Friday, May 29, 2009

My Own Grey Gardens.

Gibraltar is my local version of Grey Gardens (although there's no one living in it). I have taken to playing the lottery in an effort to win enough money to restore it.

Gibraltar was built by the nephew of Caesar Rodney (of the all-night run on horseback in a thunderstorm to sign the Declaration of Independence and break the deadlock of the Delaware contigent), was afterward owned by another of the Rodney progeny and a du Pont and is currently owned by Preservation Delaware. There is a group interested in purchasing it if they can get the code changed to allow it to be made into a conference center. I do not like that idea. Neither do the residents of my neighborhood. The original plan was to turn it into a bed and breakfast or an inn.

The gardens were originally created in the 1920s by prominent landscape architect Marian Cruger Coffin (she also designed the formal gardens at Winterthur). They were restored in 2001 and are cared for by volunteers. The gardens are open to the public for free and are available for weddings and gatherings for a fee.

I also found out through My Grey Gardens that Grey Gardens the Musical will be in Philadelphia May 22 through June 28. Guess who will be going?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A GOOP Spoof.

Gwyneth Paltrow Nourishes Her Inner Aspect.

by Gabe

Gwyneth Paltrow stirred. A lilac-scented breeze pushed gently at the diaphanous curtains of her castle aerie (two servants stood beneath her castle window, one waving a giant palm frond as the other squeezed a bulb of artisanal lilac oil into the current). The silk sheets felt rough against her pearl white skin, as they always did after having been slept on for more than four hours. She would have to have them replaced; their satin comfort was gone now. Now they were like sandpaper to her temple (body). She thought of the tiny hands of child laborers in China and India, harvesting the silken threads for her midnight cocoon. Surely they would be happier doing something else, like playing, or going to school, or starring in a movie with Robert Downey Jr. She should write them a letter to encourage them to find their true spirit. She should have one of her assistants write them a letter right away.

"Dear child laborers," it would begin. "Seek your happiness." Blah blah blah, her assistant would know how to end it. She was always much better at writing letters, and aspirational websites, than Gwyneth.

Gwyenth slipped into her polar bear fur lined slippers and headed to the 4,000 square foot master bathroom to prepare her morning toilette. She rinsed her mouth with calf's milk and brushed her teeth with fresh mint leaves. She soaked for an hour and a half in the Olympic size Jacuzzi before calling out for the breakfast servant to bring her her egg white omelet with truffle shavings and gold leaf. What many people didn't realize was that eating gold was actually good for you. Although there were no particular nutritional benefits, it just made you feel good to be able to eat gold. She ate gold at every meal. That would be one of her next newsletters. "Everyone Should Just Eat Gold."

For the entire hilarious article, click here.

Even though I made amends with Gwyneth in this post, I really cannot believe I didn't write this.

Thanks to my little buttercup, Raina of If the Lampshade Fits, for this amusing lampoonery. And here's to Gabe, for writing it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This Housing Crisis Is for the Birds.

I saw this birdhouse/dovecote at Farmer Girl in Rehoboth Beach and fell in love with it. You cannot tell by the photo that it is 6 feet tall.

You also cannot tell that it costs $2999 at Farmer Girl. $2999!! for a bird house. However, I did find it here for only $1895. $1895 for a birdhouse!! Proving that beach prices are still out of whack with the rest of the market.

I think I'll wait until it goes into foreclosure. . .

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oh, God, Please, Oh, Please, Oh, Please.

Let this be true:

An open-label, dose escalation, safety, and pharmacokinetic study of
ENMD-2076 administered orally to patients with advanced cancer.

Sub-category: Other Novel Agents

Category: Developmental Therapeutics: Molecular Therapeutics

Meeting: 2009 ASCO Annual Meeting

Citation: J Clin Oncol 27:15s, 2009 (suppl; abstr 3520)

Abstract No: 3520

Author(s): B. R. Bastos, J. Diamond, R. Hansen, D. Gustafson, J. Arnott, M. Bray, C. Sidor, W. Messersmith, G. Shapiro; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO; Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; EntreMed, Inc., Rockville, MDAbstract:

Background: ENMD-2076, a novel, orally-active antimitotic and antiangiogenic molecule inhibits Aurora A as well as tyrosine kinases that drive tumor vascularization, including VEGFR2 (KDR), PDGFR and the FGF receptors. This Phase 1 study was designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics (PK) and preliminary efficacy of ENMD-2076 administered once daily to patients (pts) with advanced cancer. Methods: The dose escalation scheme utilizes 3 (or 4) + 3 (or 2) design. Pts receive ENMD-2076 once daily in 28-day cycles (followed by 7-14 days of rest between cycles 1 and cycle 2 only). Results: 14 pts have been enrolled in 3 dose cohorts (range 60 to 120 mg/m2/d). Median age/performance status is 62/1. The total number of treatment cycles to date is 45, with a median of 3 cycles (range <1 n="14)">2/d. Following drug interruption, the pt restarted at 30 mg/m2/d and continued for 4 additional cycles before being removed for progressive disease. Noncompartmental PK analysis of the first two dose levels shows that the plasma concentration of ENMD-981693 (the active free base of ENMD-2076) is dose- linear, as reflected in AUC and Cmax. The estimated terminal half-life (t1/2) is unaltered regardless of dose; however, t1/2 is approximately 50% greater at steady state than following single dose administration. Four ovarian cancer and 2 colon cancer pts have achieved decreases ranging from 11-61% in either CA125 or CEA, respectively (4 are associated with stable disease at Cycle 2 by modified RECIST criteria). Serum KDR concentrations assayed by ELISA decreased from baseline in all patients on treatment from a mean of 9153 pg/mL (SEM 464.2) at D1 to 6987 pg/mL (SEM 460.0) at D28 (p <0.05).>Conclusions: ENMD-2076 is a small molecule kinase inhibitor with acceptable toxicity and preliminary evidence of antitumor activity in pts with ovarian and colorectal cancers.

(The final bold is mine.)

If this is true, this could be HUGE!!!!!!!!! This is on actual patients, people!!

I love you, Entremed researchers and docs involved with this clinical trial. With all my heart.

Tune in to the annual ASCO meeting on May 30, 2009 for the actual presentation of trial results. Or my blog.

John Crewdson, are you still out there?

NOTE: So I am not accused of going all New York Times, May 3, 1998 on you (here), I would like to point out that this is just a Phase I trial.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beauty & the Beach: Shore Haus Update.

Owners John Raines and Chris Berg are pictured here in front of some of the new bird prints in store. John is leafing through a Natural Curiousities book that comes unbound so you can frame the pages.

If you happen to be in Rehoboth Beach for the holiday weekend it's the perfect time to stop in and see the beauty in person. Shore Haus is located just after the Rte. 1 split at700 Rehoboth Ave. Or if you can't visit in person, you can always take a trip via their website and their new blog.

And, now, a bonus - the boys of Shore Haus:



I'm thinking of doing a calendar.

UPDATE: Well, what do you know? Shore Haus is in the Washington Post today! Click here for the link.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Go Girls.

"Bill thought he was the President, too.”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Unbelievable. (Updated)

UPDATE: Thanks to Raina and Decorno for the update to this post. Apparently, Patty Barreiro, the author's wife (pictured above) has a history of multiple bankruptcies which was intentionally, some might say egregiously, left out of the article. Can you imagine?

Megan McArdle from The Atlantic monthly uncovered the dirt. Here's an excerpt:

"In September 1998, California bankruptcy court records indicate that Patty and her first husband declared bankruptcy. The financial statement they filed with the court indicated family income of $174,000 in 1996, $87,000 in 1997, and $126,000 in the first nine months of 1998. The income fluctuations are not surprising, given that her husband was in the film production industry. By the time of the filing, the couple owed about $30,000 on 8 credit cards, over $200,000 in back taxes, and almost $15,000 in private school tuition, as well as substantial car and mortgage payments.

[Then] In 2007, nearly as soon as she was eligible, Patty Barreiro filed again in Montgomery Country. ...The bankruptcy code requires filers to wait 8 years after a previous Chapter 7 discharge. Barely four months after she became eligible, Patty Barreiro filed again."

Here's a link to The Atlantic Monthly article.

Here's the original article from the New York Times Magazine:

My Personal Credit Crisis by Edmund L. Andrews

If there was anybody who should have avoided the mortgage catastrophe, it was I. As an economics reporter for The New York Times, I have been the paper’s chief eyes and ears on the Federal Reserve for the past six years. I watched Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben Bernanke at close range. I wrote several early-warning articles in 2004 about the spike in go-go mortgages. Before that, I had a hand in covering the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russia meltdown in 1998 and the dot-com collapse in 2000. I know a lot about the curveballs that the economy can throw at us.

But in 2004, I joined millions of otherwise-sane Americans in what we now know was a catastrophic binge on overpriced real estate and reckless mortgages. Nobody duped or hypnotized me. Like so many others — borrowers, lenders and the Wall Street dealmakers behind them — I just thought I could beat the odds.

For the entire article, click here.

If you are not personally going through it, this article will illustrate how the mortgage crisis happened: one stupid decision mortgage at a time.

I saw this coming. I did. My husband is a real estate lawyer and he would come home with tales of refinances that made my head spin. I remember asking him in the late spring of 2007, "What if it all came crashing down at once? Could we have another depression?" He said, "It couldn't happen. There are too many safeguards in the system to allow a total financial collapse."


On a related note, I'll bet this guy sure feels stupid (his book was published in Feb. 2006):


Friday, May 15, 2009

Pretty, Pretty Planters.

Now that the last frost is over everywhere, it is time to get planting (if you haven't already started. I happen to be a season-rusher and have been planting flowers since March).

The beautiful zinc-lined garden containers (in photo on right) are from They are available in 3 sizes: 8x8 for $45; 9-in. square for $75; and 11-in. square for $130. I wish they came a little larger.

I recently ordered 5 of these from Smith and Hawken (4 medium and 1 large):The medium is 15-in. square and the large is 18-in. They're some kind of fiber material and they look great! I planted shiny Green Gem boxwood in two of them and I think Kimberly ferns (similar to that pictured above) will go in the two destined for the beach (or perhaps pink mandevilla, pictured below, which grows like mad at the beach and attracts hummingbirds!).

I still have a large one up north that I can't decide what to plant because it's in the shade (hydrangea? fern?).

Happy planting (or whatever) this weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ebay Birdy Booty.

Snowy Egret

Great Blue Heron

How beautiful are these Audubon prints? I got them from isellart2 on ebay for $65 each. They're giclee prints on beautiful French cotton rag watercolor paper in 22x30 size. They are available in various sizes and they are more beautiful in person.

In the pond behind us at the beach, there is a Snowy Egret habitat - they all swoosh in at dusk every day, about 20 of them. Very cool. A pair of blue herons also makes frequent appearances (I saw them today in fact; I am playing hooky at the beach ;-).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Veranda, June '09

Yes. I am finally over Imperial Trellis. Aren't you proud of me?

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Fodder for Jon Stewart.

I am referring, of course, to the recent brouhaha between Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart where Jon Stewart questions the credibility of CNBC. What? CNBC has a credibility problem? Surely everything that comes out of every mouth on that network is true and good and reliable and you can take it all to the bank (so to speak). Right?

I said, "Right?!"

I mean, right here they are interviewing some true market experts. Where else are you going to get a truer take on the market and current economy than out of the garbled mouth of Kelly Bensimon?

However, I do heart Mark Haines. He is like a breath of truthiness on CNBC. And Erin, because she's from my husband's hometown. And Becky, because she has the ear of the Oracle from Omaha.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from HG 1941.

(click to enlarge)

A Scarlett O'Hara moment from House & Garden where the strawberry chintz curtains dress everyone and everything!

Have a nice day, y'all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Flower Market.

Art by Larry Anderson

The Wilmington Flower Market is this weekend. The event was founded in the 1920s by Mrs. Felix duPont and has been held down the street from me at Rockford Park since 1952.

It is a fundraiser for a variety of children's organizations in Delaware and has raised $4 million since its inception. A local artist is chosen every year to do the artwork for the poster.

I will head over to pick up some plants; there's also a carnival and arts and crafts sale, as well as entertainment. We call it the Mud Market because it inevitably rains every year and it has been raining here for 9 days straight. There seems to be a break today and the sun is out, so if you're in the area, get out while you can.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I love the internets. A little bird from Bravo (thanks, Sade!) read about my fixation with Denis Leary and let me know that he is appearing on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton tonight at 7.

I was going to photoshop Denis Leary's head on this to amuse us:

But I didn't have time. So you'll just have to use your imaginations.

Now, who's old enough to remember the shock and awe this centerfold caused?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Night Confession.

From the time my daughter was small up until about 7th grade, we made May baskets every May Day for our friends' and neighbors' doors.

We would make paper cones and decorate them with little artworks and glitter and hang them with ribbon. We filled them with flowers from our yard (well, mostly :-) and candy and little good fortunes such as you would find in a fortune cookie.

Then we would hang them on our neighbors' doorknobs or gates and ring the doorbells and run.

The last time we made May baskets was when my daughter was in 6th grade; she put one on the gate of our neighbor, Mr. Pierce. Mr. Pierce was an antique; he always wore a suit - even to take a walk. She put the May basket on his gate and he apparently saw her because he showed up at our door and asked if we did it. He said it made him happy and reminded him of his childhood.

I totally whiffed May Day this year and my daughter was too busy (although she had planned to make May baskets) but she did reminisce about how we used to do it and how much fun it was. So, if you have kids, it's a cute, memorable thing to do going forward. I'll try to remind you next year.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


NYTimes photo

I am going to try to tear myself away from painting today to go on the Wilmington Garden Tour.

Click here to go to the NYTimes article to find a tour near you. Let me know if you go and how it was.
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