Fashion Advice

lkI’m getting ready to go out and I just put on two knee-highs of different colors and I don’t even care. But it made me remember back to a time when knee highs were something new and they were more stockingish and less disposable. I read somewhere – Hints From Heloise* or a fashion advice column in Seventeen magazine – that if you had a bunch of mismatched knee-highs you could boil them together and they’d all come out the same color.  I did that at least once  . I don’t remember if this technique actually worked but I do remember that one knee high touched the dry rim of the metal sauce pan and burned up. These days I do my best to select two of the same brand and color from the snake’s nest that all my knee highs have gathered themselves into, but if I can’t do that or if I’m in a mood where that’s too much effort, I just go with whatever two I come across first.

*I was never much of a Heloise fan but I went along with it just so I could stay on top if the pop culture homemaking tips of the day, (even though I was a teenager) (I think I was a teen ager). But then when I found out that she had two dogs named Zinfandel and Sauvignon, I had to ditch her because that was far too twee to be tolerated.

Halloween Is Coming The Goose Is Getting Fat

Until today, I would have put my money on Hitchbot being the most popular Halloween costume this year. But now I see there’s going to be a Bruce Jenner As Caitlin costume. Game changer! Anyway, as soon as the Hitchbot thing started to veer away from the popular narrative of Reviled Americans Killing Adorable Robots, the press seems to have lost interest in promoting the Hitchbot saga. I have unanswered questions:

  • Did the corpse of Hitchbot make it back to Canada?
  • What was Kevin Smith’s involvement in this thing?
  • How did the headless Hitchbot get to Brooklyn to pose with him after it was announced that the headless but still adorable robot was on his way home via Rhode Island?
  • Why was the offer from some Philadelphia tech geeks to repair the damage completely unacknowledged?
  • Where are the copycat pranksters? Doesnt everyone have access to 5 gallon buckets, pool noodles and Playtex Living Gloves?

Anyway, a leopard print dress, some size 11 pumps, a bad wig and You Are Cait. Hardly interesting.

How easy would it be to concoct a Hillary Costume this year? One of those black and white striped prisoner suits, some chunky jewelry and a fistful of otherwise blank papers with only From The Desk of Hillary Rodham Clinton printed across the top. As soon as someone looks at you, pull out a cloth, wipe the papers and simultaneously pop your eyes and shrug your shoulders. 

[Ed. note: I am killing myself with the funny here.]

And what if you had a couple of girlfriends to accompany you?  A blond wig, some fake buck teeth and a set of Hulk hands – instant Chelsea. What would be a better costume for the Thelma to Hilary’s Louise – a pair of shades and a burrito bowl? Or would something that showcases her moslem brotherhood connection be better? Say, a burka and a designer bag?


I’m really looking forward to Halloween this year.

Writing Every Day

I had this idea that i’d be able to write a daily update here – not a big think piece or a Hillary In hiding piece, but just  a daily update. So I made soem notes for myself and wow am I boring. Here’s what I’ve got:

  •  Eating a hot dog for breakfast. Subtopic: making my own NYC pushcart onions
  • That time my uncle the priest was sick and I made him some low-sodium chicken soup for his special diet and it was so gross and he never said boo about it  but he did throw it away without eating any and my lingering resentment about the whole thing
  • Pondering the Angry Chicken recipe I saw on TV

That’s the cream of the crop. I won’t even mention all the lesser ideas. anyway, I never got around to doing daily updates, so here is the week in summary:

Every time I plant a flower in my garden, the act puts pressure on my knee in a different way and I can only manage to put in about 6 flowers before I have to quit and then my knee is shot for the rest of the day. signed, Susie Sunshine

Also I’m stress shopping on the internet. Pocket books. I’m not buying anything – yet. But I can tell that I am dangerous close.

Also, confession: I have fallen for the whole Pandora bracelet thing. That’s me – three years behind the trends.


I Just Drove Back From Baltimore And Boy Are My Crab Cakes Tired

It was a big meeting full of blowhards. Of which I am one.

Early arrival the evening before meant time to scope out the local crab cake scene. Had two giant and delicious ones at a modest family restaurant attached to a Ramada Inn. Then came a group dinner at a fancier well-known crab house where the crab cakes were just as big but even more delicious and more expensive.

Not enough room for the side dishes. A single crab cake took up all the dinner plate real estate.

Since this was a business dinner, I had to stay sharp which means I had to forego my customary bottomless martini glass. So in summary: Crab cake levels are up; cocktail levels are down.

Speaking of shellfish …
Without confessing too much about my customary television watching habits, let’s just say that I became familiar with the bombastic creations of Sondra Celli through the American version of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. There’s one particular piece that I cannot stop thinking about and that is the Lobster Dress that she made for Miss Maine to wear in the 2013 Miss America pageant.
sondra celli lobster dress miss maine
“We really went to town on the shoes. We wanted people to see them and have a heart attack,” said Sondra Celli, the Boston designer who outfitted the sea-inspired look

Love at first sight. What you can see of the ensemble here is most enchanting – the big ruffled skirt, the bead work on the bodice  that has not just rhinestones but real shells and clear acrylic beads that look like water droplets, the headpiece that looks like a live lobster tangled up in a net with shells and seaweed, the sandy-bottom lighthouse heeled shoes … It is not an exaggeration to  use the word fabulous here. Click the pic to get a real eyeful. But! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Look at the back:

The lobster tail train is created with boning and wire bends and folds like a crustacean. “We went to bed dreaming … ‘What can I do to this to make it look like a gown?’” said Celli. And this is her genius. Most people would look at a gown and think “What can I do to make this look like a lobster?” Sondra’s looking at a lobster and picturing it as a gown.


 My favorite part is the tail fins that drag on the floor. You can see them better in B&W:
bw tailfins
I’m past the prime ballgown-wearing stage of my life but I’m telling you right now, if I should ever go to a  pageant, a ball or get up on stage for anything, I am going straight to Sondra Celli for something outrageous and blingy. Like, I could be a big sparkly pieorgi or maybe a Meyer lemon tree with Christmas lights embedded in the train and a tiara made of fragrant and shiny green leaves and blossoms. Something that reflects the inner me. Maybe something queen-like done  up in shimmering  aqua and adorned with  ice cubes and my golden hair is done up to resemble twisted lemon peel.

The Diminishment of America, Sequin Department

People, are you aware of what is going on with sequins? It’s not good.

The thing about sequins is that they are super glittery and a big pain to apply. But that’s what makes them special. Look at these pictures. Traditional sequins are faceted for maximum sparkle and they are firmly attached by either sewing them on or sticking them through the center hole with a straight pin that has been threaded with a small bead and dipped in glue.*

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Well, hang onto your hats because you won’t believe what has happened in the sequin biz. Take a look at what passes for a sequin these days:

Aren’t you disgusted? I am.

The modern sequin is half the size of the traditional one, is flat not faceted, has more hole than surface, is sparkle-deficient and is randomly glued onto things. I suspect some kind of air- blast method of application. They start out with less than full coverage – the background material is visible between sequins – and then as you use the item or even just  touch it, they fall off.

I blame China.

This is one more area of reduced quality in consumer goods. Don’t even get me started about paillettes!  These small things add up, people, and wear a person down. I don’t know how much more I can take.


* I know this because one of my great life accomplishments is that I once made three  Xmas ornaments that looked like Ferroro Rocher candies, life- sized. I don’t exactly know where they are right now but I have always believed that I could re-create them from memory.

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Sort of like this but with gold sequins and a brown paper candy cup.