Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Nothing happened today we didn't all see coming, but in case you're one stop shopping:

  • Alito confirmed
  • Oscar noms - Brokeback leads, predictions will be posted tomorrow.
  • New York Magazine redesigned their website, and to make sure we check it out, the lead story features 'heteroflexible' 16 year old girls. Go ahead, the FG's not judging you. Much.
  • Follow along with the ACLU's Spin of the Union if you're forcing yourself to watch the SOTU.
Also, we mourn the passing of Coretta Scott King, instrumental in civil rights movement from its inception.

Shuesday: Steel Heels

The FG is hesitant to suggest an occasion for these (although hopefully one would wear them in a warm climate and on certain ground), but perhaps they're meant to enhance your /heel caught on the traintrack as the train approaches/ fantasy. Now all you need is a moustached man with a cape and a top hat cackling with glee and rubbing his hands together. The website offers additional options - steel platforms, spikier heels, along with custom made shoes, because:
Women are born to be creatures of adoration. Women constantly try to present the best of their figures through the right outfits and footwear, so wearing high heels naturally becomes the most provocative secret weapon for impressing and conquering the opposite sex. Each and every single teenage girl cherishes the chance for her first pair of beautiful heels upon the age of adolescence. The height of the heels serves to accentuate the slender frame of the wearer in still and her elegance in motion. High heels allow women to showcase the sexiest of their silhouette while casting a spell of fascination and infatuation over countless adoring men. As a way to show their affection for their female partners, many gentlemen often choose to have a beautiful pair of high heels custom made as "the best gift of love" and a pleasant surprise for their loved ones.

I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend that, unless you and your partner have already established a high heel fetish, you NOT buy these for your loved one for Valentine's Day. Not that you're thinking that far ahead ...

Thanks to The Scot!

Monday, January 30, 2006

SAG you, SAG me

My overall impression of the SAGS was one of purple and lavender dresses (see Felicity, Eva, Ziyi, & Marcia) and then black & white (see Reese, Sandra Oh, Michelle, Hilary, Mariska, Charlize, Amy Adams, Anne Hathawa, Geena & Jennifer Esposito). And then there were some random dresses, Nicollette in spring green and Angela in melon.

I'm struggling to comment and I think it's because none of them really grabbed me. I didn't like Hilary's dress - what was that flower thing on her left breast?, but Charlize looked gorgeous in simple black with a beautiful blonde ponytail and golden skin. The awards weren't much of a surprise, unless you didn't watch the Globes - clearly Brokeback Mountain is a major contender for direction, but not for acting, which may have as much to do with the actors themselves as with the performances. This seems to be the year of the Reese, which doesn't bother me at all, but means I'm going to have to go out and see the movie asap, and if PSH doesn't win for Capote, my jaw may have to be wired shut the following morning.

From Russia, with Love

Somehow neglected to mention that I recently finished reading Anna Karenina. Having already seen the movie, the ending was less than a shock, but I was quite curious to see how Tolstoy would take us there, given the benefit of all 8-900 pages.

I was not very taken with what I consider to be the secondary story line of Levin and his angst over his existence and his petty jealousies regarding his wife. And my dislike cemented with his curious reaction to the birth of his son,
Looking at this tiny, pathetic little creature, Levin tried in vain to discover in his heart anything in the least resembling paternal feeling. He felt nothing for the baby but aversion.

I'm just as much of an over-thinker as the next person, but Levin really takes it to a new level - spending so much time in his head that he creates problems that don't exist so he can get upset about them, and accomplishing very little. I spent my share of intellectual time with the existentialists, but it's not really a recipe for living. Particularly when there's a baby involved.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Through no fault of my own ...

I'm having mimosas for breakfast for the second day in a row. I've linked to this recipe because it's 33 years old, but please, I beg of you, do not include the ice cube. Ice should never be added to wine, and if your OJ and champagne come out of the fridge, you won't need to add ice. Mimosas are a long-standing family tradition for holiday brunches, chez FG. The key is decent but not expensive champagne, and really good OJ - the FG recommends Odwalla.

Somehow, I managed to get Raging Bull & Goodfellas via Netflix on the same weekend, which, as the Scottish Cowgirl reminded me, calls for marinara sauce for dinner tonight. So I'm researching, so far with little success, (ack! I lent my basic pasta cookbook to Trivial Kate! Some combination of this and this will probably do), but I wanted to share this amazing recipe for arrabbiata sauce from Centro's in Toronto. If you don't have a food mill, use a sieve.

Penne all'Arrabbiata
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 28 oz cans plum tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
1 lb penne
salt & fresh ground pepper
Parmesan cheese

1) Heat oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt & fresh ground pepper. Cool slightly and pass through the finest disc of a food mill (or sieve), into a second saucepan. Discard seeds.
2) Return puree to medium heat. Add hot pepper flakes & simmer 15 minutes over low heat, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
3) Cook pasta, toss with sauce and serve with cheese.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Lowering the bar ... again

The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of ''leveraging'' their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him ''to come get his wife."

In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what happened when he took part in a raid on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya, northwest of Baghdad, on May 9, 2004. The raid involved Task Force (TF) 6-26, a secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.

''During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender,'' wrote the 14-year veteran officer.

He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a senior sergeant, seized her anyway.

''The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing,'' the intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he complained, he said.

Documents Show Army Seized Wives as Tactic [AP @ NYT]

Shades of Grey

The Times story on 'mixed support' for warrantless wiretapping gets to the heart of things - clearly Kerry was the candidate who reminded Americans too much of themselves.
"Say they're targeting someone in Al Qaeda outside the country, and that person then calls someone in the United States about a plot or something really bad: I don't have a problem with that phone being monitored," Debbie Viebranz, 51, a Republican from Ohio, said in a follow-up interview. "But I don't think they should do it for no reason."

There's also the "I'm probably not the kind of person they're looking for, and, even if they do tap my phone, I haven't done anything wrong," response.

Americans are afraid of the grey, so they support the man who can't pronounce nuance, never mind spell it, and his cronies with their big pails of black and white paint, and hope that the grey goes away.

New Poll Finds Mixed Support for Wiretaps [NYT]

Fashion Under Fire Update

... on Saturday night a fire that began in neighboring American Eagle Outfitters injured seven people, including six firefighters, and caused extensive water and smoke damage throughout the building. Bobbi Brown's first lipstick sample in her fourth-floor studio was spared, but not the early deliveries of the Prada spring collection.The company has not determined the extent of its losses, but they appear to be substantial. "We're still in the process of letting everything dry out," said Melissa Skoog, a spokeswoman.

The FG understands why someone would want to start a fire at American Eagle. Apparently the Prada store will be closed for several months. *Sigh*

Prada Store Wrings Out [NYT]
Previously: Fashion Under Fire

Getting Ahead of Ourselves?

'Since you haven't kissed yet, you might want to hold off on the redecorating.'
Kirsten to Julie, The O.C.

Sometimes words of wisdom come from unexpected places.

And then sometimes the unexpected just falls from the pages of a magazine. Like this /parka cape/, described by Lucky Magazine as a 'Stylish Hybrid.' More like a costume worn by human-esque alien women on the original Star Trek.

The description also used the word 'weekendy' to describe the model's skinny white jeans. (Note: the FG doesn't recommend white jeans. Especially after Labor Day. And don't get her started on turquoise T-straps. Or T-straps in general.)

This isn't The Colbert Repor(t), people, you can't just make words up and expect us to use them. And that's the Truth.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Diagnosis: OFD

I've been surviving for the last 18 months with one makeshift file drawer - a stand in a large desk drawer holding the files I don't use on a weekly basis - and a similar stand holding current files on top of my desk. I realized last week that that the current set-up just wasn't going to sustain the addition of files for 2006, and that I wanted more horizontal space anyway.

I ordered a small, two drawer cabinet to fit between the giant wood desk and the wall. After an inexplicable delay (are file cabinets now made to order?) it arrived, and the Scottish Cowgirl held my hand while I installed the cheap plastic handles, sustaining a mere two screwdriver injuries. It is a sign of progress that neither the cabinet nor my hands were broken during the operation.

Next, I organized the files into hanging folders in a logical manner, which, for the FG means by frequency of use. So far, we have Events, Committees, Board, Campaigns, Monthly Reports, etc. The files are filed and the annoying little hanging folder tabs are typed (yes, on a typewriter) and installed.

And yet ...

My desktop remains the same (albeit cleaner). This is because I am unable to let my 6-7 frequent flyer files out of sight. There is ample room in the cabinet, I just ... I just want them handy. So they're back in the desktop stand, which takes up exactly the same amount of room as it was before, but now holds half the original files.

I'm thinking Obsessive Filing Disorder? It's not as though they'd really be less accessible at the front of the top drawer, and I'm too young for Alzheimer's, even early onset.

Perhaps, by the end of the week, I'll have learned to let go ...

Note: this post was commissioned by East Coast Guy - I may entertain further commissions on a whim. Contributions to Shuesday are also welcome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Cubes

I may have already mentioned The Cubes, but I was visiting Archic McPhee's today - on business, I swear - and they've added a sensitivity trainer! Named EVE!

The Cubes™ Sensitivity Trainer

Every few months, the Cubes get a visit from Eve, the sensitivity consultant. Will she succeed in educating them all about harassment and sexism? Will she steal away with Ted into the janitor's closet on lunch break? Each 2-3/4" tall posable plastic figure comes with a plastic pointer, four paper visual aids and a 2-1/4" tall plastic easel!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Note: Larry has no idea that his image is being used for evil and not for good. Or, at least not in the interests of converting the children of the world to Christianity. You won't tell, him, will you? Btw, the link below is not for the prudish. You know who you are.

A cucumber? Domestic or English? Waxed or organic? Seems a wee bit ambitious, don't you think? I don't have a recommended substitution, I just ... hmmm ... maybe the cucumbers in NYC are ... too many jokes, I'm sorry, I'll stop now.

This entire topic reminds me of a massive vegetable-related scandal that hit my uni campus regarding a special instructional issue of the weekly feminist newspaper. Most of the controversy had to do with a comparison of the relative worth of white bread when compared to whole wheat and pumpernickel, but the part featuring the veggies was the subject of much debate. Talk amongst yourselves.

Continuing Education? [The Tomato Diaries]

Shuesday: Chandelier wedges

Shoewawa featured these a few weeks ago, but I had a Shuesday backlog - when you only do shoes once a week, things can pile up. They're a little much - reminds me of rings on her fingers and bells on her toes - but maybe they'd fly in South Beach? 'Cause they'd just get rusty here ...


Monday, January 23, 2006

The worst is not

So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.'

OK, it's not that bad. The Conservatives didn't win a majority, didn't win as many seats as they thought they would, and picked up seats in Quebec from the Bloc. The Liberals did extraordinarily well, considering the scandal and their lacklustre campaign, and are the official opposition by 50 seats. And the NDP picked up 11 seats, which is huge. It's not as though we're the only country in the hemisphere with a leader we're slightly embarrassed by. And who knows, maybe he'll do an OK job. If not, it won't take an impeachment to get rid of him.

I'll give you relational aggression ...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Men make sarcastic comments twice as often as women do, says University of Western Ontario psychologist Albert Katz, an expert in sarcasm and other forms of non-literal language. Some of the experiments he and his colleagues have done suggest that both sexes use sarcasm as an indirect form of verbal aggression that gets a message across in ways people will remember. Women, however, are champs at sarcasm when it is used to cut other women out of a conversation or a social group, he says.

"This is called relational aggression, a tendency to cut people out. It tends to be a female phenomenon."

This fits in with early-childhood-development studies that found young boys tend to be more physically aggressive, but girls are more likely to exclude someone from a group. ...by adulthood, sarcasm is an important communication tool for men. Researchers have also found that both men and women expect men to be more sarcastic.

Think Women are More Sarcastic? [Globe & Mail]

And Furthermore ...

Because Canadians are occasionally embarrassed by our ability to influence ... one another, election results won't be available until 7:00 p.m. PT, (that's 10:00 ET for those of you with math issues), because that's when the polls close Out West. We wouldn't want those impressionable Westerners to be influenced by the voters in Ontario and Quebec ... never mind that it's all over by the time the polls close in Kenora ... (see here if you're not familiar with the parlimentary system).

Because it's all about US(A)

I know, I know, the local angle is a cornerstone of journalism everywhere. But it would be nice if the main story about Canada's federal election to grace the NYT wasn't all about you. And maybe Canadians don't want to repair US ties. It's not as though the US can stop trading with its friendly northern neighbour - what would they do for oil, lumber, and, of course, weed.

I'm not really sure why Clifford Krauss thinks Harper has run a ideology free campaign. He has done a great job of obfuscating his party's positions on choice, immigrant rights, equal marriage and joining the US missile defense program, but they're not invisible and they're out of step with Canada's traditional values (how'd you like them apples?!).

Andrew Coyne does a much better job:

... beneath Canada's placid surface, the tectonic plates are shifting.

Slowly, by stages, rather than suddenly and violently, the Western world's most enduring political dynasty is cracking up. The Liberal Party of Canada, it is often noted, held power for more years in the 20th century than the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It has governed Canada, with occasional Conservative interludes, more or less since the First World War. Not for nothing is the system sometimes called "one-and-a-half-party rule."

Since the election of 1993, especially, the Liberals have ruled all but unopposed, the opposition having fractured into several regionally based parties. But you know what they say about absolute power, and sure enough the Liberals were implicated in a series of scandals, including a huge kickback scheme in Quebec. At the same time, the party was beset by internal divisions, culminating in the sitting prime minister, Jean Chrétien, being forced from office by his own party.

The Conservatives are likely to win a minority government, simply b/c Canadians have a tradition of voting people out of office, so there will be a fledgling flock of MPs and cabinet ministers in Ottawa this spring, which should be fun for the entire family. I agree that the Liberals have been in power way too long and botched the campaign. My sense is that most Canadians are still undecided, so it should be an exciting evening. I'd love to see the NDP as the official opposition, but that's a tad optimistic.

Conservative Win in Canada Could Help Repair Ties with US
In From the Cold [NYT]

Fashion under fire

Ack! The Prada flagship store in Soho, designed by Rem Koolhaas, was struck by fire last night - and after receiving a shipment of new merchandise. *sigh*
Click here for more images.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Another one bites the dust

Rainster introduced me to this song by this guy, and I happily listened to the entire album for a couple of months. And then, tonight, I heard this song on ... a Hilton hotel TV commercial. Sigh.

R.I.P. The West Wing

When you think about it, it's amazing it lasted as long as it did after Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme departed. I will so miss watching CJ and Josh every week, and it's too bad that Jimmy Smits & Alan Alda won't be able to really flesh out their roles. But all good things ...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Don't leave me this way...

I can't survive ...

I know you people have had enough of silly love songs. And I decided that the image in my earlier post wasn't really what I wanted to leave you with over this football-laden weekend, so here's the Prada handbag my colleagues and I drooled over at Barney's after an extended lunch this afternoon. (And it comes in black!) Mmmmm, it almost makes you forget how cold and grey it is outside.

Almost ...


Mouthing Off [Wonkette]

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ten is the loneliest number

Camarooned is running a top ten love songs poll or query or something - I've been cautioned by Cookie Monster about inappropriate use of the word /meme/ - and there has been much debate. But the main issue seems to be the impossibility of choosing just 10. I made my list, and then realized that
  • it has 12 songs, and
  • that I'd forgotten to include 'All I Want is You', which has long been a fav, and 'You're Beautiful', which is new and surprisingly surviving relentless overexposure (at least for me - thanks Rainster.)
But which to remove? I am aware that three songs by one artist is a little much, but can't decide which to give up and didn't even include 'Untouchable Face' ... which really falls into the anti-love category, along with 'Best of You' and 'I Can't Remember'. Perhaps we can make a two CD set?

The Charge of the Cheese Brigade

I'm wading into the comfort food fray (again) with the actual recipe for the best mac & cheese ever, and yes, it's from Martha. But trust me - have I lied to you yet? That you know of? *blink blink*

Macaroni & Cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups uncooked macaroni (obviously this is going to make a lot of mac & cheese)
5 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
2 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup fresh grated parmesan
20 green onions (scallions), sliced white & green parts (I leave these out)
5 oz fresh goat cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees & lightly butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
  2. Cook macaroni until al dente, or not quite as long as package directs.. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
  3. Warm milk in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Melt butter in a large (seriously, use a large one) heavy pot over medium heat. Make a roux: whisk in the flour gradually and cook for two minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth. Whisking constantly (this is important), slowly add the milk. Cook over medium-low heat, 8-10 minutes, whisking (keep it up.) Remove from heat; add salt, pepper and cayenne.
  4. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of each of the grated cheeses. Set aside, along with 1 tbsp onions (if using). Add remaining grated cheeses - not the goat cheese - to the warm white sauce. Stir well. Stir in remaining onions and cooked noodles. Add goat cheese in one-inch pieces and fold gently to combine.
  5. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole. Top with reserved scallions and cheeses. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, 30-35 minutes.

In Keeping with the Theme of the Golden Globes ...

The Cookie Monster says: 'see the subheadline under 'Brothers in Arms' on the cover of today's PI."

I wasn't aware that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press ... not that there's anything wrong with that ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This is Wire Tap*

Al Gore stole a march on the ACLU & CCR (not the one you're thinking of) during a speech on Monday before two johnny come lately civil liberty groups, but the point is, the NSA is listening to your phone calls and reading your email and you will never know. Christopher Hitchens thinks he's a victim (no surprise there) & so has joined the suit. Cranky bastard. It's a bit of a /we can't tell you who we're watching because that would violate national security/ situation (sound familiar?) But they don't think they need warrants and they're not accountable. And if there's anything Americans hate more than being told /no/, it's an absence of accountability.

I'm just saying, it's a hell of a way to celebrate Dr. King's birthday.

* Consider Jon credited appropriately.

Where are you going?

Where do you go?

Thankfully (I think), Camarooned is going on our behalf.

Mixed baggage

I have a love-hate relationship with SCOTUS. I loathe that they are appointed (after the Judiciary Committee waxes on and on and on and seldom asks a real question) by whomever happens to be in office when they retire or die. I adore them when they uphold what I think are the principles on which this teenage nation was really founded, and which Congress so often seems unable to recall.

And then there are the times when they duck the issue. Sending Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood back to the First Circuit Court of Appeals is a better decision than they could have made, but certainly isn't the best possible outcome for reproductive freedom. Abortion is a complicated issue, for almost everyone, at almost any stage and in almost every circumstance, and for that reason, I'd like to leave the decisions completely up to the women in question and their doctors. Let's just get rid of the law entirely, provide comprehensive and medically accurate sex-ed in all schools, and work towards universal health care, shall we?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Taint you, taint me

taint it together, that's the way it should be. I love it when The Daily Show gets to the bottom of things. AND they referred to the Shockers!

Shuesday: I give up

Although it is not technically raining at this exact moment in time, we all know it's just around the corner, watching and waiting for us to let down our guard, consider taking a walk or step out to get the mail without a jacket. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so go ahead, pick up a pair of these (on sale no less), or these, and sing in the rain with your feet cosy and dry.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Golden Globes Review

The Globes were fun - not exciting, but a good time was had by all. There were jokes - George Clooney: "Who would name their child Jack when the last name ends with 'off'?", and mistakes - Issac Mizrahi asked Hilary Swank, whose marriage to Chad Lowe is on hiatus, who she's dating. Quoth Hilary, "I'm working on my marriage, actually." The overall fashion trend seemed to mark the return to black - perhaps the ladies are saving their bird of paradise frocks for the Oscars. Renee, Hilary, Mary-Louise, Sarah Jessica, Natalie, Charlize, all in black.

Damn, Natalie Portman looks great no matter what she does with her hair. Wish I could say the same for Ellen Pompeo, who's bronzed and blonded and curled and apparently wearing a doily-dress. Ack. Sandra Oh won for her work on Grey's Anatomy and couldn't remember anyone's name - an equal opportunity forgetter. Second truly bad fashion moment- Drew Barrymore - there's no grey area with this girl - in addition to a bad, ivy green dress, she's bra-less and in desperate need of an eyebrow wax. Come on Drew, we know you can pull it off - please do so when you know you're going to be onstage. Geena Davis looks wonderful in general, but I wish she'd take a page from Sophia Loren's less is more book - there are sequins and ruffles and bows, oh my! AND she's a smarty pants, and she knows enough to honor Donald Sutherland. Adrien Brody is rakishly elegant in his black neck-scarf. Sadly, Pamela Andreson's big black scarf ... thing ... at the top of her white dress doesn't distract from ... anything.

It is impossible to dislike Reese Witherspoon, and I still pick her every time over Kirsten Dunst. And now, Mary-Louise Parker is about to snatch the Globe away from all those Desperate Housewives. If you haven't seen Angels in America, see it - I'm not a fan of her dress, but thank god those Housewives got shut out. Ooh, and the opportunity to see her make out with Elizabeth Perkins ... I love love love Emma Thompson - she is beautiful and witty and has it all, but I must say that her dress makes her look ALL chest. And her hair!

I would please, like to be reincarnacted as Kate Beckinsale. Please? I love Colin Firth, I really do, but you need to either make a clean shave (Clooney), foster just enough stubble (Patrick Dempsey), or go for the entire beard (Paul Giamatti - not saying I like it, but it is definitive). Something between just enough stubble and the entire beard just doesn't work. Colin, get out your razor. Here comes Catherine Deneuve, and Pierce Brosnan knows how to appreciate a beautiful woman. Maria Bello looks SO good. Gwyneth Paltrow gets a by for being pregnant, but she still looks like a meringue. Debra Messing should not weat giant print frocks and should not part her hair in the middle.

I wonder, if 2001/2004 were the years for African American actors and actresses, perhaps 2005 is the year for LGBTQQ material and characters? Just a thought.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Save us from Snoozeville

"Nice is part of our culture." - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels

Indeed. Drivers rarely honk in this town, though traffic is horrible. Jaywalking is viewed as evidence of low moral character. It is not at all remarkable to see pedestrians standing at an intersection in pouring rain in the middle of the night -- with no cars visible in any direction -- waiting dutifully for a "walk" sign. Goody-two-shoes behavior is endemic and appears to be spreading -- by order of law. A new city ordinance requires lap dancers to keep four feet from patrons. A new no-smoking law requires smokers to move at least 25 feet from the doors, windows or vents of a public building or workplace before lighting up. Starting this month, there's a $50 fine for residents who improperly mix their recyclable garbage. If the state liquor control board approves, a new city ordinance will ban the sale of cheap wine and beer in neighborhoods where people hang out and look slothful.

Extremism in the pursuit of high-minded behavior is a source of civic pride in Seattle. Per capita opera attendance leads the nation. Nine out of 10 women claim to exercise at least once a week. The city claims to have the best-attended arts and lecture series in the country. Seattle is the nation's most literate city, based on a national survey. It has more bookshops, more residents with college degrees and more coffee shops than any other city its size. The city's one great vice -- massive consumption of overpriced caffeine drinks -- keeps people alert so they can read, recycle, go to the gym, scowl at jaywalkers, keep their hands off strippers and repress the urge to honk.

In Seattle, the Hostile Crowd is all Smiles [WP]


In case you thought the FG wasn't harsh enough re: the Pitt/Jolie extravaganza, Spirit Fingers does them in spades. To wit:
Attention gentlemen of well-do-to means. Have you been married to the same woman for several years? Has she overexercised all the love away? Is your sperm bored? Well Plan B Travel has the ultimate solution for your mid-life crisis. We've put together a unique luxury itinerary that will surely recapture the wonder that is your masculinity. The Brad Pitt Vacation puts you at the helm of whirlwind 14-day adventure around the globe. Throughout your journey you will be led by one of our experienced tour guides, all of whom are irresistible brunettes named Angelina. By the end of it, you'll feel rejuvenated and ready to pick up life again with a healthy tan and a new family consisting of not one, not two but THREE children.
Day 1: Upon arrival in Kenya, you will be met by an eagerly waiting posse of photographers. You will also be introduced to your lovely guide and her adorable Cambodian-born son Maddox who fits the toddler-shaped vacancy in your empty heart. (...) Day 3: Discover a whole new world of shopping delights in Ethiopia. Sift through an electic assortment of babies at the orphanages of Addis Ababa. They are also available at the orphanage gift shops.

Not getting enough pressure?

If you don't get married & pop out a litter soon, you could end up like Condoleeza Rice.
"She loses her reason because of her late single status. Nature takes it all. Such women are very rough. They are all workaholics, public workaholics.” (Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky)
Now I know the Russians love their children ... but would YOU want her to be your mother? Seriously.

Russian Media Diagnoses Rice's 'Sexual Problems' [Wonkette]

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Another victory for class

The FG is occasionally prone to flights of sleepwear fantasy, but the return of the slip is a movement she is completely behind (even when it's promoted by Lucky.)
a fetching alternative, Andrea Linett [creative director of Lucky] said, to the overhyped push-up bra and thong. "Slips are totally demure," she said. "At a time when nothing is shocking anymore, that's what makes them sexy."

They are sexy, peeking out of a skirt slit or hinted at under a blouse, and comfy enough to sleep in. And soon, when we're tired of winter flannel and waffled cotton, they'll be wonderful to lounge in.

Wonkette's Words of Wisdom

She could smell his shampoo now - its spiciness (pepper and orange and cinnamon) expensively subtle. Frédéric Fekkai for Men, she remembered, and a small laugh escaped her. Never trust a man whose hair products are more expensive than yours.

Words to live by? I'm not entirely sure. And what rock has Mr. Buckley been under that he's never visited Wonkette?

Web of Lies - Christopher Buckley [NYT]

iPod-friendly clothing?

I involuntarily joined the iPod majority over the holidays (gift horse) and am now in that muddled place between loving lightweight music accessibility and being /one of those people/ (although now that they're us ...). But I can't see how this is either necessary or could possibly be fashionable.

And who's going to pay $200 for Levi's when we all have our $30 armbands?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Uncle, uncle

Ok, I give. What Angelina sees in Mr. Pitt is completely beyond me, but between letting him adopt the kids she's collecting and hosting his offspring, I concede that their relationship appears to be real. I don't get it, but I accept it. And I'm still on Jennifer's side.

Although, Angelina,if you wanted to take me for a drink and try to convince me ...

Placid, monochromatic and mostly untouchable.

But enough about you.

Twenty-twenty-twenty four days of rain, I want to be sedated. Seriously, there are flood warnings, hillsides are slip-sliding away, enough already. Make it stop! Bring back the sun (do do do do), I beg of you. I can't take it much longer.

And you thought Gyllenhaal was a challenge

At least it's written in the modern alphabet.
He's the frontrunner for the Lib Dem leadership, but why is Sir Menzies Campbell's first name pronounced Mingis? Blame the "yogh", a letter in old English and Scots which has no exact equivalent today. Pronounced "yog", it used to be written a bit like the old copperplate-style "z" with a tail, which helps explain the discrepancy between the spelling of Menzies and the pronunciation.

And I bet you didn't know there's a Museum of the Alphabet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Umm, Ewww!

Did you know that 'a number of the nation's finest libraries' have books in their collections covered in human skin?
The practice of binding books in human skin was not uncommon in centuries past, even if it was not always discussed in polite society. At the time, the best libraries belonged to private collectors. Some were doctors who had access to skin from amputated parts and patients whose bodies had gone unclaimed. In other cases, wealthy bibliophiles acquired skin from executed criminals, medical school cadavers and people who died in the poor house. Nowadays, libraries typically keep such volumes in their rare book collections and do not allow them to circulate.

Fascinating, if a wee bit gruesome.

Shuesday: Resort Wear!

Although I was desperately seeking sunshine yesterday, my chances of getting away for a week are minute at this point. (No idea why PS appeals.) And if I do, it won't be anywhere sunny, unless I get marooned ... But I digress.

The point of all this desperate need for sunshine is that the Resort Collections are here! The wedge survived its morph into winter boots and is coming back for spring (some of these are better than others.), but we prefer something lighter for vacation, and that takes up less room in one's fabulous little suitcase - more room for bikinis. These were far too fun not to share.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Note to our readers

When we talk about being a Fabulous Girl, this is not what we have in mind. It is, in fact, the opposite of what we have in mind.

Kimora Lee Simmons's Book Jacket is Fabulous, Natch [Gawker]

Friday, January 06, 2006


Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows

A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.

The ceramic plates in vests currently worn by the majority of military personnel in Iraq cover only some of the chest and back. In at least 74 of the 93 fatal wounds that were analyzed in the Pentagon study of marines from March 2003 through June 2005, bullets and shrapnel struck the marines' shoulders, sides or areas of the torso where the plates do not reach.

Thirty-one of the deadly wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that simply enlarging the existing shields "would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome," according to the study, which was obtained by The New York Times.

LOVE it when this stuff comes out on a Friday afternoon.

Dipping a toe into the pool of meme literacy

The Blue Fairy inspired this, although The Scot provided the original introduction (& was patient with me as I struggled to /get/ it.) Do play along.

Page 123 Meme

The rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal (&/or in the comments) along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Mine ( fortunately I was returning a book to a co-worker today) is:

"That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard," she said sharply, putting sugar in her cup and stirring it.

From The Historian - which was surprisingly good. And what a great opening sentence for a short story! My hidden creative writer is tapping her foot ...

Take a side already

I'm just saying ...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Who? Us?

Women dress alike all over the world. They dress to be annoying to other women.
- Elsa Schiaparelli

Not an improvement

The Blue Fairy was right, now we're sighing for the fedora. Who wears a baseball hat with a suit? Being in Florida is not an acceptable excuse.

Jon Stewart's hosting the Oscars!

SO excited! Can't wait to see if ratings soar. Hollywood's elite had better start their skin-thickening process.

Although Gawker apparently disagrees. That's fine, stay on your side of the Mississippi, that's what it's there for. JS doesn't need a film career anyway.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Resolutions? What resolutions?

I was going to let the first Dining & Wine article on cheese (with a little macaroni sprinkled on top) go, but then I encountered the Minimalist's piece welcoming back butter. What the hell?! Didn't the NYT get the memo that it's the first week of January, when gyms are abuzz and everyone's wearing black from head to toe? The Fashion & Style section knows it:

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POST-FEAST DRESSING Now that the holiday excess of eating and drinking has come to a close, the first challenge of 2006 may be fitting into those newly tight bluejeans or jackets. To cloak the evidence of too much comfort and joy, White & Warren's ruffle-edge cashmere cardigan coat (in camel, chocolate brown and black, $485 at www.whiteandwarren.com) is a good cover-up, an easy-to-wear sweater-jacket that is flattering on all body types and hides a stack of bulges. The cardigan fastens just beneath the breastbone, hits right at the knee and is lightweight enough to fit under a coat without excess bulk. Come spring, it can go it alone.

My favourite recipe for mac & cheese involves 3 cheeses, including goat, breadcrumb topping, the construction of a white sauce and is oh-so-creamy. This is the closest online approximation, but at the end, you fold in goat cheese and green onions. I'll just go to the gym twice as often ...


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As Birkin is to Martha, so Fedora is to Abramoff? I'm just asking. It's 2006 - are men under 60 still wearing hats? I continue to await the outcry vis a vis this excessive accessory.

Update: Or, if not outcry, at least witty comparisons to cartoon characters.
Update II: Or the Mafia.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shuesday: Suffer the lazy FG

So very late in the day to be getting to this and all you're really going to get is a link to the Manolo - I know, I'm so ashamed - and a pair of $14,000 boots by Manolo Blahnik. Yes, that's right, $14,000. Comment away.


Umm, I like chardonnay ...

Whatever Lola wants,
Lola gets
And, little man, Lola wants you ...

Really, the media frenzy Maureen Dowd created this year was impressive to behold, and, just in case you thought it was over, journalists everywhere continue to be transfixed. Witness Joel Stein's latest opinion piece, in which he beats himself silly trying to make it up to her. To wit:
The way I see it, perhaps men aren't necessary, but we are very entertaining.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was an only child - we could all learn something from her ability to sustain a pout. Part of what makes life in our on-going male dominated culture, to which there is still no end in sight, possible, is our ability to laugh at ourselves, as women as well as as members of the all too human race. Anyone who's dated Michael Douglas and can't laugh about it in retrospect should have a new sense of humour installed at once.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

Belated, but worth the wait.

In addition to new year salutations, I send you a link to these re-interpretations of my favourite Christmas story of all time, by O. Henry. (What can I say? I'm a fool for love.) Also should note that The Blue Fairy gave me a beautiful old book full of O. Henry stories one year - love really old books. She also started my collection of late 19th, early 20th century etiquette books, like this one.

I particularly enjoyed the first re-write, but the others are worth reading too.

I also had the joy of eavesdropping on a young dad explaining Hanukkah to his little Boo-like daughter here over the weekend, and learning to salsa. Just a little bit.