In Which I Amuse Myself


I’m exhausted from work work work so I’m taking a day off today.  I’m going to be driving to Philadelphia.  BFD, amirite? Well, yes actually it is. It is because I make it so.

My route takes me over the Ben Franklin Bridge, which I privately think  of as the BFB. When ever I see signs approaching the BFB, I mentally shout at myself BFD! BFD! And when I’m actually driving over it, I congratulate myself for having pulled off such a BFD.

I really need this day off.



Safe at home. The entire trip was accomplished under dark skies through intermittent rain accompanied to a classic radio sound track heavy on KC and the Sunshine Band. No one should have to suffer like that. The experience was only slightly mitigated by the sight of forsythia blooming alongside every highway. Wasn’t a bad day at all.

3 Things About My Decorating Project. Maybe 4.

1. You see the problem with that “mantle” ledge. Calls for extreme cleverness in decorative accessories. FYI – that horse not only has a penis but also testicles. Might be too much realism for a early morning blog photo.

Go right to the source and ask the horse. He'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.

2. Have I mentioned that I’m going to do a “treatment” to the fireplace bricks? I saw it on an HGTV show years ago and can’t find any kind of internet reference to it now. To the best of my recollection, it involves using the wall paint and sponging it lightly onto most of the bricks, dry brushing streaks of it onto some others, and then full coverage paint on the fewest number of bricks. I hope I got that right. Can’t remember if you do it straight onto the natural brick or if there’s a coat of light primer that goes down first.

3. Here are some candleholders (candles not yet installed) with a tree-trunk pattern carved into them.  Sort of rustic; sort of “realistic” if the trees you are thinking of are in the background of a Yogi Bear cartoon.  They were a superfantastic bargain at Tuesday Morning. I did have to hunt through the shelves of the entire store to find a second one, so the thrill of the hunt and all that might have overridden my gut instinct to go with knobby/turned lathe kind of sticks that I set out to find.

Meh. Not in love with them. I might not use these after all.

4. I grow weary of testing out paint samples. I’m going with a Martha Stewart color called Pongee which coincidentally is the exact color I already had on the adjoining laundry and powder rooms.


Him and Her


Dead eyes. This is your president on tranquilizers.

If, as so many headlines today are declaring, Obama’s address to the nation explaining America’s kinetic military action in Libya was a bit muddled, let Twitter explain it to you:

Caleb Howe is my new hero.


I'm not saying she's got the Little Eye here but I am saying she seems to be looking in two different directions at once.

As previously noted, World Famous Fashion Icon and Busy Mom™  Michelle Obama’s new stylist has a new strategy: focusing on boob enhancement to distract from her other less attractive body parts. Last week, we tried painting on a cleavage stripe to give the impression of large boobs; this week we celebrate our flapjackness. Love how the empty fabric of the dress caves in on the top, the bottom and the sides to really bring home the message that there’s no there there. Her chin has more curves than her bosom. Can’t wait to see what next week brings.

The Big Reveal…or…You Had Me At Seaside Heights

And the mystery genius decorating item is:

LARGE 10″ X 14″ VINTAGE 1950’s COPPER TONE METAL HORSE. For sale is a Large 10 X 14″ vintage 1950’s Copper Tone Metal Horse that was won on the Boardwalk at Seaside Heights, N.J. in the late 50’s by my uncle. The Horse is the real deal in VERY VERY GOOD CONDITION with original Chain. (Suzette says: “This is not my actual item – mine has an unbroken chain – this is just a better picture so that you can see all the detail, including the anatomical correctness.”)

It’s a carnival horse – so-called because these were given away as carnival prizes beginning in the 1940s. I imagine that it’s possible that they could still be found at western type shows like rodeos, events and certain state fairs but I don’t know for sure. If they are, I’m sure they’re not as crisply detailed as these oldies are.  Both Jersey guy Jim PRS and Linda in Michigan got it right except for their visualizations of the horse being attached to its own clock. I know Jim’s been a round a few carnival games in his time so I’m not surprised that he figured it out but I guess Linda has a bit of the boardwalk in her as well.

I remember seeing these in my childhood but none as big as this. Most I remember were about 6″ tall. It must have been some masterful ring-tossing or air rifle-shooting that won something this magnificent. I completely love this thing.

You people! And your ideas! You make me want to look for things with clocks in their bellies and now my internal narrative is all pine cone pine cone pine cone. If I can only conquer my indecision about the wall color, we could move forward. Let me tell you something – those little $3 paint pot color samples at Home Depot are both a blessing and curse.

Still Life With Paint Samples

Ok it doesn’t look like much now but give the idea time to grow on you. I know the copper horse might be a little bit off-putting, but in the overall context it’s going to be great.

Now remember that my decorating theme for this room is Craftsman Style Meets American West Plus Pine Cones And A Big Clock. So there’s your big clock. The American West is going to be represented not only by the horse but also at least one or two vintage posters of Yosemite or Yellowstone. Pine cones because PINE CONES!!!1! And the Craftsman-style element won’t be rush to buy repro Mission furniture*, but rather by employing elements of that style: oak, leather, copper,  the hallmark colors.

The room is small with an awkward layout – there’s not a single solid wall.It can’t take much “decorating” so I have to choose each representational element carefully. It’s really meant to be a place for Sami sit at his new (second-hand) big ass desk, where he will cover it with piles of bills and supermarket circulars but it’s far from the room where the big ass TV is and he can’t shout at the cable news from 3 rooms away so he’s getting a smaller tv for this room.*

* Although, maybe I will.

**I recognize the irony that the den used to be the TV room until we bought the big ass TV and got dizzy from sitting in front of the enormous screen at close range so we had to move everything into the biggest room on the first floor.

International Newspapers Scoop the U.S.

Why is it that we have to turn to the foreign newspapers for hard-hitting investigation? Once again, the British press scoops the American free press with important information – this time, about what’s in Hillary’s handbag.

now she’s carrying around TWO pink handbags

“Chilli flakes, mineral water spray, a medical kit, mesh bags, make-up and some photographs in case of autograph requests are among the items that reside in Mrs Clinton’s purse, according to her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. They comprise a partial list of essentials”

Okay. I have a couple of questions.

(1) Huma Abedin is her deputy chief of staff? Didn’t she retire from the Hillary business when she married dashing NY state representative Anthony Weiner? Seems to me that it would be a 24/7 job to be the Mrs. to that great catch (Gag, pretend, barf. Gag, pretend, barf. etc.).

(2) All of a sudden HRC is all about pink? I don’t believe I’ve even seen an image of her dressed in pink, accessorized with pink, carrying pink or even standing near pink until last month’s revelation in Harper’s Bazaar that she “adores” her hot pink Ferragamo bag.

(3) And handbags? As you know, I’ve made it my business to scour the internet for evidence of Hillary with a handbag, and there was none until the aforementioned article. Now not only are they releasing information about HRC’s bags, but we are getting in-depth information about what’s inside her bag?

This bears watching. Something is going on.

I am grateful though for my own ability to put 2 and 2 together. Information gleaned from this article solves the mystery about the limp and unattractive hairdos Hill’s been sporting lately. Now that we know she carries around  “refreshing mineral water spray”, it does look as though her hair got doused. Maybe she refreshes herself with a  little mineral water mist before every public appearance.

Decorating Genius – Clue #5

Today’s clue about the genius decor item concerns the age: it’s from the 50s. Things of this type started appearing in the 40s but I know from the reported history by the eBay seller that this specific one was acquired new in the 50s. I’d be surprised if there were still news ones coming into the market – I can’t really imagine that there are because it’s a passé kind of thing but I don’t really frequent the types of places where a person could find out.

The big reveal happens at 11pm ET tonight so make your last guesses now.

Our game so far:

  • Overall Decor Theme: Craftsman Style Meets American West Plus Pine Cones And A Big Clock
  • Venue: eBay
  • Dimensions: 10 ” high x 14″ long x 3 1/2″ wide
  • Material: 5 pounds of metal
  • Color: copper
  • Form: animal
  • Age: ~60 years old

Commenter guesses:

  • a big clock
  • an aquarium made from glass block
  • a boob belt
  • a flat-back snow globe
  • pine cone basket
  • street sign/road sign
  • wreath made of cast-iron pine cones
  • replica of a miniature working gin mill
  • a big ass tray / bucket
  • Michelle’s latest bra
  • a doll made to look like Moo
  • Mrs O’s new wristwatch
  • George Hamilton’s thigh
  • a giant magnolia-bloom-copper-clad brooch
  • a copper-colored plate or tray
  • a grandfather / cuckoo-type clock with those hanging gadgets that look like metal pine cones
  • metal horse with embedded clock on its side
  • a lawn deer
  • a moose vase
  • a cast iron deer, standing on pine cones with a clock embedded in it’s tummy
  • owls and bears cuckoo clock
  • a piggy bank
  • Stedman
  • metal horse, with saddle and reins, standing next to a clock
  • a weather vane
  • large copper owl/deer/raccoon with clock in belly
  • a copper stag with a clock between its antlers with pine cones scattered all around, all around
  • a copper casting of a corgi that looks exactly like Stedman
  • a big copper tray
  • a coppery colored, free formed, mid century modern wall vase
  • a coppery Sputnik clock, pine cones on the points

Reflections On The Culture

I may have told you this before, but I have have very specific taste in media consumption. As far as books go, I’m a total snob. I don’t read things marketed as detective stories, romances or mysteries. And it is a point of pride with me that I never have and never will read one word of anything Harry Potter. I have my own selections, new and classic, that draw me and I sneer at other people’s pedestrian choice of reading material.

On the other hand, my choices for TV watching are trashy and getting trashier by the moment. There was a time when my two go-to shows were Judge Judy and COPS. Looking back on it, I was classy then. I scan the channel guide for reruns of Wife Swap. My current crop of favorites are things like Toddlers In Tiaras, (some) Real Housewives and Enough Already! with Peter Walsh. Occasionally if I feel so moved, I sit through an episode of  It’s Me Or The Dog.

But now I am at the bottom of the barrel. Don’t hate me when you read the next sentence.

I watched the season finale of Jersey Shore.

I started watching here and there this season, but I knew all about it before I started. GTL, DTF, smushing, gorilla juiceheads – everything. My Martini Night partner has a 21- year old daughter who is obsessed with the show and because my partner honestly believes that the sun rises and sets in that girl, she as the mother is all wrapped up in it, too. Believe me, there is not a single Martini Night that does include some eye-popping revelation such as the time the family went out to dinner and afterwards the girl begged her father to turn left to the Shore instead of right to go home so that they could go look at the t-shirt shop on the boardwalk. The father did it. Or when they (mother and daughter) fix their hair up into a big Snooki bump and put on  thick eyeliner to watch the show*.

Jersey Shore is kind of a comfort to watch. It’s the same thing every time. They eat standing up using their hands, the kitchen sink is full of dishes and the bedrooms are littered with worn clothing. They dress up, check if their coochies are hanging out then call cabs and go clubbing, where they get drunk and fall. Sammi and Ronnie fight then sit on upholstered furniture outside in the humid open air. The sameness is a thing that you can count on.

There’s a  theory that the reason our society is so consumed with celebrity gossip is that we no  longer have long-established traditional neighborhoods with real life characters to observe and bond us together by discussing their life events and peccadilloes. Manys the  times my mother’s neighbor rushed in through the back door to breathlessly ask Did you hear about Helen? or to inform her that Lenny was so drunk he couldn’t even walk home. Celebrity watching takes the place of that now. We observe, we comment and we share. And now the people of TV reality shows are stand-ins for our neighbors.

So on the finale, the kitchen was  a mess,  their coochies hung out but they didn’t care, they danced and got drunk, Sammi and Ronnie had a fight and then summer was over and they all went back to from whence they came.

There’s a whole roiling subtext of ethnic stereotypification, gender-based double standards for social behavior and some unmistakable signals that domestic abuse is just over the horizon. Just like the good old days!

*Actually, I love this kind of thing. Don’t hate.