Blinded By the Blight

Attention, New Jersey readers! I don’t actually know anything (think of how many posts I could I start this way?)   but it looks to me as though the Garden State Arts Center, or whatever they are calling themselves now, is putting up one of those 1 billion watt digital billboards.

the better to blind you with, my dears!

Light pollution! Have you seen those things? Even from a far distance, it’s like having a flashbulb go off right in your face. (Question: do they still make flashbulbs?) Not only do they sear your retinas, but they are beguilingly animated. You cannot escape the attraction – it’s like watch TV but with temporary vision damage and the potentail to rear-end the guy in front of you.

I guess this is why we can’t use our cellphones while driving because we have to save ourselves for  crashes due to inattention caused by these. What a country.

Incorrect Usage of “Third World”

One of the blogs I never miss is called Today I Found Out. Brain food articles! My arsenal of awesome cocktail chatter topics has increased at least three-fold since I started reading this. My only regret is that, with notable exception, my cocktail buddies are not interested in brain food but would rather put in a second shift with a blow-by-blow rehashing of the work day. That makes happy hour somewhat less happy then it should be.

Today I found out  The Term “Third World Country” Refers to the Political and Economic Structure of a Country, Not Its Developmental State or Wealth. Now I also know what First, Second and Forth World means.

Other things I’ve found out at this site:

  • What causes red hair
  • Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t short
  • The difference between what S.O.S. means and what S.O.S. in SOS brand scrubs pads means
  • cats aren’t afraid of bears
  • Twinkies are only good for 25 days

I won’t link these fascinating finds – go to the site and scroll through the archives or select by topic. Bonus: the pictures chosen to accompany each topic are quite clever. I have no doubt you’ll find something of interest to you there.

Then meet me for cocktails.

No We Won’t

Where in the world is World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama since she came back from her romantic getaway in Asheville? We haven’t seen hide nor hair of her since she got back – not even any mention of her during her husband’s food and farm tour of Iowa this week.

At first, I thought it might be because she was getting new hair pieces sewn on after appearing in public with out them. All she can muster on her own is a beguiling horse’s rear end look. But  looking at this photo made me realize that the weather was rainy then and not at all conducive to playing golf. Must have been a huge disappointment to Barry, who was looking forward to that so much. You know how he gets all pissy when he doesn’t get what he wants. Now I’m thinking he was trapped in a  hotel room with her yapping about all the fat kids she has to hug and maybe trying to get him to hula hoop in the corridor to pass the time and he was in a snit because he brought his clubs and all and then he just blew up and clocked her.

How long does it take for a black eye to go away?

That was just a joke.

No way would he come out unbruised after a go round with her.

Anyway, not only is she out of sight this week, but she’s also planning to stay that way. She’s not going to her 25th class reunion at Princeton, either.

Obama ’85 will not attend 25th reunion

” … Obama’s press secretary, said in an e-mail that the first lady’s scheduling office has sent a formal letter of regret to the University explaining that Obama will not be able to attend.” The Daily Princetonian

The comments there are better than the article.

  • I hope she has a great weekend tending her stupid anti-fat people garden. I say we get Sotomayor ’76 back a year early–I can tell she likes to party.
  • Of course she’s not coming….last thing the Obamas want right now is to reinforce their “ivy league” image
  • Why would she embrace the WASP culture that is so throughly ingrained when she is a proud black woman from the south side of chicago?

Bless Me Readers For I Have eBayed Again

In my defense, it’s been raining for 2 days and I got a really good deal. Anyway, I was in great need a strong focal point for the only wall with any surface to speak of in my yellow kitchen that’s in search of a personality. Get ready to focus:

forbidden fruit by vera neumann for mikasa


It’s Vera, people. The very one. THE Vera.

Here’s the thing: I’ve accepted that I’m bent on recreating my past – not my actual dreary, pitiful and impoverished past, but “building the past I should have had” would be a better way to describe it. I declare right now that I am giving up the 40s and 50s, skipping right over most of the 60s and taking the 70s full on.

I know where my platform shoes are, but where did I put my Qiana shirt?

I don’t recall why I was such a naysayer of Mikasa – in hindsight, they seem to have really had it going on. I guess I thought they were twee when I was trying with all my being to be sophisticated. Imagine it – 20 years old, Wilkes-Barre via Hackensack and landed alone in Manhattan. I was all about the black and white minimalism then.

Reflections on Disco Tex and the Sexolets coming any day now.

Unexplained Dermopathy Explained By Joni Mitchell

Ever since I heard that Joni Mitchell is suffering from Morgellons, I think I might have it, too.

“I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it’s from outer space …Fibers in a variety of colors protrude out of my skin like mushrooms after a rainstorm: they cannot be forensically identified as animal, vegetable or mineral …In America, the Morgellons is always diagnosed as “delusion of parasites,” …” Joni Mitchell

Morgellons, huh? Apparently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been investigating for quite some time now. I find myself quite am offended by that because the CDC and I are LIKETHIS  In fact, fully half of the tweets I follow are verified CDC entities. (I hear that FluGov was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that one-stop access to US Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information. It’s good to see you!) – and yet, I didn’t know.

I hear you asking yourself  “How else is Suzette like Joni Mitchell?” I made an E-Z Reference Guide for you:

Feel free to ask me if there are any other things that Joni Mitchell and I might have in common. I’d be glad to answer.


the dog is ill-amused

Rain again. And I was in the home stretch of furniture painting, too. Well, in lieu of enjoying photos of a deck full of lovely coordinated and cushioned seating groups, we’ll have a tutorial on how to date vintage wooden patio  furniture.

As you know, one of my little interests is rescuing abandoned wooden patio pieces. My collection currently includes specimens from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Here’s how to tell what’s what. Please note that my collection is of a certain type. It does not include fancy teak “Matisse” benches or rough Appalachian-style tree trunk and twig stuff.

Heft. The cedar or -heaven forfend! redwood – used in older furniture is much lighter than the pine or wotnot used in later years.If you pick up a piece and its heavier than you expected, it’s newer.

Back support. The back slats tell the story. The 60s piece here has thick, flat slats, about 2 1/2″ x 3/8″. The Jack ‘n Jill is from the 70s and has 1″ rounded dowels that  fit into a 1″ opening . The 90s chairs have 3 /4″ square dowels but narrow down to a 3/8″ circle that fits into a drilled hole in the upright post and are then nailgunned from the side.

80s(l), 70s(c), 60s(r).

Construction. The bolts are sunken on the 70s piece as opposed to protruding from a drilled guide hole on the 80s chair. Probably more to do with the manufacturer and the quality of the furniture than the age. In general, the wood is thicker (but lighter in weight) on older pieces.

Arms. The difference in color is the varying layers and ages of the paint. If it wasn’t raining today it would all be finished and look the same.

Style. Observe the chair arms: on the 80s chair, just cut off 2x4s. On the 70s J’nJ, the arms are more broad and have rounded edges. The front is wider than the rear. On the 60s chair, routing adds interest to broad arms. There’s even a hint of angled shaping on the legs. The cross piece on the front of the 60s chair has a decorative shape; again with the cut 2×4 on the 80s chair.

newest / oldest

But when it’s all finished in the same color, holding up cushions and surrounded by flowers, no one is going to scrutinize it or notice any difference. The thing that will leave the impression is your enormous good taste and eye for style.

While you’re painting, it might seem like a good idea to paint some pieces in accent colors but you can see that when you have competition for the eye from flowers, cushions and different surfaces like wood, clay and iron, the one color will serve as a unifying canvas.

So right now ’tis the season now for finding these treasures out on trash heaps. If you are so inclined, know that they have seen better days – people are throwing them out for a reason – often need repair or reinforcing or downright replacement parts. Whenever Sami takes anything apart, he reinforces the bolts with washers and he’s braced some stubbornly wobbly arms and legs with metal brackets.

bolts and brackets

These are benches that Sami made out of regular #2 pine.  It’s typical Sami style – more function than form and reinforced to within an inch of it’s life. He would have been good building prisons or bank vaults because he believes that design means structural strength and that’s the end of it.  These legs have given it up after many years of standing in rain and snow and had to be replaced outright.

dog butt not for sale

But you know, we’re dealing with wood that has been outside for decades. Sometimes the patient just can’t be saved. When that happens, you have to acknowledge the service it gave, harvest any usable parts, and then kiss it goodbye. And then start making the rounds on garbage day looking for more.

Morning and afternoon of the same day. The rare and beloved rocker looked so good but was rotten through and through. Better to give it up than let a guest crash to the floor.

all furniture finished in Behr Semi-Solid Deck Stain in “Evergreen” tint

The Week In MOO

This week, World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™ Michelle Obama flashed her cooch at a group of children and then gave it a little scratch.

graceful first lady or disgrace for any lady?

But what could it all mean? In light of these disturbing  photographs, the weekend trip being billed as a romantic getaway for the sexy romantic cool healthy fit first couple may be merely a cover story  for some stealth testing of some forthcoming elements of the new Obamacare. Oh, you think that these two will have some kind of gold-plated full-coverage super medical care while the rest of us are standing in front of the Death Panels? Nope – THEY’RE JUST LIKE THE REST OF US. REGULAR PEOPLE!

Imagine what a coup it will be if MOO will able to cure that pesky yeast infection by ingesting sweet tea and exposing that cooch to some fresh mountain air. Don’t even need a doctor! She’ll be the poster girl for physician-free Obamacare. And this is the poster:

let's move, asshat

MOO is also taking the opportunity to air out her head (be nice) by taking a vacation from her wighat. Here she is arriving in NC wearing her own hair.

knob and blob

I have to give her credit – she is consistent. Here she comes into camera view and you exhale in relief because you think “OK, it’s not flattering, but at least it’s all one color and how can you screw up a tunic and leggings?” and then BAM she turns sideways and you see she has added a horse’s tail made of nylon netting.

Reader poll:

Back to that hair:

write your own punchline