Saturday, February 25, 2006

Quail Hunting

The White House releases previously classified photographs of Harry Whittington, Vice President Cheney's hunting companion.*

*Cartoon rejected by The New Yorker two weeks ago. (Was funnier then.)

Saturday at the Museum

Wear this delicate silk tunic, covered in palm trees, cinched with a narrow, purple suede belt. Pair with sheer blue hose and deeper blue suede pumps. The bag this very second has a v. long strap. Operating principle: ladylike, but with a weird color palette.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Back From Portland!

We are very bossy, always giving out a flood of unwanted advice, telling people what to wear this very second, how to meet men to fall in love with, rearrange the apartment, become a rock star, etc. But some things can't be handed out in words. For instance, we could describe all the benefits of a trip to Portland, to no effect. You must actually go. If you are sad, stuck, bored, lonely, or nervous: go on a trip this week! (Even if just a bike ride to the edge of town.) Jason Warshof, scholar of secondary American cities, totally gets this. He dragged us, one rainy Sunday not long ago, to Newark for an unguided walking tour. Our grandfather, William Sanders, who turns 89 today, also knows the mysterious power in unguided journeys--to overgrown Appalachian cemeteries, river banks where his and other people's ancestors farmed centuries ago, dusty courthouses. He insists on seeing for himself, even into the past.

When a New Yorker hangs out in Portland for five days, she can see that New York City is a not a giant dome of neon ambition enclosing her soul like an serrated iron vice (oh, the materials science research that goes into this site!), but just another rectangle on google maps. In Portland we ate mushroom pie in the darlingest apartment you ever saw, biked through wide, rainy streets, went to a club crowded with nervous twenty-somethings, and dined at Amber Bell's place. Amber quilts maps onto small squares of cloth. Here's thirty city blocks of Portland. See the two-inch green muslin park?

We flew home in a window seat: The cars below were too small even to be toys (a choking hazard). Several automobiles got stuck under our fingernails. Whole lakes like sequins, rivers like silver threads, or slenderest, glinting lines of shrew drool. And do those farmers know how perfectly square they've managed to make their alfalfa fields? Do the Iowans know how flat they're living? Just outside Chicago there's marshland shaped just like a man with his mouth open. "Hey, you, move your farm slightly to the left, and plant golder crops."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fashion Quotient Quiz

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Choose an outfit (hat, top, skirt, boot) from the list below.

Answer Key:
If you selected
Where are you going? Well, you are a funky sweetheart and may be three months pregnant. The matching of the hat buttons to the boots is a bit much, and that skirt is so last fall.

People don't take you seriously. Take up weekly meditation.

You are a sexpot and a teenager. You probably love animals. Invest in a good black blazer.

Very elegant. You love the beach and keeping secrets. You are tall. Lose yourself in enthusiasm and spontaneous laughter.

Very clever. We love you.

We love that gap between your goofy skirt and those little yellow boots. You are an athlete, right?

You think you're so cool, and you're partly right, due to your skinniness. Nice walk.

Adorable! You like boardgames. Work on being more aggressive in the face of bossy people.

You are a goofball.

Did you lose all your belongings in a recent housefire?

Punk rock. But underneath it all, you are a little princess, right?

You don't care much about clothes. Maybe you are gorgeous and know that it doesn't much matter what you wear.

You often ruin a perfectly fabulous outfit with bad shoes. Attention to detail, pumpkin.

jeesh! How many possible combinations ARE there? To be continued....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

When Apologizing

Those all in a huff at the Vice President's circuitous route to apology--"Ultimately, I am the guy who owned the finger that pulled the trigger of the French-made weapon that fired the round that hit Harry."--should give him more credit. He was, after all, wearing a hair suit at the time of his confession. So if he didn't sound contrite enough, know that beneath that suit, his chest was itching like crazy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On St. Valentine's Day

Dear Jeepers:

My boyfriend says that our preoccupation with Valentine's gifts for women is symptomatic of our culture's skewed perception of romantic love. Why don't I give him flowers and chocolates for a change, he says. (I think he forgot to buy me anything.) Last year he gave me a hood bra for my car. That was sort of romantic.

My questions are these: What can I give him tonight that will prove I don't have a skewed view of romantic love, and 2) what should I wear to dinner?

With thanks,
Julie Snow

Dear Ms. Snow:

Some gift ideas:
1) A book of Robert Bly poems. For instance, Friends, You Drank Some Darkness, his translation of three Swedish poets.
A sample goes,

A Dreamt Poem

Her cheeks are like butterfly wings and the pale stuff
stays behind in the insides of my hands.
Her fingers are flute-like and her skin like the mother-
of-pearl cloak in the womb of the oyster.
Only an astrologer with a pointed hat could read the
future in her insides which are filled with
Wrapped in leaping clouds of glowing stuff and
fluttering fringes of cloth the formless
unformed body blazes forth under the
indistinct bindings of sleep.

In other words, girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

2) A sketch, by you, of yourself mostly naked, lying on a cloud of pink petals.
3) The most hi-tech shaver you can find, with at least five blades. (Although it's not really auspicious to give cutting implements.)
4) A kitten.
5) A small pewter bowl for his keys.

You should wear something flowy, but dressed down. Slouchy and pretty are our watchwords to you. And feather boa, that's another watchword.

Happy V Day,

Thursday, February 09, 2006

But Don't TALK About Your Cat Too Much

Back when we served in the U.S. Army, we often skipped our shift at the motor pool to watch C-SPAN, including all of the Anita Hill hearings before the judiciary committee. That was when we fell hard for Arlen Specter, who is still the man. He has principles, you know?

The principle guiding this week's best look is "What would my cat like me to wear?"

Try one of these outfits today. Note that they all satisfy a cat's penchant for solid colors, wool and cashmere, and judicious use of dangly/bouncing/sparkling ornamentation. Also, they all look cozy.