28 February 2007

A Conversation with Dan...

(Cut to scene: Office stairwell, returning from getting lunch. Me: Old fart Producer walking with Dan: Young, cool and still unjaded PA)

Me: Hey Dan, happy birthday. Sorry I missed the cake yesterday.

Dan: It's alright. The real party is this weekend.

Me: (sarcastic) You can't possibly party yet. How old are you? 12? 13?

Dan: Very funny. No, I just turned 23.

Me: Oh, that's cool... 23 is a good age. I just turned 23 too.

Dan: Really?

Me: No... but I did just celebrate the 11th anniversary of my 23rd birthday.

Dan: Wait... (calculating)... You're 34?

Me: Yes! You win the grand prize!

Dan: Are you kidding?

Me: About the prize? Yea, I'm kidding.

Dan: No, wait, seriously... You're not really 34 are you?

Me: Yes.... why?

Dan: You can't be 34. You're too hip.

Me: (rendered speechless)

(end scene)

Author's commentary: Being a self-described band-geek my entire life, I don't think anyone over the age of seven has ever thought of me as "hip"... and I was only cool to them because I accidentally made a mixture of vinegar and baking soda explode all over the entire surface area of my sister's kitchen, including the ceiling. I doubt that technically classifies as "hip"... but I'll be sure to ask James Brown when I see him in the afterlife.



The "before" photos were okay. That was last week.

Today I got dyed. And plucked.

And now I have two caterpillars pasted on my forehead.

Maybe men like caterpillars? Maybe that's what I've been missing? I'll let you know.

But so far, my only conclusion: Tweezers are evil.

Stay tuned for more....

27 February 2007

My horoscope...

How's THIS for a Tuesday morning chuckle?

Really, who am I to argue with the celestial truths of Yahoo's Horoscopes? I guess if the stars say I'm cool, then I must be cool. Now it's time to choose my next goal... Hmmm.. what shall it be? Please feel free to submit suggestions... I'll feel free to adopt or ignore as whim dictates...

26 February 2007

And the award goes to...

Finally, my New York Oscar Awards Go To...

Best Penne Carbonara:
Caffe Linda

Best Mojito:
Stefan Trummer's creations, currently at Nicole Farhi 202

Best Fizzy Pink Drink:
Strawbellini, at Hudson Bar

Best Beer Atmosphere:
McSorley's Ale House (where else?)

Best Sunday Brunch You Never Knew About:
Prix fix at the Sacks Fifth Avenue cafe (8th floor)

Best Pizza:
Patsy's at 34th and 3rd Ave.

Best Salad:
Patsy's at 34th and 3rd Ave. (it's a sweep!)

Best Polenta Ever Made:
L'Impero (I *heart* Scott Conant)

Best Banana Pudding: (I'm southern, so this gets its own category)
Virgil's BBQ

Best Food That's Not On The Menu:
Grand Marnier Shrimp at Chin Chin

Best Ice Cream Over-Indulgence:
Serendipity 3

Best Over-Priced-But-Still-Worth-It Dessert:
Olive Oil Gelato at Babbo (grazie, Mario!)

Best Place to Meet on an Expensive Date:
Top of the Tower, Beekman Tower

Best Place to Meet on a Medium Date:

Best Place to Meet on an Cheap Date:
Central Park Carousel

Best Place In New York overall:
holding hands with someone while walking around downtown

(and in case anyone asks, I'm wearing J.Crew)

On a completely and utterly random note...
Tomorrow, my eyebrows get an official made-for-TV makeover. Apparently my eyebrows needed an intervention. God help me in the hands of elite salon eyebrow artists... and who knows what my until-now-untamed brows will become after tomorrow. But I'll be sure to tell you when the "after" photos are airing. (For sure it'll be better than the monstrosity of a wedding dress that aired circa 1996... I still have photos of that day. It lives on in my nightmares. Note to self: Has it really taken you 12 years to realize that you're Not. Supposed. To. Be. In. Front. Of. The. Camera.? Dang, you ARE a stubborn one aren't you?)

25 February 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

I don't see a lot of movies... but lately I've been on a bit of a roll, with Casino Royale, Smokin' Aces and - this afternoon - Pan's Labyrinth.

I am tired and have a head cold, but I'll just say a few words about Pan's Labyrinth... it is, without a doubt, one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen. Do not, under any circumstances, take your children to see this thinking that it's a cute, escapist fantasy world created in the eyes of a child or anything along the lines of the Dark Crystal or the Labyrinth of Davie Bowie fame. It is decidedly not. And even the fantastical moments (if indeed, they were a fantasy) are disturbing, fraught with fear, danger, lies and bloody violence.

There is interwoven in the obvious plot line enough symbolism, irony, and metaphor that you could literally write papers on this for the rest of any underpaid academic career. But even on the most superficially interpretive level, it's no mere tale of fairies and escapism... no, it's far deeper and far, far more tragic than that. In the end, it's more of a statement on the woes of this world - the shortcomings of adults and their ability to misuse power - as seen through the imaginations of a child, who - in the end - proves that innocence itself is stronger, braver and wiser than anyone in the grown-up world of 'real power.' She proves that the 'ridiculous' world of the imaginary is often more deserving of respect and honor than reality.

It is without a doubt, one of the most moving, horrifying, and decidedly beautiful films I've ever seen. But do not see this film unless you are prepared for no small amount of violence... it is gruesome. Tears ran down amongst the viewers without apology as the credits scrolled onscreen.

I think after this, my next movie is Little Miss Sunshine... to break the mood.


P.S. I wrote this while being high on Tylenol Cold, so don't hold the psychobabble against me, okay?


23 February 2007

On Being a Gentleman...

Do you want to know why women swoon over James Bond? Guess what... it's not just the car and the accent... read on...

Come on, men of America. Shut off your cell phone, yank up your pants, and let the ladies go first.

By Jeff Gordinier
(exerpted from Details magazine)

You’re on a business trip. Your plane lands in Dallas. While you stand hunched beneath the overhead compartment, waiting for your fellow excursionists to putter down the aisle, you’re forced to eavesdrop on a guy who has flipped open his Razr. His “Candy Shop” ringtone began bleating two seconds after the tires of the plane scuffed the tarmac, and now he is describing with graphic, snorting zeal the woman he “banged” in Boston last night. He is loud, he is oblivious, and he is dressed with all the élan of an extra on Entourage. That evening, upon checking in to your hotel room, you discover that the dudes in the next suite are throwing a Super Bowl party. You have a breakfast meeting the next morning, and as you search the minibar in vain for a decent bottle of beer, you get the following ping from your colleague on your handheld: “yo dud wassup? OMFG yr n Tex! did U heare bout the Hailey Jol Ozmant sex tape?”

Look, you don’t want to be a crank. You are determined, even as what’s left of your youth begins to evaporate, not to slide into a permanent state of aggrieved, appalled, angst-ridden Andy Rooneyism. And yet somewhere over the course of a normal working day, a man might be forgiven for brooding like a graying viscount who’s just watched a Sigma Chi pledge chug the contents of a finger bowl.

Years ago, a man who had matured beyond a certain age automatically knew how to do things. He knew how to behave on a plane, in a hotel, in a box at La Scala. He knew how to mix a perfect Rob Roy, how to shine his brogues, how to woo a woman with no other weapon than his own wit, how to dress for a power breakfast with his boss; he knew, furthermore, how to spell, how to keep his pants from sagging, how to shut the fuck up in a public space, and how to recover from a career setback without feeling compelled to videotape his swollen member.

Maybe we should start learning those things again. Maybe, if we all try just a little bit harder, the modern American man can be more than the chucklehead we see on countless sitcoms and commercials, crop-dusted with Doritos crumbs and stupefied in front of the flat-screen. Have the last remnants of civilized society crumbled like the Colosseum? Have MTV, Kevin Federline, Casual Fridays, permissive Boomer parenting, and the consumer-electronics industry obliterated all the old standards of cultivation and courtesy? If so, maybe it’s time to bring on the backlash.

Yes, America in these infant years of the 21st century may be awash in money, but it’s also awash in the most loutish, thuggish, clownish, and pantyless hordes since the fall of Rome. The traditional connection between wealth and what used to be known as savoir faire has vanished. Which is why a corrective is in order: a return not to upper-crust priggishness but to a state of personal refinement. It’s time to acknowledge the simple pleasure and power of knowing things. It’s time to admit that a reasonable man should, at a reasonable point in his life, undergo a psychic shift, after which he no longer yearns merely to flip society the bird. It’s time for the dudes of America to grow up and start acting like gentlemen.

If we have a new gentleman in our midst, he doesn’t need to impress people by spending $500 on a bottle of vodka at a tabloid-trash nightclub, though he is perfectly happy to spend $15 on a meticulously shaken crushed-ginger concoction at one of the private and subdued speakeasies that have been cropping up in London and Manhattan and San Francisco over the past five years. Look around and you’ll see a handful of actors and musicians who have somehow not devoted their lives to becoming drooling Us Weekly ass-clowns: Don Cheadle and Edward Norton, George Clooney and John Legend, guys anachronistically committed to upholding high standards in their work and in their personal conduct. If designer Tom Ford’s cultural instincts are correct—and experience suggests that they often are—then it’s worth noting that while much of the commercial world is feasting on big and crass, the Gucci veteran is adjusting his zeitgeist meter for compact and custom-made. This spring, Ford, who could probably sell out to Target and spend the rest of his days studying the sunsets off Fiji, will instead open a boutique on Madison Avenue that will specialize in custom-tailored menswear. “In some ways, Elizabeth Street in Nolita is the antidote to the Targets and the H&Ms and the Gaps—it’s small, niched, and special-feeling,” says Project Runway’s own perfect gentleman, Tim Gunn, the chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design. “So many things in fashion are reactions, and this is a reaction to the behemoths, and it’s an understandable one.”

All of which makes sense, because the Gen X gentleman looks for things that hover just under the radar. Indeed, just under the radar is a fitting description of where he prefers to hang out. He’s comfortable enough in his own skin to understand the rightness of traveling with both a well-pecked BlackBerry and a well-thumbed book of John Berryman’s acid-tinged verse. He gets fired up by words like small-batch and indie, by microbrewed and bespoke and smuggled Époisses. For him there is such a thing as cultural literacy, after all, and it involves more than knowing where Lindsay Lohan checked in to rehab.

Jason Tesauro and Phineas Mollod, both 35, co-wrote the amusing and encyclopedic The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy & Vice, and since its publication in 2002, they’ve detected a revival of interest in letter writing (as opposed to IM’ing), old-fashioned courtship rituals (as opposed to troglodytic MySpace-trolling), and even dressing up for work. “You carry yourself a little differently when you’re wearing pinstripes as opposed to sweatpants,” says Tesauro, who’s begun leading Modern Gentleman seminars at a Ritz-Carlton outside Washington, D.C. “We are seeing signs of it, and it’s on a small scale, and that’s okay with me. While a gentleman may be an endangered species, he’s not going extinct.”

Even so, the herd’s been awfully thinned out lately. Maybe it’s partly because gentleman is such a tricky word. If we’re speaking historically, it calls to mind idle and inbred European aristocrats who were too listless to light their own Dunhills. If we’re using the word the way your grandmother did, we might imagine a dutiful, well-mannered doormat. But the new gentleman is neither a toff nor a milquetoast. “It has nothing to do with money or social standing,” says etiquette scion Peter Post, a director of the Emily Post Institute and the author of Essential Manners for Men. “A person who thinks of other people first and does things to make the world a more comfortable place for everybody—that’s what I think a gentleman really is.” Setting aside the musty associations with privileged birth, what noblesse oblige is really about is being man enough to switch off your selfish impulses in service of the greater good.

Not all selfish impulses, of course. The resurgent gentleman knows that discreet and considerate conduct might very well wind up being the ultimate career advantage. “Telepathy, that’s the perfect word for it,” says Gunn. “When I have people coming for meetings in my office, I try to find out beforehand, do they like coffee or tea? How do they take their coffee? Are they bagel people? Are they pastry people? I want them to feel comfortable when they’re here. That helps breed some trust, and in their own way they’re kind of seduced.” Restraint, too, serves as an ally of the gentleman’s own ambition, not as a sign of weakness. “I have found that the boor, the person who tries to barge through everything and get his way, is someone people don’t like,” says Nashville writer and columnist John Bridges, the author of a series of pensée-sprinkled guidebooks on chivalric habits and principles. “If you try to be civil, it puts you in a negotiating stance with people, and you get places a lot more easily. Being a gentleman gives you the tools to know how to get your way without everybody hating you.” Forcing everyone in the corporate cafeteria to listen to you crow about your ride on a private jet might make you feel like a master of the universe, but in fact it could be the very thing that convinces your boss that you’re not ready for a promotion. “The new gentleman has manners,” says Richard Torregrossa, who, as the author of Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, can be presumed to know what he’s talking about. “His conversations are discreet, so he controls his cell phone. His cell phone does not control him.”

And whether the topic is the Redskins or Der Rosenkavalier, he knows well enough not to inflict his stream-of-consciousness commentary on other people. He doesn’t need to be the center of attention. In fact, if there’s ultimately a core trait that distinguishes the new American gentleman from the rest of the pack, it’s this: A gentleman is confident enough not to broadcast his every passing whim. “I always say that a gentleman is somebody who knows how to be there when he’s wanted,” says Bridges, “and the rest of the time gets out of the way.”

19 February 2007

Spheres of Influence

made by Richard Weber...

(I think the first or second ones are my favorites... but this last one reminds me of my tattoo)

Put on your dancin' shoes...

Aaah, life is good! I'm in a dancing mood tonight... I should remember this, as I stare at the next two weeks of crazy amounts of work... It's amazing what music can do for the mood. My dance-around-the-house play list as we speak:

What Goes Around by Justin Timberlake - Oh yes, I embrace with vigor my fondness for top 40 pop hits at times. But it was on Ugly Betty the other day... doesn't that make it the least bit cool? Eh, who cares...

Lift Me Up by Moby - GREAT tune! Gotta move *something* when you listen to this one.

Karma by Alicia Keys - Have you seen her in Smoking Aces? WOW.

SOS (Rescue Me) by Rihanna - another kickin' dance tune.

New Shoes by Paolo Nutini - yea, I know... old news. Still a great tune.

Overload by Sugababes - Thank you, Ali. This STILL reminds me of your pool last summer. Shall we do it again? This time I claim the floaty turtle...

Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall - "Suddenly I see, This is what I want to be..."

This Is How A Heart Breaks by Rob Thomas - another top 40. Whoo hoo!

Or perhaps to mellow things out a little:
Black Swan by Thom Yorke - Warning: Rated VERY "R". Took me a minute to figure out what he was saying. Let's just say it's not a tune for the kiddies in the car.

Song Noir by John Auer - I love the chord progressions that that kick in at 1:17.

The Few That Remain by Jeff Trott - a mellower tune I heard in Starbucks today while chatting with a cute boy who was also reading the New York Times. Now *that* is the quintessential New York Sunday morning.

So after my two weeks of manic work... (oh, this is good)... a week of diving in warm Caribbean seas... the sun, the waves, the warmth (no gloves, coats, hats, long undies), the pink drinks, the cute dive master boys, and my brand new bikini. Yes, it's going to be fabulous... You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to this! In the to-do list: Swim / dive with dolphins, dive with sharks, night dive, horseback riding, sunshine worshiping, waterlogged fingers, re-blonding the hair, fruity-flavored drinks, and lots of suntan lotion. What I'm NOT going to do: Wear a scarf, slip on ice, or think about obligations for 6 days. Life is good!

The only bummer... the passport office lost my passport. So I smell a long, public-services government office line-waiting experience in my near future. Then, it's Honduras-beach-bound...

Dance, dance, baby!


15 February 2007

Do you deliver?

I was thinking the other day, as the "first snow storm" hit New York (which consisted less of snow, and more of ice driven by 30 MPH winds and sleet that instantly turned to sidewalk-slippery ice) that it would be nice to live where you didn't have to leave your house. And I realized... I do... So I set off on a fun little online search for life's necessities that could be delivered. And I begin to wonder.... do I really even have to leave my apartment?

Laundry - Any dry cleaning store worth it's chemical perc will pick up, clean (according to your instructions) and deliver your clothing to your door, sometimes as quickly as next day. They'll even iron your undies. Be careful, though... sometimes you might end up with someone else's undies... I guess that wouldn't be a downer if your ratty Hanes got swapped up with La Perla though....

Groceries - Every grocery store delivers, but the grand-daddy of grocery delivery in New York City is FreshDirect.com This is proof that God likes New York. You order groceries online and deliver straight to your door, with quality that is higher, and prices that are lower than most brick-and-mortar stores. I *heart* Fresh Direct!!!

Drugs - Of course the illegal ones can be pick-up or deliver. But I wouldn't know about them (*wink*). But if you want the legal drugs that your doc told you to take, you don't have to worry about taking that prescription she wrote for your yeast infection to the too-public Duane Reade counter. Now, you can get your Rx filled online, and delivered to the privacy of your doorman. Looking for some simple deodorant or condoms? Easy enough... FreshDirect.com (*swoon*) has limited drugstore goods which they're increasing, but Drugstore.com will fill your prescriptions and deliver to your door... and even email you when it's time for a refill.

Clothing, shoes, bags - You name it, they deliver. Usually free. Zappos.com has free return shipping, too... now THAT is love.

Mail - USPS has free pickup services, or you can hire a concierge to do it for you.

Books & Music - Barnes & Noble has free delivery of in-stock items within 24 hours in Manhattan! I love New York!

Movies - Lots of options here... Netflicks is the reigning NYC favorite. I don't subscribe, but my ex did. Whatever.

Meals - Which diet are you on? Or do you just want to order "heat and serve" meals from the grocery story? No problems. They deliver too. Of course every restaurant except the hoity-toity ones deliver too... (including Mee Noodle Shop, whose cold sesame noodles have some addictive quality that I liken to heroin on them... so of course I have the number memorized... so sad.)

I don't know! - Can't think of what you need? Hire someone to find a service for you! Anything! Any time! Love it!

Gifts for people - Yep, you lazy bum. You can hire someone to buy gifts for other people... Aunt Tizzy's birthday? Secretary's Day? Cute boy you need to send an anonymous note to? Hire these people and they'll find the perfect gift, and sign the card from you (or not). How terrifyingly accommodating.

Go to DMV for you - This one CRACKED ME UP. I always wondered if Donald Trump had to stand in line to renew his license. I guess not.... VIP Concierge, Inc.

Vodka - FreshDirect.com (*swoon*) only sells beer. So for hard liquor, you can have someone pick it up for you. And you don't even have to bring a fake ID to the door.

"Companionship" (ahem) - you know where I'm going here. Just make sure you use the condoms you bought from drugstore.com.

On the flip side, if you NEVER want to be home, you can do that too! Hire people to live your life for you and you won't have to worry about it:

Help! My toilet's stopped up! And I have to go to the Bloomies sale! - Calling the plumber too much of a pain? Hire someone to schedule your appointments for you VIP Concierge, Inc. (Honestly, though... wouldn't calling the plumber just take less time than setting things up with these guys?)

Cleaning services - a dime a dozen. Just ask any upwardly-mobile young professional and trust me, they'll have a recommendation for you. (Mine even does my laundry for me... How much do I love Eliza? You have no idea. In fact - confession time - I have calculated just the right number of undies I need to make it from one visit to the next. Yep, spoiled brat I am. But when your ex never cleaned, you have to compromise, right? Moving on...)

Man's best friend's gotta go - Aah, the famed New York City dog walkers.... Yep, someone to walk your dog for you. Also a dime a dozen to find (just about any "actor / slash / dancer / slash / waiter / slash / human" in town is also a "dog walker."

Pay your bills - Can't bear the thought of penning another check to Con Ed? No worries, hire someone to balance your checkbook for you... VIP Concierges, Inc.

Wait. - I love this one. You can hire someone to wait for services for you. Have a cable guy coming but can't miss the Kate Spade sample sale? No worries... these guys will send someone over to meet them and babysit your apartment while strange plumber-butt people fix whatever is broken.

Organize you - because really, when you need your shoes alphabetized, isn't it better to simply have someone else do it for you? Gotham Concierge

Update your wardrobe - if you simply can't be bothered to set up your own wardrobe, you can hire a Fashion Consultant to come to your home, check out your closet, and then go shopping for you. Just make sure the limit on your credit card is... well... non-existent.

Dating set-ups - yea, they exist, in case you don't even have time to troll Match.com on your own... they'll do it for you and set up a time, place, and budget for you and your soul-mate to meet. Just show up, with credit card in hand, and you're set to go.


14 February 2007

"Old dog, new tricks"


A few years ago, when I thought my life was moving in a forward direction, I took a class at NYU in marketing. It was an interesting enough class - a basic overview of marketing concepts in the entertainment industry, lead by a guy whose claim to fame was managing Kiss way-back-when. (yes, Kiss, the band.) the class was fine, and I had some randomly vague thoughts about getting my certificate in marketing, and furthering my career in new directions, blah blah blah. Needless to say, after moving in a decidedly *backwards* direction soon after finishing the class, the hope of a certificate has rather fallen by the wayside.

I've taken other classes as well, including an art class (which said it would teach us trompe d'oeil and really only taught us faux bois) and - more recently of course - karate (which was just a not-so-hidden-excuse to punch the crap out of things.) So I thought, perhaps now that I've moved into a better place in life, I'd look at some fun classes to take again... maybe salsa lessons, or start painting again... after all, you can do anything in New York, right? Honestly, I had no idea how much "anything" there was to offer...

So after popping around some scary Google searches, I followed the advice of my new favorite book ("The Best Things to do in New York") and looked up classes on Craig's List.

I searched for general classes, and ended up with thousands of choices... so I narrowed it down to classes only in Manhattan and here are a few options... (I've removed repeats, of which there were many)

In the mood for crafts?
Private Class with a knitting coach
Stylish Craft of Crochet
Needlepoint for beginners
Ceramics and pottery
Adults-only art classes (Do you really want to know? I didn't think so)
Beading (for kids and adults)
Sewing classes
Figure clay sculpting
Drawing classes with live models
Private painting tutor

How about a language?
French lessons
Spanish lessons
Italian lessons
Korean lessons
English lessons
Chinese lessons
Russian lessons
German lessons
Brazilian and Portuguese lessons

Get up and MOVE!
Square dancing
Ballet lessons
Modern dance
Belly dance ("You can burn calories while you seduce him!")
Polish American Folk Dancing lessons (now that sounds like fun!)
Hip-Hop dance lessons
Merengue & Bachata
Staci's Boot Camp workout ("She'll kick your butt
........back up where it belongs!")
Yoga classes
Pilates (private or group classes available)
"Spine-Song" - an integration of Pilates and Yoga
Shorinji Kempo
Exotic Dance Class for Everyday women (This class is taught by a
........former professional dancer. "You'll learn strip teases and lap
........dance basics. Please wear platform stilettos and bring along
........a button-down shirt. Wine is provided.")
Pole dancing (Yes, that would be a stripper pole. Though I wonder...
........don't you think lap dancing is more practical in the home?)

New skills anyone?
Voice lessons
Bass, guitar, violin, piano, sax and other random instrument
........tutors and lessons
Improv acting and comedy classes
Songwriting lessons
Digital photography
Writing for Performance workshop
Advanced fiction writing
Finally write your novel
Romance writing
Private math lessons
Practical investing class
AHA Adult CPR Training
Speed reading (Led by a Columbia University Ph.D.)
How to do spiritual readings and read tarot
Fellatio (class for women only)
Finding the big "O" from your woman (That's "O" for
........orgasm, and it's a class for men. Finally.)

Bite me:
Make your own sushi
Beginning cooking classes
How to make paella
Vegan / Vegetarian / Organic cooking classes
Cooking for couples
Cooking for one
Cooking for a party
Italian food for everyone
Pastry chef offering group lessons

How to be a successful flea market vendor
How to think and grow rich
Plastic Surgery (no no, you don't learn to DO it, you
........get to attend lectures about it. Phew!)
Beginning Robot Workshop for Adults
Santeria and Pan African Religious Practitioners
........("Add explosive power to your ritual, spells and
........healing Paths")
Candle Magick (sic)
How to e-learn (apparently an online class about
........how to take online classes)
Learn Permanent Makeup
Esoteric lore for women

That, my friends, were the classes offered on PAGE ONE of the upcoming classes in Manhattan. All of these start in the next two weeks, and most lead to websites that have other classes as well.

Now, all I have to do is choose between CPR and fellatio. Seems like you might be able to combine those... now THAT would be an interesting class. But please, feel free to let me know which class you'd like me to take and (inevitably) blog about.

P.S. I know it's Valentine's Day. I'm boycotting it because it's a capitalist excuse for a sentiment that should be expressed every day. Plus I'm feeling decidedly anti-romance these days. Bah humbug.


08 February 2007


Thank you, Elizabeth, for opening my eyes to this magnificent site... I'll post some of my favorites below (warning - foul, but funny.)
All patterns and kits can be found at http://www.subversivecrossstitch.com

Happy Valentine's Day!

Express yourself:

Yep, that just about sums up my life:

And finally, one for my mom (she'd love the bunnies):

Beer Goggle Equation

'Beer goggles' effect explained

Scientists believe they have worked out a formula to calculate how "beer goggles" affect a drinker's vision. The drink-fuelled phenomenon is said to transform supposedly "ugly" people into beauties - until the morning after.

Researchers at Manchester University say while beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, the amount of alcohol consumed is not the only factor. Additional factors include the level of light in the pub or club, the drinker's own eyesight and the room's smokiness. The distance between two people is also a factor.

They all add up to make the aesthetically-challenged more attractive, according to the formula.

An = number of units of alcohol consumed
S = smokiness of the room (graded from 0-10, where 0 clear air; 10 extremely smoky)
L = luminance of 'person of interest' (candelas per square metre; typically 1 pitch black; 150 as seen in normal room lighting)
Vo = Snellen visual acuity (6/6 normal; 6/12 just meets driving standard)
d = distance from 'person of interest' (metres; 0.5 to 3 metres)

The formula can work out a final score, ranging from less than one - where there is no beer goggle effect - to more than 100.

Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester, said: "The beer goggles effect isn't solely dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes, there are other influencing factors at play too. "For example, someone with normal vision, who has consumed five pints of beer and views a person 1.5 metres away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room, will score 55, which means they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect." The research was commissioned by eyecare firm Bausch & Lomb PureVision.

A poll showed that 68% of people had regretted giving their phone number to someone to whom they later realised they were not attracted. A formula rating of less than one means no effect. Between one and 50 the person you would normally find unattractive appears less "visually offensive". Non-appealing people become suddenly attractive between 51 and 100. At more than 100, someone not considered attractive looks like a super model.

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/4468884.stm

Published: 2005/11/25 15:08:28 GMT


06 February 2007

Smallest Skis EVER

Nephew #1 - age 2.5 - perched on the world's smallest skis. He spent 7 hours suspended like a pendulum between one of the adult's legs, cruising down the bunny hill. And at the end of the day, all he had to say was, "More skiing, Mama! More skiing, Papa!" The adults were past their nap times, though, so we went home.
Nephew #2, on his first day of ski lessons. He did "pizza" and "french fries" in the lesson, but on the hill, was content to let dad take over and lead him down the slope.
Who is that masked man? That's #3... who by the end of the day was convinced that he was going to be on the racing team (because someone at the bottom of the hill told him that there was a 6 year-old on the ski team...) I think he learned "Pizza" and "French Fries" too... but only used the French Fries position to go fast down the hill...

#4: The oldest... Not the most adventurous one, and he fell down the most. But still had spunk and he and #3 raced each other down the bunny hill all day... literally...

04 February 2007

A kid again...

Short posting because I'm totally exhausted... in a GREAT way! I went skiing today for the first time in probably 10 years... and LOVED IT!!! It was so good to feel the wind in my face, and watch my nephews fly down the hill. Even the two year old was ready for more after 7 straight hours of hitting the slopes (with only a brief break for overpriced, overcooked burgers and mini-pizzas)... I took the youngest down the bunny hill with my arms hooked under his, swinging his mini-skis between my own... killer butt workout, but so much fun to hear him say "whee! faster, aunt beth, faster faster!" Oh, the simple joy of experiencing things through the eyes of a child... it's a fabulous affirmation of the joy that's so readily available in the world.

Who knew that strapping myself to two boards and hurtling down a snowy mountainside could be so liberating? I *must* do this again... SOON! It might even make the winter months in New York bearable...

I'll post photos in a bit... Right now I'm still trying to get the circulation back to my ankles...

psst - Sue & Matt, thanks for adopting one more over-aged kid into the family....