Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Ugly.

They are bailing you out, you idiot.

In an effort to avoid panicking Mom and Pop America, Congress has allowed this to be called the "Wall Street bailout" rather than what it really is, the "Main Street bailout."

While I absolutely agree with caps on executive pay and accountability, the bailout is a necessary evil. Without it, the credit markets will (and have) seize(d) up. And as an American/consumer, you understand that the need for credit is everywhere and that you cannot have capitalism without it. Credit is needed between banks, between banks and consumers, in fact, all market participants require credit in the form of small business loans, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, the list goes on.

Those not in favor of the bailout clearly do not understand the potential fallout. The first wave has already crashed on the beach and the beach is now littered with the debris of financial institutions. The next wave may very well take out your job, your car, your home and your bank account.

So should the bailout be approved? As my brilliant husband summed up: "It's like if your teenager comes home drunk. If he is merely drunk, you let him sleep it off and suffer the consequences; if he is toxic and his life is at risk, you take him to the hospital and have his stomach pumped. It would be great if the economy could just puke its guts out but it's already on life support."

And if you're worried about the $700 Bill? Don't worry. You'll pay for it one way or another.

*UPDATE: Okay, assholes, it passed. You had better not make a fool out of me.*

Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Piss Off Sarah Palin.

Read a Banned Book. Here, one of my faves by one of my all-time favorite authors.

Thanks to Beach Bungalow 8 for reminding my election-addled brain about this important week, Sept. 27-Oct.4.

What's your favorite banned book?

Monday Pretty.

My notes say this is from Sarah's House, HGTV. I have no idea what that means...

Friday, September 26, 2008

I *Heart* Fall.

image via flickr

Fall is my favorite season by far. It makes me want to start a fire in the fireplace and curl up in a (faux) fur throw and drink hot cocoa (okay, a dirty martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives :-) and read something really great like Dr. Zhivago.

The truth is, I am a season-rusher. My husband always teases me about it. Any minute now I will be secretly watching really old Christmas movies like "Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck. But not quite yet (okay, that's a lie). I love the old 40s movie sets. But more on that later.

For now I am listening to Grandma music on cable and looking through catalogs.

You will not be surprised to know that I have about 20 versions of "Autumn Leaves" on my iPod - from Edith Piaf to Tom Jones - which I will listen to while I cook a really fattening dinner of comfort food such as I am planning for Sunday night: Lamb shanks with creamy parsley and mascarpone polenta. It's so good. Compliments of Curtis Stone, Take Home Chef:

Adorable Aussie Curtis Stone

It's a little heavy on the prep but then you throw it in the oven for hours and forget about it. Anyway, it's actually a little early for this - usually I am making homemade ravioli with sage and butter sauce which I might make tomorrow since we are in the midst of a Nor'easter and sort of stuck at home.

But for now I will have to psyche up to hike over to the high school football game where my daughter will be playing snare drum in her kick-ass marching band in spite of the rain...

But I will sneak home after halftime while she is huddled up in the bleachers until the game's over. And these will be her memories of Fall.

Bom Chicka Wah Wah.

Only two days until the long-awaited (by me) second season of "Californication," starring David Duchovny who is perfectly suited to the role of randy, self-loathing, asshole writer Hank Moody.

In Season One, Hank is a brilliant NYC-to-LA transplant suffering from a severe case of writer's block after his acclaimed novel is made into cinematic romantic drivel. He becomes unapologetically entangled in a web of booze and drugs and women until his life and livelihood take a turn for the worse after an inadvertent sexcapade with his ex-girlfriend's future stepdaughter, jailbait Mia, played to ruthless perfection by little Gracie from "The Nanny," Madeline Zima, who is all grown up.

Hank's ex-longtime-girlfriend, Karen, is played by the lovely Natascha McElhone. Karen is engaged to be married to an insipid yet stable guy but her passionate love for Hank's sorry ass results in a runaway bride situation which is where we are left at Season One's end.

Madeleine Martin plays wise-beyond-her-years, gothy band front member Becca, who at 13 is far sager and more mature than her dad. As a result, she feels her role is caretaker for her dad and moves in with him much to the chagrin of her mother.

Hank's agent, Charlie, is played to slimy yet lovable perfection by Evan Handler. You will remember him as Charlotte's doting husband from SATC.

Charlie's wife, Marcy, is played hysterically with no punches pulled by Pamela Adlon. If you like people who tell it like it is, you will love Marcy.

Season One is available On Demand and you can download it from iTunes and various places.

Be warned. This is not for the kids. There is filthy language and cable-y porn. So, put your kids to bed, keep the volume low and close the blinds so the neighbors don't think you're a perv. *Wink.*

Season Two starts on Showtime, Sunday, September 28 at 10 pm ET/PT.

*UPDATE: In the first two episodes of the new season, Charlie and Marcy are out of control and are kind of making me sick. Just so ya know.*

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Dream House Tour.

Welcome. Um, do you mind removing your shoes? I just spent a fortune on this place. Ha. Just kidding. Who wants a house like that? Here, grab a glass of wine, let's go.

Again, this is faux fur, the real fur is on the dogs. I might want to change out the light fixture to something a little more traditional, actually.

Henredon Acquisitions Dining Room. I usually don't like a set, but I love this!

I can't remember who this is. He does this beautiful hand-painted chinoiserie. These are my dining room walls.

Frank and Mia, photograph by Harry Benson, Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, NYC, 1966.

House Beautiful, October 2008. I'm loving the marble subway tile. But I'm changing out the art above the stove to black and white photography and those obelisks or whatever they are? They're gone now. So is the folk-art doll on the counter. And there's an enormous carved carrera marble fireplace behind the table.

My Living Room, aka The Janklow Pad, NYC, from Vogue.

Julian Schnabel, La Blusa Rosa.

My husband, George.

This is where George and I hang and watch movies and read. Yes, it's faux fur but the Picasso is original. We have a huge built-in bookcase so we can have all our favorite reads at arm's reach. Like this:

Actually, this is just for the pix because it's in German or something. But gorge photos of Steve McQueen, Grace Kelly and Liz Taylor.

I love Truman Capote. Such pathos.

You've already seen our bedroom.

Where we're watching MadMen before we go to sleep.

And our bathroom. Where George brushes his pearly whites.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. xo

And while this isn't exactly the climate to be talking about dream houses (although dreaming is free!), tell me about your dream house. Does your current house bear any resemblance?

How To Help Obama Win.

If you live in a swing state such as Pennsylvania or Michigan, the campaign needs your help! Even if you do not live in a battleground state*, your state may be paired with a sister state for more efficient campaigning (for instance, Delaware is pretty much a shoe-in for Obama because of Biden, so we are paired with PA, which is not. And our phone calls go to PA; canvassing, etc., is done in PA).

If you're wondering what you can do, go to www.barackobama.com, find your state and possibly your neighborhood and get involved!

You can make phone calls, canvas neighborhoods, buy bumper stickers and yard signs, bring supplies to the local headquarters, enter data, write a letter to the editor of a newspaper near you...there's something for everyone to do. While I have gone to the local HQ to make phone calls, you can just download a list from the website and make calls from the comfort of your home. Just go to mybarackobama.com, sign up and get going.

Whatever you do, it is not the time to sit around waiting for change, it's time to make change happen.

There are only 15 days left to register to vote. If you are not or you know someone is not registered, you or they can register online! It's easy and fast. You can even vote absentee online.

*Battleground states are: Nevada, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire.

Let's not take one more election sitting down. Just take one or two hours one night a week or every night (weekend days and nights) to help get our country back to a place where we will be respected and once again a thoughtful contributor to the international community.

If you don't have time to spend actively campaigning, consider donating to a necessary cause. You can donate on the website (when I provide a link, my personal info comes up).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oldies but Goodies.

From our friends at the Unemployed Philosophers Guild:

Impeachmints: Need I say more?

Disappearing Civil Rights mug. When you add hot water, the Bill of Rights starts to disappear. It might be funnier if it wasn't so true. Not dishwasher safe.

Axis of Evil III: Starring Condi, Uncle Dick, Shrub and Rummy.

And now for some completely unrelated, nonpartisan amusement.

"The Three-Martini Playdate" is not for humorless parents of Harvard-bound toddlers. Although if you know one, you may want to slip a copy in her mailbox. From the Chicago Sun-Times: "Harried mothers who have given over their lives to their adorable little angels, beware: This book is the equivalent of a cocktail in the face." Filled with bon mots such as, "Three years old is not too young to learn the fundamentals of decent vacuuming." Charming. Makes you long for the good old days when kids were kids and knew how to fetch mommy a decent cocktail.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Girl Crush.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Oh, Heidi. We're practically twins. I know people say I'm the pretty one but I love you so much because you're never jealous. And quit borrowing my clothes without asking.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

And my earrings.

These photos are from the Emmy's which will temporarily provide me with distraction from the evil world. I vote for Mad Men, but in an interesting twist I like Hugh Laurie (he reminds everybody in our house of my husband and I lurve Gabriel Byrne but, sadly, I haven't seen his new show), 30 Rock, Mariska Hargitay, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey (my other girl crush), I don't care who wins for Actress in a Drama Series, I have to go with Amy Poehler who is ruining SNL by leaving, if I had to choose for writing between Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, I don't know if I could. I guess Californication isn't up for anything this year. More on Californication in about a week when David Duchovny will get caught for sleeping with his Candy Striper in sex-addict rehab right before the new season premiere.


After the mind-bending events of the last week, I needed a break. So I went to the beach where I attended an event which shall remain nameless. I will say that said event was attended by a rather rednecky, McCain-loving crowd. It's okay, I'm from Illinois - I felt like I had travelled back for the day. And I will add that said event was not NASCAR. I was advised by one of my gay boyfriends at the beach not to inform blog people of the event because nobody (save my Midwestern posse) understands my love for this event and if anybody at all is reading this blog, they will question my sanity and stop.

Anyway, I am in this crowd of people, everyone drinking and having a good time when a guy stops me and says, "Hey, you look like Sarah Palin." His brother, standing beside him, concurs.

I must have looked so insulted that he said, "No, your glasses. You look like Sarah Palin." I said, "For god's sake, Sarah Palin? I am a woman and I am wearing glasses, but I look nothing like Sarah Palin." Although then I found the picture above and there's a picture of me that looks almost the same. *Cringe.* (Updo sort of included.)

He said, "It was a compliment, she's hot."

Now, this is not the first time this week I have heard that Sarah Palin is hot. My husband went to lunch with some clients earlier in the week and told me they were all over how hot Sarah Palin is.

How depressing is that? It's like when my former?/first? mother-in-law said Dan Quayle was handsome. Remember Dan Quayle? He couldn't spell tomato. And the Republicans keep churning them out. Although, in her beauty-pageanty defense, I think S.P. can spell t-o-m-a-t-o. With no "e," Dan Quayle.

So, after chatting with these guys (no amount of my talking was going to convince them that Sarah Palin was the scourge of women but one of them was a good sport enough to wear a "Joe" [Biden] sticker that I plastered on his shirt for most of the evening), I left to use the restroom.

While waiting in the doorway of the very crowded loo, I hear from behind, "Oh, no..." and proceed to get barfed on.

I was thinking, "Nice. Barfing already before 10 pm. And on me. WT..." Then she says, while trying to clean herself up and quit barfing, "I'm so sorry, I just started a new chemo this morning and clearly it is not going well." So, of course, I felt like shit for her.

I said, "Well, the last time I was barfed on was in college by my brother, so you're in good company. And it looks like you're eating well. Salad?" She laughed and said yes, she couldn't keep anything down. And because I had unfortunately had experience with ca from my first husband, I told her about those wristbands for seasickness and how they can help with nausea from chemo.

After she left, the woman who was tending to my hair (don't even go there), said, "Well, you handled that very well but I'm worried about your sweater." And I said, "Well, I can leave and have my sweater cleaned. She is still going to need chemo." Hopefully the ass-sucky chemo will help.

Anyway, if you're feeling sorry for yourself after the last week, it's time for a glass-half-full check. After all, tomorrow is another day. (Just promise me you won't read Bloomberg.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lovely Weekend Distraction.

My friend Carolyn co-produced "The Duchess," a sumptuous look at the fascinating life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. A celebrated beauty and socialite, as well as a political activist and gambler, she was reproached for her extravagant personal and political life.

I recently saw a portion of an interview with Keira Knightley, who lamented the press' comparison between Georgiana and her descendant, Lady Diana Spencer. However, the comparisons are great, both having been celebrated for their beauty, unhappiness in their marriages (which involved more than two people), extramarital affairs and political activism.

However, considering that Georgiana lived a century before women's suffrage, it's interesting to see the boldness with which she lived her life. It's also interesting to see how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Starring the unfairly gorgeous Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. And any way you say it, it's still spelled Ralph.

*UPDATE: The movie was released the weekend of Sept. 19 in limited release; to all theaters Sept. 26*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Must-Haves for Fall?

Everybody needs a good bed. And a nice sofa. Some lamps and throws. Some dishes and serveware. Flatware and nice cutlery. A Cuisinart and good pots and pans. You hope for nice appliances and a good washer and dryer. And, of course, a few other things.

When did people start needing these things?

From Frontgate, your resource for all things superfluous, the double wine chiller. You can choose from 33 (?!) preset temperatures, accommodating both red and white wine in dual-controlled luxury, $149.00.

Another beauty from Frontgate, perfect for any home. Especially if you live in Bedrock and your boss is Mr. Slate.

The slate and marble mosaic-topped gas fire pit, $1495.

I keep moving and they keep finding me. The Home Decorators Catalog offers this, um, classic?

The Mr. Stinker teepee holder for only $99.00. It's never too early to start thinking "Who don't I like for Christmas?"

From Williams-Sonoma, The BeerTender, a joint venture between Krups and Heineken:

The bad news? You're still drinking Heineken. Only $299.00 (down from a suggested $375).

Remember when ironing was bad enough? Again, from Frontgate, your worst nightmare:
The Precision Electronic Steam Press, $399.00.

If you'd like to save a tree (or a thousand) and opt out of catalogs you receive but never use, go here. It's easy and free.

Monday, September 15, 2008

After a Day Like Today...

I just want to crawl into one of these (let's pretend they're all faux fur).

Elle Decor July 08

House Beautiful via Habitually Chic

Don't Remember, Sorry

'Nite. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.


Photo by Tom Starkweather/Bloomberg News

This Wall Street giant survived the Great Depression but today, it's gone.

Story on Bloomberg.

Another Wall Street legend, Merrill Lynch, is being purchased by Bank of America.

Is insurance behemoth AIG next?

You should be very afraid.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Sunday Funnies.

Leftover from Saturday Night (Live). In case you missed it.

Starring two of the smartest, funniest women on TV.

Watch it here.
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