queen. (She's locally represented by the Governor-General and it's mostly a ceremonial post.) There was a minority Liberal Government, and the Opposition made a motion of non-confidence, so they dissolved Parliament and there will be an election on January 23rd. Nothing to get your knickers in a knot about, it happens occasionally - five times in the last 100 years. And besides, it's not as though we're in the middle of a war or anything.

UPDATE: click here for hilarious commentary on the Canadian election campaign from Wonkette.

Balance, ladies, balance

The FG believes it is important to lead a healthy, balanced life, with whatever combination of delish food and exercise works for you, in the interests of a long and happy existence, free from medical crises and extended hospital stays.

But, clearly, there are more ... depth-challenged ... reasons to lose those last hundred pounds. Take it from Star Jones Reynolds .... please?
It all began when Star took a close look at herself and her life and realized she wasn’t happy with what she saw: obesity precluded her from (...) fastening her own necklace, and, worst of all, she got too tired to shop — a disaster because Star Jones Reynolds is a seriously committed shopper.

I can't imagine how ... difficult it must be to be too tired to shop, having never been that tired. And maybe the size of the necklace is the problem? (See photo).

I can't take credit for finding this quote, only for perpetuating it. Thank Gawker.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Shuesday: Golden Globes

In honor of the Golden Globe nominations, we present these red carpet worthy gems from Forzieri. Of course, they won't do you any good if you find yourself stuck on Brokeback Mountain, but I bet Felicity Huffman's character in TransAmerica would love them. And what's with all the Desperate Housewives nominations? I heart Ms. Huffman, but surely there are other women out there doing a good job in TV dramas. Aren't there?

I realized in the past few weeks that I've almost stopped watching my usual shows, and that I don't really care when I miss them. This is probably a good sign - I'm detatching from TV - although it's bad for my knitting, and I'm facing some deadlines.


Monday, December 12, 2005

If only

I had had Mary-Kate as a role model when I was at university.
"You know, [college] is easier for my sister and that's great, you know? I'm happy that I kind of realized that, okay, I just need to take care of myself right now," she says. "I need to be able to go to yoga and work out and just read scripts and go on auditions, because that's what makes me happy. You know? Like, papers don't really make me happy."

Her handlers insist that this is just a temporary break and that Olsen will return to NYU or, barring that, transfer to a West Coast university. "She's not stepping away from school," says Diane Reichenberger, the new CEO of Dualstar. Reichenberger says Olsen comes to the office twice a week to discuss all the major decisions at the company. "You can't put a price tag on that kind of education," Reichenberger says. "There's your M.B.A."

How exactly do you define 'stepping away from school.' Because if I was enrolled at NYU and was living in LA, that's what everyone would call it ... regardless of my hefty two-days-a-week office schedule.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Fire's burning, fire's burning ...

A fireplace is high on the list for my next apartment upgrade, believe me, but I'm not prepared to go this far to simulate the experience.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Winter Wonderland: Central Park

I know it's much easier to appreciate it when you're not actually in it, and really only have distant memories of snowbanks and wind chill factor, but it is beautiful. And I will be in the thick of it soon enough, don't worry.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And then there are the days

when your inner fabulousness is curiously untappable. Sigh.

When you're raised in uniform, what to wear can be a momentous daily decision, even as an adult with a decent wardrobe, and it occasionally goes awry. Today, I decided to wear flats, and accidentally tumbled into an accessories faux-pas. I don't actually have many pairs of flats, so I chose the wine-colored loafers. Which would be fine if I hadn't felt sorry for my green purse again and hurridly grabbed it on my way out into the cold and the sunshine.

Combined with my new winter-white angora cloche (that's snow if you're the Young Activist, or otherwise J.Crew colour-influenced), it's a little red white and green. (Which is better than red, white and blue, but I digress.) Everything else is grey, and I can't decide if that just makes the holiday-esque accessories stand out more. The purse may be banished to the gym bag later in the day.

But my new brown boots and the puppy I saw en route to work almost make-up for the angst of mis-accessorization. Almost.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Soccer Boy?

Yes, Mickey?
How do you call your soccer boy?
Come here, soccer boy.
And if he doesn't answer?
Oh, soccer boy?
And if he still doesn't answer?
I simply say, Baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you're the one

Just had to share, courtesy of Gawker.

Only a matter of time

Count the number of things 'unknown' about this event.

December 7, 2005

Air Marshal Kills Passenger at Miami Airport


MIAMI (AP) -- A passenger who claimed to have a bomb in a carry-on bag was shot and killed by a federal air marshal Wednesday on a jetway to an American Airlines plane that had arrived from Colombia, officials said.

Homeland Security Department spokesman Brian Doyle said the dead passenger was a 44-year-old U.S. citizen. It was the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks that an air marshal had shot at a passenger or suspect, he said. A witness said that the man frantically ran down the aisle of the Boeing 757 and that a woman with him said he was mentally ill.

The passenger, who indicated there was a bomb in the bag, was confronted by air marshals but ran off the aircraft, Doyle said. The marshals pursued and ordered the passenger to get on the ground, but the man did not comply and was shot when apparently reaching into the bag, Doyle said. Authorities did not immediately say whether any bomb was found.

The plane, Flight 924, had arrived from Medellin, Colombia, at 12:16 p.m. and was scheduled to depart two hours later for Orlando, American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said. "I don't know yet if the passenger had been on the plane and was getting off, or was starting to board the aircraft," he said.

There were only 32 air marshals at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Bush administration hired thousands more afterward, though the exact number is classified.

UPDATE: According to CNN, no explosives were found in Rigoberto Alpizar's luggage.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Shuesday: Tis the Season

In need of holiday footwear? Here's a do and a don't:

I liked these better when I thought that the baubles were pearls (maybe that's because I'm wearing pearls today), but they're still classic and will go from event to event seamlessly. Sometimes an understated shoe is better.

These are a little much, and you'll probably only want to wear them once in every port - I'm also not entirely sure what to recommend to go with them - the little black dress doesn't seem like enough. Perhaps something blue?

If silver's what you're looking for, Shoewawa has done my work for me.


Buyers of Bedding Beware

You may think that the FG is all about clothes and shoes, but the truth is that bedding is her guilty pleasure. I ordered these amazing, 6 oz flannel sheets a few weeks ago from Lands' End - beyond frump in clothes, but not bad for all things flannel - and getting out of bed has become the hardest part of my day.* Their customer service is excellent, their delivery prompt and the sheets are superb, even if they take forever to dry.

The Scottish Cowgirl, in an attempt to further cozify her boudoir, ordered a featherbed from The Company Store.

On September 8th of this year.

It arrived today.

After endless emails, phone calls, an unannounced backorder situation and a letter to the President & CEO. We anticipate that she will not be charged for the featherbed after this ridiculous delay, but the situation has yet to be fully resolved. Check back here to see if she even wants it at this point.

*(Don't go there - I know you want to, but, I urge you, resist! You're an adult now, damn it.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dowd on Colbert

... we can reproduce and refinance and we have Tivo, so no, men aren't necessary.
Maureen Dowd

Hmmm. Is that all men do? What about jar opening? Windshield wiper fluid replenishing? Spider extermination? Cat calling? Wait, I don't like that one. What has he done for you lately?

She's holding Colbert's Peabody - I know you wish she was holding yours. Flame haired vixen, the FG salutes you.

The Ghost of Christmas Future?

There's really no middle ground on the concept of 25,000 synchronized holiday lights dancing in time to the music (see this video.) Either Carson Williams doesn't have enough to do, or he just loves the holiday season a lot more than the rest of us. Two months of preparation seems like a lot for your 15 seconds, but to each their own.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fennel for the masses

This is a long overdue recipe I owe Trivial Kate, and possibly others. Forgive me and enjoy.

Penne with Fennel, Currants & Pine Nuts

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed with feathers reserved
3 sliced scallions
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/3 cup currants
6 flat anchovies, rinsed, dried & chopped fine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb penne
1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs, toasted until golden
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
lemon juice to taste

Quarter the fennel lengthwise & discard the core. Slice lengthwise very, very thin. In a large bowl, toss fennel, scallions, garlic, fennel seeds, currants, anchovies, oil, salt & pepper. Let stand 30 minutes. Cook pasta & drain. Immediately add pasta to fenel mixture & toss well. Add bread crumbs, pine nuts, lemon juice & adjust s&p as necessary. Toss again. Serve warm or at room temp.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Italiano, italiano italiano ...

sigh, a moment for Jude Law.

But what we're really here to discuss are the new olympic medals from Turin 2006 - shaped like doughnuts, with a hole in the middle.

Stephen Colbert mocked them oh so appropriately last night on
the Repor(t), suggesting that a metal Prada purse would be a far
better selection. If only ...

Food Swings: If I had a cookie

Thank goodness someone has finally realized that hunger levels impact our moods!

A new vocabulary has evolved around victual despair, with the afflicted referring to their nasty moods as "food swings." Those who say their hunger frequently morphs into anger describe themselves as "hangry." And the word "hunger" itself seems to have taken on new meaning. No longer merely a physiological state, it is now also thought of as a mood. "We certainly hear it enough," said Dr. Edward Saltzman, a nutrition scientist, referring to the increasing chatter about food swings. "I think it's a pretty legitimate phenomenon. It's not an excuse for ill-tempered behavior, but certainly hunger does affect mood." (...) "It's a conscious thing that I think about," Ms. Yarbrough said. "It can ruin a day or an experience if food is not available to me."

I so enjoy the phrase /victual despair/, especially on World AIDS Day, when we learn from the BBC that average life expectancy in Malawi is 37. Be cranky about that, if you must.

Damn activist judges

The 4th Circuit Court won't let Gonzales transfer Jose Padilla from the military brig to a federal prison. Take that! The NYT article, while complex, is worth reading.

A federal appeals court threw up a surprise obstacle on Wednesday to the Bush administration's plan to transfer Jose Padilla from military custody to face terrorism charges in a civilian court. A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., issued a brief order suggesting it might withdraw an earlier opinion that gave President Bush sweeping powers to detain Mr. Padilla, an American, indefinitely without trial.

Despite being armed with that earlier court ruling, the administration shifted course last week and said it would no longer hold Mr. Padilla as an enemy combatant but instead try him on criminal charges in a federal court. To do so, the Justice Department sought permission from the appeals court to transfer Mr. Padilla, a former gang member from Chicago, from a Navy brig in South Carolina to the federal prison system.

To the apparent surprise of lawyers on both sides, the appeals court did not agree to give its permission. Instead, it issued an order requiring both the government and Mr. Padilla's lawyers to submit briefs on whether the court should withdraw its earlier ruling. The significance of the action was unclear, but some lawyers thought it signaled annoyance with the government. Eugene R. Fidell, a Washington lawyer who closely follows detainee issues, said, "It's hard to tell, but this appears to be a rebuff to the administration." Mr. Fidell said it was possible that the judges felt ill used in expending the court's institutional capital on issuing its Padilla ruling only to have the government decide to leave it unused.

The government initially asserted that Mr. Padilla was an operative of Al Qaeda who had planned to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in some American city. In its indictment on Nov. 22, the Justice Department said only that he was part of a North American terrorist cell that supported violent acts overseas. The shift to the civilian courts was interpreted by many as a decision by the government to avoid risking a test in the Supreme Court of the Fourth Circuit's ruling.

In indicting Mr. Padilla, the Justice Department said it believed the issue of Mr. Bush's authority to detain him as an enemy combatant was moot. Prof. Judith Resnik of the Yale Law School said the issue was still alive because if Mr. Padilla was acquitted, the government could easily turn around and again declare him an enemy combatant.