Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Sunday, April 29, 2007


This is the sort of thing that makes me crazy, but it's true.

Everything wrong with “Grey’s Anatomy” and its soon-to-be spun spinoff is the fault of “Ally McBeal.”

Mary Tyler Moore and Marlo Thomas were early prototypes of the quirky but lovable career girl. David E. Kelley’s hit series about a deeply neurotic lawyer named Ally McBeal marked a turning point in the devolution of women’s roles in television comedy — the moment when competent-but-flaky hardened into basket case.

Sex isn’t the problem with the new series; it’s the subjugation. Addison looks up her old friend from medical school whose perfect marriage has just ended and finds herself enmeshed with two other mature, reputable professionals: a fertility specialist and a psychotherapist. All three women are lovelorn, sex-starved and prone to public displays of disaffection.

On “Grey’s Anatomy” at least two female characters, Christina (Sandra Oh) and Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) have confidence, big egos and an ability to keep their sorrows to themselves most of the time. The female leads on the new series are fragile and pitiable, and it’s a worrisome imbalance. The HBO series “Sex and the City” made light of female insecurity and let its flighty heroines come out ahead. Here even the most successful women are left behind in life.

It wouldn’t matter, since the show is admittedly over-the-top escapist fantasy for women, except that it is troubling that even in escapist fantasies, today’s heroines have to be weak, needy and oversexed to be liked by women and desired by men.

Ms. Walsh, a tall, elegant beauty, looks enough like Catherine Deneuve for the resemblance to have been threaded into a subplot of one episode. Addison first showed up at the hospital as a coolly amused villainess who intimidated the show’s heroine, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). Over time and plot twists, her character evolved into a more likable colleague, but for some reason, that change required her to become dizzier, chattier and very much like the ever confused and self-doubting Meredith — and, of course, Ally McBeal.

Somehow, even in the hands of a woman, a show about female doctors finds humor and solace in their distress. Self-deprecation has been replaced with self-denigration. People complain that hip-hop stars use obscene lyrics and lewd music videos to demean women. Sometimes, so do even the most bourgeois women’s television shows.

Damn, damn, damn.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Gin ... & Tonic

It's turned into G&T season overnight, but I've hit a little hitch. My new glasses, when filled with half a lime, three ice cubes and 2 oz gin, don't have much more room for the tonic. What to do?


Friday, April 27, 2007

Fashion Police

The real kind.
Only days after Iran’s annual crackdown on immodest dress began in mid-April, with teams of police officers stopping women in major squares and subway stations to warn them about their attire, the security authorities came under fire.

Many women who were stopped on the street and told to dress properly reacted angrily. A parliamentary commission complained about the campaign to the chief of police, and the head of Iran’s judiciary warned that a too repressive policy could bring a backlash. Even an adviser to the president urged caution, saying the police “should not go to the extreme,” according to the daily Etemad-e-Melli.

The Tehran chief of police, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, said during the drive that the security forces would single out women who wore only small head scarves or short tight coats and short pants. He also said the police were turning their attention to men in the second phase of its campaign, which began Saturday.

He insisted that the authorities would avoid force — and arrests — and would only talk to violators to urge them to dress appropriately. Still, he said 150 women a day had been taken to detention centers as the crackdown began.

In Iran, Tactics of Fashion Police Raise Concerns

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

When quilts attack

This is the result. Even worse than their madras phase.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oh the Places You'll Go: St. Louis

I don't really mind a work-related gathering in the heartland (especially when there's really almost no time to leave the hotel), but en route, it occurred to me that, based on the number of seatbelt extenders handed out on the Chicago-St. Louis leg, we might have to turn the plane around, because at least one of the enormous people on board was going to have a heart attack. Definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto. (Where Kansas is populated entirely by super-thin, multi-culti NYU students.) I somehow ended up in First Class for that leg, which was lovely, although I'm still unsure of the alcohol policy details (not that I would drink free champagne in the middle of the day! Never!), and I really don't like the bulkhead row. (Someone pointed out that you can put your feet up, but as I'm an aisle girl, that traps the person next to me, and that's just rude.)

I arrived late in the afternoon and strolled around the deserted downtown - deserted except for a shower of bridal parties having photos taken by the Arch. I discovered set of Choose Your Own Adventure bridesmaids - one in a halter-top red satin dress with ruffles and an asymmetrical hemline, another in cream with red embroidered flowers, a hoop skirt and red opera length gloves, yet another in a slip dress of periwinkle blue and the last sewn into a white dress with a large rhinestone decoration at the neck. (The bride, perhaps?)

Later that evening, the Posse Comm. and I went for drinks and dinner to the hip part of town, down towards the river but before Casino Hell. The Posse is considerably younger than the FG, and as we reviewed our respective afternoons, they pointed out that the CYOA girls were mostly likely heading towards prom and not the altar. Ahem. We four brunettes in jeans and ballet flats (plus escort) from The City thoroughly enjoyed the visual and audio feast of faux-blonde college girls and brides-to-be in teeny, tiny, technicolour outfits teetering down the cobblestone streets in white heels, drunk before 9 p.m., and leaning heavily on tequila-swilling boys from the cast of Friday Night Lights. (We judge because we can.)

There followed a brief trip to the local casino. It was a) unbelievably smoky, b) windowless, and c) full of people who for the most part might have been better off buying milk for their children with the cash they were pouring into the slot machines. So, rather than be completely overcome by angst at the state of the nation, I returned to the hotel for the first of several evenings of drinking and dancing with my coworkers from across said nation.

On our last night, I joined the Drug Czar's team for a beautiful meal at Monarch, easily the best restaurant in town. It was certainly the best meal I'd had since arrival, but that's not saying much. I began with a lemon drop and the yellowfin tuna involtini with alaskan king crab salad with sweet chile glaze and frizzled wontons (which only narrowly beat out the pumpkin risotto, pancetta, onion, and sage with mascarpone cream), followed by grilled Atlantic swordfish, roasted sweet potatoes and house made worcestershire sauce. The Yoga Goddess chose two beautiful red wines, and the evening was a resounding success. The YG and I were talked into the red velvet cake for dessert by a charming waiter who happened to grow up in the next town over in the YG's home state (which led to an extensive discussion of college football rivalries), but when it arrived and we discovered the icing was heavily flavoured with almond extract (which the FG does not enjoy), one of the attorneys at the table talked the waiter into bringing us each the bread pudding instead. It was much better, and went nicely with my chocolate martini. There's always a good reason to have an attorney on hand.

Next stop: New Mexico.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shuesday: I hate t-straps but ...

These are really cute on.

Which is why I reserve the right to change my mind.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Hot town

Normal temperatures arrived in The City today, so I wore peep toes and a dress to work today. And smiled all the way there. If I hadn't been on my usual schedule (ie, leaving the house at 10) and wearing new shoes, I might have walked to work.

OK, maybe not. It's four plus miles and I don't think I can take FDR Drive.

There's just something weird about the last day of work before a trip, never mind a six-state tour (I'm ignoring the fact that three of those are layovers - I'll still be in another state). I'm adding two newbies to my map of these United States - Missouri and Texas (never thought I'd get to Texas, but a dash through the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport is probably a good place to start). But I made it out (with the e-files I need saved to my desktop and the papers I need in hand) in time to retrieve my dry cleaning (they broke another button on my trench coat!), stop, drop the heavy stuff at home and roll back to the west side of Washington State Park to meet The Fellow Transplant for mussels, frites and beer at Vol de Nuit.

mmmmmmm. and now I'm packing.

Summer in the City


Wednesday, April 18, 2007


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shuesday: Keep it simple, stupid

If you don't already have a pair of peep-toes (or eight), there's still time, and ample selection out there. But FG, you ask, are there rules to the peep toe? How can I wear them without looking like Malena?

As always, keeping it simple prevents distraction from the point of the shoe, which is the peep itself. A small bow, consistent fabric or minor detailing is fine, but please stay away from the ruffles and complicated styles, patterns and fabrics. Not hot.

And please, don't buy shoes /inspired by/ Jessica Simpson. Ever.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Lessons in Cultural Competency: Weather this

Nor'Easter: is a macro-scale storm whose winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. More specifically, it describes a low pressure area whose center of rotation is just off the coast and whose leading winds in the left forward quadrant rotate onto land from the northeast. The precipitation pattern is similar to other extratropical storms. They also can cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion and gale force winds.

I haven't seen rain fall this hard since I spent American Thanksgiving weekends on the Oregon coast in a beautiful home with a loft and two stories of windows right on the beach.

I like the sound of falling rain, and, because I didn't have to leave the house on Sunday and had ample DVR'd TV to catch up on, it was more than bearable. I did pull on all my West Coast rain gear and go across the street for eggs so I could make pancakes midday, and then went up the block for a mani-pedicure late in the afternoon. It stopped raining just long enough that I could get home dry. Monday was slightly better, although of course the hardest rain fell while we sought a cab in midtown, and now the city is just cold and overcast.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shopping towards springtime

They keep promising that spring will come dancing across the Park and down the island, bringing tulip tree blooms and balmy breezes in her wake.

And yet.

Today the highs are below 50 and it's been pouring for hours.

To be fair, yesterday was lovely - sunny and almost warm. I went to the Metropolitan to see the Tiffany exhibit, the Venice & the Islamic World exhibit (circumventing a particularly loud and obnoxious docent by going to the end of the exhibit and working my way forward in time, on advice of my co-visitor). We sat in the Astor Court, learned about the complex history of its creation, and discussed the differences between the words /contrast/ and /compare/. Then a late sushi lunch, and to Soho and Greenwich Village in search of a stylish and moderately priced computer bag.

May I recommend the fantastic Flight 001? I also found a silk jewelry roll and a three pack of baby Evian spritzers (if you don't know what they're for, don't ask). There were a million other things to buy, but I restrained myself - it gives me an excuse to return. Rambling home, I stopped in at Fresh, Fishs Eddy and ABC Home (ostensibly in search of a bathroom drinking cup), but they all close at 7, so my search was abbreviated. I wandered through Gramercy Park, picking up a bottle of Toasted Head Cab-Sauv, and then home to a delightful dinner, a glass of wine, and a Top Design marathon. Spring will be here eventually, I know. In the meantime, a day like today makes yesterday even sweeter.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shuesday: Blinded by the light

Because I actually saw someone wearing these on the street yesterday morning. Hers were higher, but you get the idea. On Easter Monday morning, in the East Village. The rest of her outfit was beige - beige jeans, jacket, an a brown frilly scarf.

I just think it was a little early for lame. Although I suppose she could have been on her way home. Hey, there's no /right way/ to celebrate Easter.

Also, Girl in Gold Boots.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Lessons in Cultural Competency: Being a regular

I've been to Mud often enough now that the baristas recognize me (come on, I wear the same sunglasses, one of two coats and white hat almost every day, and arrive around 9:30). So I was in heaven this morning when the less laid back one didn't ask what I wanted and just handed me my coffee. I paid, and went on my merry way - things were looking up for a Monday.

Then I took a sip.

It wasn't my drink! He forgot the sugar! (just a little bit)

Which is just to say, don't forget to use your words, honey.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Burn bunny, burn

In celebration of this holy weekend, the FG directs you to Peep Research and The Lord of the Peeps.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Requisite celebrity sightings

It is New York after all.

Midwest Medved was a little rude to Jill Hennessy this week at Mud in the East Village (hey, she was between him and his first coffee of the day). She's lovely. And last night Philip Bloch was at a bar/art gallery on the LES.

(Also smoked a hookah at Kush. mmmmm.)


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Courtesy TR.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shuesday: With all the frills upon it

A little something seasonal, for the little one in your life.