Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Today was my 7th anniversary at the law firm where I work.

And today the partners announced that the firm is closing and that I only have a job for the next 4 weeks. The partner I work for will sincerely try to take me with him when he finds a place to land, but there are no guarantees.

There are lots of feelings rushing through me -- fear, insecurity, depression -- but the most overwhelming feeling is sadness. You see, while I complain as much as the next guy about work, for the last 4 years I have been lucky -- nay, blessed -- to work for a really decent guy. More than anything, I'm upset that I won't be working for him any more.

Quote of the Day

"People put themselves in boxes. I just label them."

- from the movie Eulogy-

Saturday, February 24, 2007


What a thrilling, moving sound! The world, so quiet and muffled by the thick layer of ice and sleet that lay across the neighborhood,suddenly awakened from its sleep by rumbling, roiling rasping rivers of rage, shaking everything in its path. Shaking the windows. Shaking the dog. Shaking the car alarms. Reminding us of the energy of the universe. How lovely and frightening and fantastic.

I'm going back to bed now. To sleep, perchance to dream.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The whole sordid mess that surrounded the unseemly life and untimely death of Anna Nicole Smith made me sad and embarrassed for her. What a depressing, empty life. I never, in a million years, thought I would ever post about it.

But then I saw this picture of her mother, Virgie Arthur.

I think I can hear the squeak of the polyester pant suit from here. This woman looks like she could hunt bear with a switch. She doesn't make me think she's grieving an unimaginable loss. She looks like she'd bite the head off of anyone who stood between her and a buck-ninety-five. I have no problem believing her daughter wanted nothing to do with her.

Also, doesn't she look like Paul Sorvino in drag? Well, except for the fact that, even with his well-known acting skills, Paul Sorvino has never looked that mean. And he's thinner. And the bags under his eyes are smaller. And he doesn't have that stubble problem above his lips.

Lets face it. Paul Sorvino is far more feminine the Virgie Arthur.

Sorry, Paul. If it's any consolation, I loved you in The Bakers Wife. You totally got rogered out of a Tony.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Having never attended the funeral of a Lutheran from Minnesota, I have never had the opportunity to partake of the Hot Dish. Having perused the recipes easily available on the web, I don't imagine I will be making it any time soon, but I also think that, were I to have the sad misfortune of having to mark the passing into eternity of a man or woman of the Plains, I would eat heartily , enjoy, and be sated.

Today I unloaded a mess of pictures from my camera. One of the down sides of having a memory card that holds more than 20 pictures is that you don't unload the pictures as often, and they can get away from you. Hence this post. It will be the blog equivalent of Hot Dish -- a pedestrian mishmash which, in theory is not recommended, but in the execution is rather bland and not entirely unpleasant.

OK -- let's start. Having recently -- recently being mid-January -- purchased one of these...

... I put back a lovely batch of home-made, home-smoked kielbasa. It was, in my opinion, a touch salty, but Myfanwe loved it.

Not being a sports fan, I did not have any plans for brews, brats, or buds on SuperBowl Sunday. Instead I braved the -30 degree wind chills and hied myself to Loopy Yarns for their Super Bowl party. And who was the first person to great me as I walked in the door? My Beloved Kwiky! Isn't she darling? And a better than average friend, too, making me a luckier than average man.

Loopy was full to the brim with knitting sports enthusiasts...

People who know me know that I am very, very bad with names. Actually, I have a pretty bad memory for just about everything. But I am especially bad with names. Anyway, I ran into this lovely young woman who I have run into on a dozen occasions and who I thoroughly enjoy and whose moss green Clapotis (her Knitting Olympics project) and porcelain skin I admire and who I think is one of the most beautiful and photogenic women I have ever met. If you put a gun to my head I couldn't tell you her name. But she is ever so much fun to be around. You should get to know her.

So, the next ingredient in the Hot Dish would be this Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn. Apparently if you take this...

... and add it to lemon-lime KoolAid...

... or Strawberry Kiwi KoolAid ... end up with this...

And that would be how I got the lime and red yarn that I am going to use to knit a tea cozy. (Thank you to everyone who gave suggestions for patterns...but I have decided to design my own to be knit it in the round.)

And congratulations are in order to my little Love Puffin, Norbert, who turned 10 recently. On the day of we celebrated with dinner, just the three of us. Can you believe this dessert was meant for only three people? The top half of it is whipped cream -- which turns out to be about a quart of whipped cream! Let me tell you, it was divine.

I can't wait for MY birthday. (Realization -- 10 months is too long to wait. Isn't Administrative Professionals Day coming up soon?)

You know the problem with Hot Dish? In three or four days, you're just going to be hungry again.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It is snowing hard here in Chicago -- so hard that the City has shut Lake Shore Drive, the major artery leading to our neighborhood. I had to work late, so Myfanwe took the bus to pick up Norbert, then had to wait in the snow for a bus that never came, forcing them to walk the mile from Norbert's school to our house. The whole process took her 2 hours and 20 minutes. My drive home took over an hour...we arrived home within minutes of each other.

I happen to love snow. I love the way it makes the world look and sound. I like making a pot of tea, curling up in a comfy chair, and knitting. That is how winter nights are supposed to be.

A few days ago I started knitting the cozy on the left out of lovely red and lime yarns I died myself. The colors are quite nice, but I didn't really like the way the pattern knitted -- I've never really enjoyed color work, and this isn't fun color work. When I realized I was knitting too tight and it wasn't going to fit my large teapot, I ripped it back and decided to rethink.

So if anyone knows a good cozy pattern, let me know. And hurry -- before the tea gets cold!

Sunday, February 11, 2007



As an avid knitter, I peruse the feeds from Fashion Week, paying particular attention to the knitwear in every collection. I like to figure out how it was made, if it was hand knit or machine made, and if it was particularly inventive or skillful. Lots of times I am disappointed -- either by the lack of knitwear or the thoroughly pedestrian stuff designers will send out on a model or by the inability of designers to design something that looks good on the human figure.

As I was watching the Chado Ralph Rucci collection, on piece caught my eye. I thought the long knit panel down the front was interesting, and the shrug-like sleeve looked quite fun. It wasn't until I saw a closeup from the back that I recognized the incredible skill that went into making this design, and I hereby bow to its creator.

I am completely in awe. look at the detail. Look at the shaping. Look at how, even at the bottom edge of the garment, where structure is important, Rucci is able to add structure without making it heavy or clunky. Look at how it drapes on the model. ..and how the "v" of the lacing is mirrored in the inverted "v" in the shrug. Look at the knot of hair. Oh, I'm just all gushy.

Just so no one thinks I've gone soft, the following picture made me so happy, I almost wet myself. Again, it's like Christmas. Only this time, instead of a model picking up the shoe, some woman who looked a lot like Diana Ross jumped up on the runway and picked it up.

OK, the resemblance is minimal. Granted, the woman doesn't look like the "Do You Know Where You're Goin' To..." Theme from Mahogany Diana Ross. But if you squint a little, she does looks like the arrested in Connecticut, drunk driving, grocery shopping Ross. Her last album got so little notice, maybe this is what she's doing for attention these days. If so, she should comb her hair.

Friday, February 09, 2007


I have had an epiphanal moment of self-awareness. I am a terrible, terrible person and you should not read any further because I am sure you are far too decent a person to sully yourself with any further association with me.

What brought to my attention that which has been painfully obvious to anyone who has ever met me, you ask?

This picture from the Calvin Klein show at New York Fashion Week.

I don't remember the last time I was this happy! What, you are asking, has brought me such joy? That should be obvious to even the untrained eye. It's the 5" stiletto pump laying in the background! Oh, the rapture! Would that I could have been there to see. Terrible that it distracts from this GORGEOUS coat, which I think is the most elegant, wearable, refined, scrumptious coat I've seen this season. But, now that I have given the coat the appropriate attention, we can return to the shoe! Oh dear. It's like it's Christmas.

Also in the Fall/Winter Calvin Klein collection is this perfectly lovely sweater. It's not as scrumptious as the coat, but that may be because another model had already picked up the shoe. After that it was all down hill.

Badgeley Mishka gave us this ethereal piece. I like everything about this dress. Everything, everything, everything. Well, except that it looks like the models left boob is about 3 sizes bigger than the right. But if your nickname is Lefty...

Vera Wang was a boring disappointment, drawing her inspiration, as she most certainly must have, from Little Edie Beale in Grey Gardens. I was ever so tempted to channel Little Edie, but instead I think I'll put on a one-piece bathing costume and pin a tablecloth to my forehead.

Zac Posen's collection was so boring I couldn't find one picture worthy of a second look. OK, there were a few nice pieces, but nothing to write home about. Except he looked great taking his bow. When I grow up I want to look just like him. He's such a nice Yiddishe kop. Maybe in the fall there will be something worth posting.

That is all for today. Now I can get back to work on my secret tea cozy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007



Michael Kors, Project Runway's answer to Simon Cowell, presented a lovely collection during NY Fashion Week at Bryant Park. Aside from there being a lot of fur, my quibbles are few. But not nonexistent.

Call me sexist, but, much like bustiers, thongs, or miniskirts, the cowl works better on women than on men.

Maybe it's the combination of the belted coat and the cowl, but the outfit makes the model look effete. And I don't think the fabrics of the jacket and the trousers go well together.

Now HERE the cowl works well. I think it makes her look warm and inquisitive and cuddly. And the rest of the outfit is lovely as well. Reminiscent of Anne Welles. (Does anyone get the VOTD reference?) As usual, I want to buy this poor, starving girl a chocolate bar, but the outfit is flawless.

My first thought on seeing the picture above was that the guy looked like a big, walking penis. Uncircumcised. Then I noticed the coat. Lovely. I'm not so sure about the scarf/sash thingy, though, but lovely. Too bad about the foreskin, though.

The gentleman above looks as if he is being eaten by mutant knitwear. Which is a shame, as, again, the coat he is wearing is quite nice.


My first response upon see the above photo? "What will $50 get me, Hooker Smurf?" I'm pretty sure she's looking for Daddy Smurf!

Could this dress be any less flattering? This woman looks like an anorexic socialite accidentally stumbled onto the runway after a 3 martini breakfast. Do you think a fifth of vodka (or bourbon, or Scotch for that matter) would fit in that handbag? Or maybe a barf bag? I'm sure that would come in handy. Krikey.

Monday, February 05, 2007



I have reported several times on this blog -- and many times to anyone crazy enough to stand still long enough for me to begin my tirade -- that designers of quality knitwear for men and, to a lesser extent women, were an extinct race. My opinion was based on extensive observation and a thorough review of current literature. (Someone occasionally leaves copies of Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair and GQ in our lunch room.)

Are you sitting down?

I was wrong.

Designers of quality knits are not extinct, just mighty, mighty rare. Still on the endangered list, to be sure, but I know for a fact they exist. For evidence of this shocking revelation one need look no further than to the Fall/Winter '07 Perry Ellis collection. With this sublime collection Jerry Kaye, Perry Ellis' creative director, ascends to the pantheon of immortal designers.

A man more erudite than I would look at these photos and wax poetic about cables, ocean spray, hay rack rides, classic looks, masculine lines, seductive silhouettes, etc. They might even throw in words like transcendence or captivating or yummy. Me? I have two words.

Me likey.

Me likey, likey, likey the sweater pictured above. And below. And the one after that. And the one after that. And so on. They are are, for lack of more eloquent words, magically delicious.


What on earth was Cathy Pill thinking? It looks like this woman is walking down a runway wearing the Great Pumpkin's uterus.

Judging from her bony chest, the waif weighs all of 73 pounds and possibly had her arms removed to loose the last 8 pesky pounds. As impossible as it seems, Cathy Pill has managed to send this stick figure down a runway in the only sweater on earth that could make her look like a fatty boombalatty. (I'm hearing Tim Gunn's voice in my head..."But Nina, I wanted her to look like she had a big fat ass!") Someone should buy this poor girl a french fry and report Cathy Pill to The Hague, cuz' this thing is a crime against humanity.


Just so no one thinks I am on the Perry Ellis payroll (though Jerry, my good man, I could use a new Aran in an XXL!) I present the following.

The mystical qualities of the balance of the collection aside, no one can be "on" all the time, and man, oh man, were they off on this one. Did someone steal his pants? Tell me -- do you know anyone who, when putting together an ensemble, would consider stepping out of the house wearing a cardie, a pair of long underwear, and a pair of suede bucks? I'm sure his mother told him to aways wear clean undies, but I'm also fairly certain she meant under trousers, not in lieu of them. Isn't he afraid his bits are going to poke out the y-front? (Although, given the bunchy, baggy thing going on in front, maybe the model Hasn't anyone at Perry Ellis watched the Shrinkage episode of Seinfeld?)

Anyway, while the shoes match the sweater in a way that gives me goose bumps, this guy is still walking around in his undies.


Thanks to Franklin, I have found a new way to occupy my (almost nonexistent) free time. I've been cataloguing my books using And, thanks to librarything, I have added the nifty little voyeur doodad on the sideboard that gives you a random look at books in my collection.