Team Craigslist

I LOVE Craigslist.

I've had the best of luck selling, finding and just plain getting rid of stuff using the online classifieds. Maybe it's because I'm not selling sex tricks or piercing equipment, but I've only dealt with the nicest folks.

Tonight I met a woman named Rose in the parking lot of one of the four Starbucks within one mile of me where she bought (for my asking price) this aluminum Christmas tree I didn't want anymore AND I convinced her to just take about a dozen assorted Christmas decorations. It was a win-win people.

It was awesome. She was happy. I was thrilled. We actually hugged as we parted ways.

It's really a cool thing. We don't even know each other's last name or real email address but we had a real human experience, ya know?? She was looking for an aluminum tree and I was looking to get rid of one...and we found each other within minutes of my post. This is same-day, second-hand kismet I'm talking about. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it.

Each time I move something successfully via Craigslist, my faith in the human race is restored...a little.

Hooray for "old school" Craigslist--the way it was intended, before all the sleazy hookers and con artists got involved.

Jon Corzine

Jon Corzine was many levels above me in the corporate structure at Goldman, but since I worked in the same division, I had some contact with him. He struck me as a decent guy in a place which was full of sociopaths.

At the same time, I thought his reputation for brilliance was overblown. On Wall Street, you can get a reputation for being brilliant by merely making a series of yes/no (buy or sell) decisions which happen to go your way.

Corzine was a big, confident, calm, masculine, charismatic guy who had a knack for making people feel appreciated. He was also obviously very smart. But it was his personality, rather than any creative brilliance, that accounted for his success.

There was certainly no questioning his ambition. He reportedly tired of being a U.S. Senator because he was merely one of a hundred, so before his first term in Washington was up he ran for Governor of New Jersey, a position where he would have much more executive power. More recently he reportedly had his eye on the Secretary of the Treasury position, a post he thought he would get if Obama were reelected.

To that end he seemed to want to make a big splash at MF Global, in order to demonstrate that he still had the magic touch. So he made big bets on European sovereign debt, bets which ultimately bankrupted the overleveraged firm. The big question, of course, is whether he was personally responsible for the missing customer funds.

I'd be surprised if he was, since, as I said, he never gave off the smell of dishonesty while at Goldman. But whether he personally made the decision to take money from those accounts or not is somewhat irrelevant, since as the firm's chief he was ultimately responsible for all decisions made there.

Corzine will probably be sentenced to jail, since politically it would be impossible not to do so. If the customer money is recovered -- and maybe even if it's not -- Obama will probably pardon him, perhaps as soon as January of 2013. Corzine was always a big Obama supporter, and while Obama can no longer offer him Treasury, he still owes him, and Obama is all about paying off old supporters.

But even if Corzine gets off with a short stint in jail, his career is over.

A friend, Dave Moriarty, pointed out yesterday that "you are tempting the trading gods when you name your firm 'MF'."

Corzine didn't name the firm, but he definitely had more than his share of hubris. And as the Greeks told us so long ago, that is the best way to anger the gods.

OOTD: 11/30

Sweater: Madewell Daydreamer Cardigan in Coral
Top: Jcrew
Skirt: Jcrew Leopard Pencil skirt
Shoes: Blanco booties
Jewelry: Jcrew and Sfera

Really like this pencil skirt from Crew. I only wish it were a little better made. The outfit today was pulled from a recent NBC flick where they are getting fall's upcoming fashions, and the reporter is shown two different outfits. The reporter and the Jcrew consultant mentioned wearing a bright color (i.e. red with an animal print), so I gave it a try.

Room Tours: Kirsten Krason

The next living room tour is from one of my favorite blogger ladies, the lovely Kirsten Krason of 6th Street Design School! I loved reading all about her beautiful living room. Thanks so much for sharing, Kirsten! xx


Welcome to my Living Room! This room has come so far since it's humble beginnings. I love spending time in here with my family.


Enjoy!










Our sofa and chair are wool and were originally purchased at Pottery Barn.


We bought them on Craigslist. I think it was like $1,300 for the set. The fabric is wool which has been interesting. It's not the softest fabric but it does hold up pretty well with messes and spills. I love the color of these. Not too dark and not too light. The rug is by Nate Berkus from HSN. It is no longer available. I sure wish it was. It's been a great rug. I love how graphic it is. It's a flat weave which means it's not super soft. But the nice thing is that when one side gets dirty we can just flip it over and the same pattern is on the other side.


The clock above the sofa is from Pottery Barn. I bought it about 5 years ago for $50 on sale. It's no loner available. It's been a great clock. It's not functional though. My husband thought I was crazy to buy a clock that doesn't actually work. The decorator in me only cared that it looked good. Plus for $50 you can't go wrong!


The yellow flower pillow was purchased at Target. It's become a little trendy but I still love it. The shade of yellow is just perfect.










The silver bowl on the coffee table was bought in Mexico and is a gift from my Mother-in-Law.


I bought the Pottery Barn books at T.J. Maxx a few years ago. When I was first married I used to study these books religiously. There weren't really blogs back then and there definitely wasn't pintrest. We were too poor to afford design magazines so these books were my only source of information on design. The fuschia orchid on top of the books is fake. Ahhhh!! I know it's horrible to have fake plants but guess what? I kill everything. Plus I just love the color. I purchased it about 6 years ago at Target.











The blue trellis pillow was purchased on Etsy and is made from this fabric. Imperial Trellis is trendy, I know, but I love it. It is an amazing fabric and this pillow is one of my favorite things in my house. It was actually one of the first things I ever bought for our home. I didn't know what our home was going to look like or be decorated like but I knew this pillow would find a way to fit in.


The peacock pillow is made from Pottery Barn's Bettina fabric which has been discontinued. It's an amazing pattern. I got emails about it all the time. You can still find Bettina items on Ebay every now and then. You could totally make some pillows out of old curtains or a duvet. So keep an eye out.


The large navy pillow is from Pottery Barn found at DownEast. I think it was like $10. I like having large blocks of color to break up all the pattern I have going on.










The small lumbar pillow is also from the Bettina Fabric.


The large blue pillow is an outdoor pillow from Pottery Barn found at DownEast. It has a monogramed K on it. My name is Kirsten Krason so you'll find a lot of K's in my house. I love that letter.


The blue lamps were bought at Home Goods. I went back and forth on if I should get them or not. They are a little large scale for the small Lack side tables. But ultimately I love them. I think they are such a huge part of the room. I would be devastated if anything ever happened to them. Since they are from Home Goods they are pretty much irreplaceable.


The "love" print is from Made By Girl. I love her stuff! This shot of pink in the room is very "me" and it makes me so happy.










The loveseat was bought on Craigslist. It's honestly not my ideal piece of furniture. The shape is nice but there isn't really anything special about it. But it's leather (or at least part leather) which makes it super easy to clean. The scale is also great and the price was right. Only $250! The garden stool was bought at a consignment shop for $10. I think it's one of the best deals I have ever found on anything in my life.


The curtains were made with this fabric by my friend Erin. I was a little nervous about this pattern I'm not going to lie. I actually didn't love it the first time I saw it. But sometimes the best pattern for a room is not your obvious choice. Step back and think how this fabric is going to work with all other elements of a room. You may not like it by itself but when it is combined with other elements it can become something special. That's what happened with this fabric. Once I got it in the room I loved it. I go the fabric for a killer deal on Fabric.com. I've never seen it on there since. But you never know.


The red pillow is from this etsy shop. The chevron one is from this etsy shop. I love chevron. I'll hang on to that trend as long as I can!










Coasters from Furbish. La Fiorentina is one of my favorite fabrics. These coasters are very unique and I get lots of complements on them.


Silver trays are from Target and side tables are from Ikea. I adhered the trays to the table so they actually appear to be a part of the table. This gives those little Lack tables an extra oomph!


.







My coffee table is from Alice Lane made by Shine. I am in love with it. My client bought it for her living room and when she got it in there we could both tell it wasn't really "her". The fun thing about it is that it's 100% "me"! It's bold and unique and white. I love this dose of white in the room to break up the pattern and color. One thing that never bothers me is the mixing of white and cream. I know to some people that is a deal breaker but to me it just makes things more interesting. You may notice the stripes in the rug are a little more off-white, the background in my curtains is a little more ivory and my garden stool is cream. But I mix it all with white and I think it's great. Doesn't bother me in the slightest.










My credenza was bought at a garage sale for $100. I stained it, painted the sliding doors white and added some knobs from Home Depot. I don't know what it is about two-tone furniture but I just love the look of the white mixed with the wood.










My subway sign was bought at Pottery Barn via DownEast and is no longer available. However, I've seen a lot of DIY projects on these so I'm sure you could make one yourself. I love NY so this is my way of bringing a little bit of the city to my home in the suburbs.










I put together this living room on a tight budget and I still really love it. It's colorful, happy and comfortable. I hope you enjoyed it!


Wall color is Hazy Skies by Benjamin Moore

Sofa and chair originally from Pottery Barn bought on Craigslist

Loveseat bought on Craigslist

Coffee Table from Shine Home bought at Alice Lane Home Collection

Side Tables from Ikea

Wall Clock from Pottery Barn

Rug from HSN

Pottery Barn Books from Pottery Barn bought at T.J. Maxx

Silver bowl from Mexico

Faux Orchid from Target

Blue lamps are from Home Goods

Love print from Made by Girl

Imperial Trellis pillow from Etsy

Solid blue pillows from Pottery Barn bought at Down East

Yellow flower pillow is from Target

Floral Peacock pillows are from Ebay, fabric is Bettina by Pottery Barn

Large Blue K pillow is from Pottery Barn via Down East.

Red ikat pillow from Elegant Touch on Etsy

Blue chevron pillow from Deco Yellow on Etsy

Curtains made by Erin from Plush Studio on Etsy, made with Kalah Blue Fabric

Credenza found at a garage sale

Subway sign from Pottery Barn bought at Down East

Silver trays bought at Target


Thanks again, Kirsten!!

"You'll just feel a little pinch"

Every single doctor or nurse or dentist who's ever jabbed a needle into me has always said those exact same words beforehand. They must all learn from the same playbook.

I understand why "pinch" is their word of choice. It certainly sounds less dire than, "Brace yourself, I'm about to plunge this big needle through your skin and into your flesh." A "pinch" is something a girl might do to you if she doesn't know how to fight and inflict any real damage. A "pinch" of vodka is a trace amount that you theoretically won't even feel. (Of  course, I've never heard anyone ask for a pinch of liquor who didn't really want a big dollop.)

But the fact is, "pinch" is not an accurate description of how a needle feels. A "small stabbing" would convey the actual feeling more accurately. I have to admit, though, that once my expectations have been managed so adroitly, I am more relaxed.

None of this is to suggest that all of these doctors and nurses are not perfectly pleasant. The nurse who administered my shingles vaccine yesterday even added, "This one doesn't even go into the muscle, it's just a sub-cute." Which I guess is the cute way of saying sub-cutaneous.

In fact, this particular nurse was not only pleasant, she was insightful as well: she evidently has the ability to recognize a coward when she sees one.

A telling ratio

A front page article in this morning's NY Times detailed how Urban Meyer, the new football coach at Ohio State, is getting a base salary of $4 million, plus yearly incentives that could total another $700,000. The Times pointed out that Meyer is making more than three times what OSU President, E. Gordon Gee, made in 2010.

I've long thought that the quality of the education you receive at a college is roughly in inverse proportion to the ratio of the head football coach's salary to the university president's salary. There are certainly exceptions: Cal, the University of Texas, and the University of Michigan are all fine schools, yet all pay top dollar to their football coaches (in all three cases, much more than the university president gets).

There is an argument to be made in favor of paying a handsome salary to a coach: a big time football program can receive a lot of money from television networks and actually turn a profit that way.

There is also an argument to be made that most university presidents themselves are empty suits, whose jobs consist primarily of meeting, greeting, and fund-raising. From what I've seen, the main qualifications for being a university president are a fine head of white hair, nice elocution, and gracious manners. Presidents are the equivalent of show captains, those fellows who have nothing to do with actually running an ocean liner but who don captains' uniforms and go around greeting the passengers. (The dean of the faculty might be considered the equivalent of the fellow who actually steers the boat.)

So perhaps the better ratio would be the football coach's salary to the average associate professor's salary.

But either ratio is a fair inverse approximation of how much emphasis is placed upon academics at any given college.

"Breaking the silence"

An interesting editorial in Sunday's NY Post discussed how the Brooklyn DA has now arrested 89 Orthodox men on charges of child sex abuse.

The most interesting paragraph:

"When rabbis who hate and fear the non-Jewish world can dictate to the parents of Jewish child victims whether or not to talk to (mostly non-Jewish) police, a prosecutor’s job is not an easy one. In 2000, after a Hasidic family went to police over alleged abuse of their young son by another Orthodox Jew, some 50 rabbis signed a public announcement in a Yiddish-language Brooklyn newspaper literally authorizing the murder of anyone who “informs” on a fellow Jew to secular authorities."

Isn't this in effect the equivalent of Sharia law?

Room Tours: Linda Roberts' Living Room

Today's room tour comes from the lovely Linda at Lime in the Coconut. I love the earthy and ethnic vibe of this gorgeous room!! Enjoy!


"When we bought the "hacienda" the first thing we did was rip out the red shag 1970's carpet. We decided we liked the coolness underfoot, and chose to have the floors acid stained. Absolutely bombproof!

"The coffee table was a garage sale find...It is rusted metal and had tiles inserted in it, and was clearly used outside. I even used it outside in a previous home. Added some glass to the top...and now it fits in perfectly. Leaning against the back wall is a favored piece of art...actually a door...in the ADORE series by artist Aimie Phillips.

"The window end of the room (large black metal windows) Has three big pieces of art
by artist Ginny Piech Street...each one has a light over it which casts a beautiful glow at night (I love using timers for these...I don't need to remember to turn them on).


"I had two loveseats...also from 1970! Slipcovered them both in white duck cloth...am always switching out pillows. Art is a...well...bit of a problem in this house. I LOVE all of it...and collect too much. Building art ledges solved the problem of easily revolving my pieces. Mid century credenza...found at goodwill. 14 clams. This room looks into the library (with blue wall) if you look closely, you will see a speed bump of a great dane lounging on the linen slipcovered love seat. lovely. White chairs in the back are waiting to be upholstered into something else....just not sure what. Found them at Habitat for Humanity for like seven bucks each.


"In the foreground you can see the side of my lovingly named "big Ass Chair" I upholstered it...not so gracefully...but have come to love the uniqueness of it....and COZY...is it ever. The chair was a steal at 10 bucks. you can read a bit about it here . The beautiful and lively velvet is a Schumacher print...and believe it or not...I found it in a bin for 4 dollars a yard. Needless to say, I bought what was left (4 yards). It retailed for $395 a yard. Call me eagle eye. and lucky. Carving is from a Mexican artist of a mother and child with laundry on her head and a baby on her back. Story of my life. sigh.



"Turning around and looking into the foyer through the LR. More art on walls...many acquired at thrift and estate sales. The portraits I name....the guy is Buenaventura and the woman with the parrot on her shoulder is Paloma. I know...strange. I'm ok with it.


"A close up of the desk...collection of magnifying glasses, an old necklace display (paper mache) I found at a jewelry store when still in college. Some mercury glass, and an old steer horn.


"A closer view of the art ledges. I constructed them out of 1X4's and molding. Halogen lights (on timers again) light the wall at night.


"And another favorite painting from Michelle Armas..


Thanks for the room tour, Linda!! Everything's beautiful!

Adult Decorating

Still in progress, but loving my Monday decorating peace and quiet...



Holiday music blaring. Check.

Christmas decorations successfully extracted from the garage. Check.

Tree up and lighted. Check.

(side bar: I HATE the pre-lit trees. They simply don't stay totally lit from year to year and I was determined to find a high quality fake tree WITHOUT LIGHTS. Think about it. They're all pre-lit now.)

Seasonal candle lit and aromatic. Check.

Kids at school. Check.

Call me scrooge, but that last one is very important. The kids and I spent the balance of the weekend getting the tree, the lights and kid-constructed paper chain up and they put on THEIR precious school-made ornaments and I love it.

However, I LOVE to do the rest of it. Placing my favorite ornaments prominently here and there while singing loudly (and very badly) all alone.

All that's possibly missing is an adult libation...let's see, now where did I put that Frangelico for my peppermint coffee??

OOTD: 11/28/2011

Jacket: Jcrew Velvet Schoolboy Jacket - FA 08 - in Navy
Shirt: Crewcuts Plaid Gingham Perfect Shirt
Pants: Jcrew Wool Cropped Trousers
Shoes: Jcrew Ares Heels
Watch: American Eagle

I wanted to give my tights and boots a break today, so I chose a pant/blazer look today. I really like to pair blazers with suit pants and cardigans with pencil skirts. If I had a "work uniform", these two combinations would be it. I just think it looks very professional and I was taught in Business School that you always want to dress appropriately even when running errands because it is a presentation of yourself to others.

Happy Monday!

Hi friends! Sorry for not posting last week. My hard drive crashed on Monday. No fun. At first, it was nice to get a little break from work, but I started to get antsy pretty quick! I bought a new computer on Black Friday but I'm still waiting for all my files to get back from data recovery.

We're going to Hawaii on December 10 and then straight to Arizona for Christmas, so there's lots to get done before leaving. I'm hoping that hard drive gets recovered sometime this week. Fingers crossed!

Since we're leaving so soon, we decided to just get a little mini Christmas tree. It's been fun to see the make-shift tree lots pop up all over the city. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!



Photoshop is downloading on my new laptop this morning and then that room tour I promised last Monday will go up!!

In the meantime, I've been working with a client on a nursery project (my favorite rooms to do I think!). She is in love with this nursery and we're using it as our feel/color inspiration. The gray is great because my client is waiting to find out the gender.


I did a round up of nursery gliders on Babble today. I'd love your input if you've got one you really love at home. We haven't placed our order yet.


See you in a few with that room tour! xx

OOTD: 11/27

Sweater: Madewell Daydreamer Cardigan in Coral
Shirt: Jcrew Perfect Shirt in Island Paisley
Jeans: Toothpick Jeans in Dark Resin
Boots: Blanco
Jewelry: Jcrew St Kitts necklace

Sorry for the lack in posts. The hubs and I were in Alaferia, Portugal for a conference with our mission over Thanksgiving week. We had beautiful weather and enjoy the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

Today's outfit was centered around the paisley shirt. Remember my love for paisley? The cardi and necklace combo was put together from the colors in the shirt and when combined with skinny jeans and boots - voila! Outfit of the day!

"Leash the hounds"

An editorial in the NY Post this morning discussed the danger of pit bulls. Evidently pit bulls bite humans more than six times as often as the next most aggressive breed of dog.

Some people are calling for their ban. Councilman Peter Vallone is quoted as saying, "People refuse to admit that pit bulls are bred to fight, they have higher pain tolerance, stronger jaws, and they do not have the instinct to back down — they refuse to submit.”

Not everyone agrees. Mario Merlino, of the NYC Health Department, says, "There’s no differential between breeds — we say everyone should treat their dogs well.”

Ada Nieves agrees: “Sometimes, it’s the owners with the bad temperaments.”

Ah, the old nature vs. nurture argument. Can't help but be reminded of the parallels with different breeds of humans.

Fair and balanced

The NY Times has studiously avoided giving the Solyndra scandal much front page coverage; as scandals go, it is obviously of less national significance than the Duke lacrosse rape case, which garnered front page coverage for three weeks running (as long as it looked as if the players might be guilty). But the Times did run an editorial yesterday titled "The Solyndra Mess." The first two paragraphs: 

The Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee appear to have hit the pause button on their investigation into the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel maker that entered bankruptcy proceedings  in September, defaulting on a $528 million federal loan.

What have we learned? Nobody comes out of this looking good. Not the Obama administration, which appears to have misread the market in its eagerness to proclaim that it was creating green jobs. Not the Republicans, either, as their partisanship turned a legitimate inquiry into a circus of broad accusations aimed more at tarnishing the administration than contributing to a serious discussion of energy policy.

Ah, I see. Here all along I had thought that the Solyndra scandal was about how the administration had rewarded George Kaiser, a big time Obama campaign contributor who was a major investor in Solyndra. But no, it was just about the administration's eagerness to create (and take credit for) green jobs. Hey -- their intentions were good!

I had also naively thought that the scandal had only tarnished the Obama administration and, by extension, the Democrats. I couldn't have been more mistaken! Now I see that it has made the Republicans look equally bad, since rather than helping the Democrats sweep it under the rug, they instead used it to score partisan points. Bad, bad Republicans!

Please remind me, because my memory is fuzzy: the last time the Republicans were embroiled in a scandal, did the Times point out that it made the Democrats look bad as well since they tried to score partisan points off of it? Or did they just take delight in talking about the scandal? I'm sure they must have been just as even-handed then; I just can't remember, that's all.

Klepto Kiddie

It's a Christmas miracle.

Last Thanksgiving my son, who generally does a very good job of keeping up with things, left his brand spanking new iTouch at his Aunt's house . It wouldn't have been a big deal really, since we called the next day to reclaim the thing, but my niece had a ton of teenage friends over late that night and whadayaknow...the iTouch was nowhere to be found a mere twelve hours later.

My son was devastated, having only received the iTouch a week earlier at his tenth birthday celebration and since he's really responsible, we just quietly chalked it up to an unknown thieving teenager and decided not to punish him.

We bought him a new one one a few days later. After all, we were sort of to blame too for him leaving it there since we left quite late that night and scooped our sleeping children up from the various sofas upon which they had collapsed after hours of running around playing all day.

End of story.

NOT.

Fast forward to this Thanksgiving eve when I inexplicably decided to clean out my daughter's toy packed room. Being the youngest, she not only has all her toys, but also our son's hand-me-down items to include an inordinate ratio of dinos to dolls. I spent about six hours removing a TON OF CRAP from the mattress-less trundle-turned toy bin under her bed and LO AND BEHOLD....I found the year old missing iTouch.

Hmmmmmm.....So she certainly knew about the lost iTouch and how sad her brother was last year. Notably too she had made quite the stink about big brother getting an iTouch before she did though we tried to explain how he was older, it was his birthday, it was all he'd been asking for, etc... but she was none too thrilled at the time.

I can only imagine what must have been going through her mind too once she got this thing safely and secretly into her room because she didn't know the the passcode our son had programmed on the the device, rendering the iTouch completely useless to her and I know she had to have been SOOOOOO confused as what to do next. I'm only inferring that she must have just decided to hide it in the bowels of her toy box at some point because it was inside a ziplock baggie, then wrapped tightly in a scarf poked deep within the forgotten toys.

What a scheming little Kleptomaniac, right.

This isn't the first time she's been the jealous little sister unsatisfied with a second-hand toy or delayed gratification. She even did this over and over with a simple hair brush actually. She was OBSESSED with this random hairbrush my husband had and would steal it over and over again until we finally had to have a talk with her.

So now we have this newly restored iTouch. Do we reward her with it a year later? Do we confront her a year later? Oh the quandary.

Hilarious skit

A friend sent the following link a couple days ago:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqA577_IoBk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

It's from the comedy show, Life's Too Short, which originally appeared on the BBC. It's perfectly cast, and perfectly acted.

Ironically, I'd thought before that Liam Neeson, a former Ulster amateur heavyweight boxing champion, would have made a good James Bond except for the fact that he'd never demonstrated any discernible sense of humor in any of his movies.

As if I needed further proof that I'm a fag at heart....

I wasted close to two hours on this gossip website over the past two days:

http://www.blinditemsexposed.com/

The worst part was, I actually felt sort of gay while I was reading it.

I don't even remember which links led me to the site, and I certainly didn't mean to spend so much time there, but reading the items was a little like eating Doritos....

What da heck going on? Just a Diary Rant

What da Heck going on?

Well got up today early to get ready to go to Eugene and set up our Holiday Market booth.  Went to wash the dishes.... and the hot water was gone....
I was frustrated.... but maybe to really understand just how frustrated you should know that Everything seems to be breakin down lately.   We had our car in the shop for a week while they finally figured out the reason it would not run..... was the computer.
That episode in itself was......  drawn out.  They called us and told us the car was fine," just maybe needed a tune up.   Maybe it was just flooded."
This was after a weekend of me trying to figure it out and checking all known systems involved...except the computer.
What is a freaking computer doing runnin a car anyway.   Keep it Simple.  Gimme a Break.
Anyway so we had it towed, they called and said it was fine... elated I told them to go ahead and do the tune-up. (though it was 4 times the last price I paid for a tune-up.)   So we had to bum a ride with our wonderful friend Allison..... Well as soon as I got in and started it....it barely turned over, chuggin and missin.... not driveable.   So they took it back in and it took a week to figure out it was the computer...... minor  monitary addition to a tune-up, that I could not really afford at this time we owe Saturday Market 400. and Property Tax, 300, and electric bill 200, etc. etc. etc.    But a modern miracle recently occurred....In fact just days before the car broke down a credit card company increased my limit.... and within a few more days, another one did...  Good timing.  So we were so happy to have the truck back, we needed supplies, hadn't been to town for a week or more.... So Yay, our new computer in the truck.... a tune-up, and we head over to Eugene.  We picked up stuff for our Salve, ran all kinds of errands, got an amazing amount of stuff done, found a big Manzanita bush that had been thrown there, all cut up in nice little bush's... Got that for buttons.... Anyway so coming home off the back side of Eugene, goin up the hill.... the car quits.... I probably already ranted about this.  Anyway the full truck of food and supplies for the month, and the truck quits moving.  Towed home, at great expense........ then towed to the guy who put in the new computer.   It was a week before he said it was beyond him really and would cost a lot.   Basically the transmission was toast.  So after being there for maybe a week and a half we were able to get it towed to AAMCO in Springfield.. ( he had by far the best price....In Florence they wanted over 4000, to do that.  But even with all the credit increase I got on those 2 cards...... there wasn't enough.  We had no option but to get our wheels back, we depend on Holiday Market to get us through a few months before Saturday Market starts again. So I did a lot of calling around, pricing rebuilds, and used.....   AAmco was the best deal.   It took 3 weeks to get our car back, and $2100 that we didn't have.  But the total of the credit card increase, if we used both cards was almost exactly what we needed , we'd have a new transmission, the engine was practically new, so we'de have it made.(though deeper in debt)  Happily we did chores....OH, our wonderful friend Star gave us a ride over there.... We did some town chores, and gleefully headed home.   Very happy about having a new transmission.  Our friend Fred who is a master scrapper gave us 4 new tires and wheels.   We were cruising.  I put the new tires on.  The heater hasn't worked in a long time.... sounded like it was going to explode when you turn it on, didn't blow out air, and the defroster wasn't working.....  Thanks to Fred pointing out the simplicity of removing that particular fan (they can really be a .... bummer)  so I thought to take it out, maybe lube some bearings or something and gain some heat.   Well a mouse had built it's house inside the fan housing and that's why it didn't work.  Fixed it.... NOW we were really cruising....   In a kinda last minute get ready mode....our electricity went out for a day, lost a lot of creating time.....
So Got up today to no hot water....  Checked the fuse, OK.... Moved the adjustments listening for change....none...... Checked the power going to the heating coil..... none....... checked the power coming in, 240 volts..... HMMM, it's not even making it to the element, so the element's not the prob....
AHHHHH, a reset button.........CLICK,     HUMMMMM, it's workin.... YAY.
I went and did the dishes, ( I heated up water on the stove) made breakfast and built the fire and this and that and got ready to go set up our booth.
YAY    We ate and hit the road.  (we had loaded up the truck the night before.)
Off we go, la la la la , oh Happy day..... Bracken whining ( he gets really bored in the car these days.... his mind is like a greedy sponge that requires constant new input, and when it's not there....he gets grumpy.  HEY sounds like his Dad when he was a kid.. 
We got to Veneta...raining like Crazy, dark out... And we pull out of the stop light and the car won't shift out of first gear. ( It's an Automatic Transmission)...  So the engine is screaming but the cars not moving.... CRAP!!!!   Pulled over, called the Transmission shop from a gas station.... They said to drive it over and they'd look at it.   We're talkin way the heck other side of the Valley....in Low gear, Jeeze.   So we take off..... It keeps acting really weird, won't go out of first...then we come to another light....then it makes it to second....but won't go past.... then the next light won't go out of first again, just crazy like that......  But we go and set up our booth, not like we'd really like to because we're in a hurry, the day before Thanksgiving with our truck breaking down a long ways from home and Holiday market starting in 2 days.    Then we head to the Transmission shop.   Now the truck is running fine.... we get there and it's running fine..... WTH.....
So he gives us a speal about a clogged valve maybe somewhere but not real sure..... He's gonna put some tranny cleaner in it and see if that helps..... But I watch out the window, and the guy checks the transmission oil.... then puts some in..... then he puts in a bottle of the cleaner....checks the level, puts in more tranny fluid..... checks the level, more tranny fluid.... OH, and I didn't mention, at the gas station I called him from I checked the fluid level.... it was barely on the tip..... but there was a little..... 
Now I'm wondering if maybe they just didn't put enough in when they rebuilt it...... Whatever.... It got us home, I made scallops and Lamb with carmelized onions and garlic over broccoli..... and Taryn took Bracken up to bed (after getting the rest of the salve labels stuck) which hasn't happened yet, though he was very tired.... He wants me to come up..... he always wants to be with us, ......soo sweet.  He can't understand why I have to do anything except play with him, or carry him around on my back.  But so much of what I do involves clouds of dust and other breathing hazards which I wear a mask for.   So...... I just needed to rant that out, now I'm gonna go see if he's still awake.

Well, he was asleep.... Taryn and cuddled and talked for a long time...I came down and painted some magnets, then went out on the porch to get some wood for the fire. I bent down to pick up a piece of firewood, and a little bird flew down and landed on the back of my neck, chirping sweetly.   That was a rush.  It's this little bird that lives around here, hangs out in my shop and on the porch.  I'm glad the cats are gone, I love birds, and I've had a few conversations with him...and set him free when he got trapped a couple of times, now I guess he's my friend.  I think maybe I have a skunk friend now too. And there is also a very friendly hummingbird in Spring that I saved from being trapped on the porch a couple of times, and now it loves me.. But sorry, no rats and mice.  I wish, but they just get too prolific and their poop and pee in the ceiling and walls isn't something we desire..... anyway, so it's been an interesting time of tests....keeping us Humble... and thankful..  You never know how much you miss hot water, till you don't have it... and a car.... and our ovens been gone for a good 6 months, beyond redemption really..... computerized garbage..... I liked the simple old stuff.   So we've lived with a crock pot instead of an oven......    And I think one of the lessons here is about keeping it simple.   The new fangled cars you can't even figure em out if you are a mechanic...and it's your job.....much less an ordinary Joe..... and computers in stoves...... STUPID.   It's a simple mechanism, keep it that way.    So we're gonna keep making it simpler, ..... get the old toyota motorhome running...easy engine and, you can freakin live in it..... We got rid of all the animals....gonna focus on each other...and business......  Really want to get that solar well pump soon, we have the panels and some batteries that might work out, and a huge water holding tank..... if we get the pump that's one less thing where we have to depend on paying somebody else for on a monthly basis (elec. company).
It's good to be home..... I'm gonna go carve something really cool.

And did I mention how wonderful my wife Taryn is.....always uplifting my Spirits and reminding me of the important things....  She is a blessing to the world.... and definitely to me. And the worlds best dang Mom...

Mojo in an Implant

Bio-identical hormone replacement.

I'm doing it. I'm getting my sexy back. Move over JT.

I admit it. The stupid, cheesy commercials where some chubby woman is talking about how she was driving her husband "crazy for sex" finally wore me down and I went in. Maybe they play in your town too. The company is HRC Medical and I'll enthusiastically do a commercial testimonial if this really works.

The treatment also de-bitchifies the person as well and as unbelievably irritable as I've been the last many months, my children should rejoice. ...Not to mention my better and more patient half.

This place actually GUARANTEES RESULTS. Really. It's right there in the contract and I'm on board people. They are nationwide and if you're reading this and need their services, be sure and tell them I sent you because I'll get a cool $100.

Here's their website: www.hrcmedical.com (I'm not tech-saavy enough to actually copy a functional link here, sorry)

What I didn't realize and what the commercials don't tell you is that the hormones are administered via a tiny implant every three months. Ouch, but BRING IT.

My hubby thought himself HILARIOUS today when I was explaining to him my new hor-mone therapy and sent me the following text: I made a whore moan once...

Classic honey.

I get the mojo on the 30th and fully expect to be ten years younger (and nicer) by Christmas morning.

Stay tuned.

Giving Thanks For Open Restaurants

I can't wait to have a fresh mimosa in the morning.

It's my favorite holiday sip tradition and I picked up four bottles of decent champagne at 7:00 this morning.

I meant to get to my favorite market all week, but opted for super early this morning and I'm SOOOOOOOO glad I did. I drove by the market several times throughout the day today while running various errands and there was actually a line of cars formed just to enter the parking lot. Man, am I glad I slipped in and out all stealthy-like before my hubby even left for work.

We're doing Thanksgiving a little non-traditionally tomorrow however but it should be fun. For the actual meal, we're going to a fancy-schmancy restaurant because our dedicated turkey-roaster (aka "Uncle Colonel") is in Afghanistan for the next month and no one else feels up to the task and incredibly high bar he's set through the years.

"Luke" is famed New Orleans Chef John Besh's first restaurant outside Louisiana and it's supposed to be FABULOUS, so we're stoked.

I am hoping to continue my mimosa chain right into Luke and through the dinner.


Nice guys, average guys, and sociopaths (XI)

SITUATION: A buddy owes you $500, is several days overdue, and cannot pay in the next five days. What does he tell you?

Nice guy (feeling horrible): “I’m really sorry, but I don’t have the money, and can’t pay you until next week. I'll pay you interest. I understand if you don’t trust me, so here, take my new laptop as collateral. I'll use my old one.”

Average guy (feeling badly): “I’m sorry, something’s come up, I’ll get the money back to you as soon as I can.”

Sociopath: (feeling nothing, and with no intention of ever paying you back): “I’ll have the money by tomorrow. I swear -- you have my word on it. And you know I never go back on my word.”

SITUATION: A lawyer walks by a Mercedes dealership on his way home from work and sees an SL500 convertible in the showroom window. What does he think?

Nice guy: What a flashy car. I wonder if the people who drive it are ever embarrassed by it. It'd sure be nice to be able to afford one though. 

Average guy: Let’s see. If I saved a thousand bucks a month for the next year and a half, I could put down a deposit…..nah, that’s silly.

Sociopath: Hmm, that thing’d look damn good on me, I’m a Mercedes sport coupe kind of guy. I wonder if my credit card would be good enough for a down payment? By the time the next payment comes due, I’ll have figured out some way to get the money.

SITUATION: A man has a strong opinion about an upcoming football game. What does he do?

Nice guy: Bets his best friend ten dollars on the outcome and watches the game if his wife hasn’t made other plans.

Average guy: Makes a $20 with each of three buddies, and watches the game, telling his wife he'll rake the lawn the next day.

Sociopath: Phones his bookie, and bets $1000 on the game even though he doesn’t have the money. Figures he can always get it from his father-in-law, that tight-fisted old bastard has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it anyway. But why even worry about it? This game is a lock.

SITUATION: The host of a large party has left ten $20 bills on his bedroom dresser upstairs. On his way to the bathroom, a guest sees it. What does he do?

Nice guy: Puts the money in a dresser drawer, and tells his host where he put it.

Average guy: It occurs to him how easy it would be to steal, but he quickly banishes the thought and walks on by.

Sociopath: Quickly calculates how many other people have been up here during the course of the party, then pockets the money, knowing they will never be able to pin it on him. Thinks, that guy ought to pay me for coming to his lousy party anyway. I’m easily the most charming guy here.

Occupy...

Unless you live under a rock, you know what's going on with the Occupy movement. For the most part, I believe this movement to "mean well" but I'm not so sure how much real long term change it's going to make. I've seen many of the "movements" wrapped up within this one to in fact support that "1%" rather than create any actual change. But that doesn't mean I don't both understand and support what they are TRYING to do. The point is to make changes to the world, which in many ways is why I do what I do every day. It's the reason I donate clothing, it's the reason I am learning to make food from scratch, it's the reason we no longer use chemically filled cleaners in our home, and it's the reason we research medications and vaccinations before we agree to have/use them. Many of the things that I do in my life I do because I feel there is change to be made, and for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you see many of the causes I believe in and support. Slavery, Vaccinations, Organic Foods, Nutrition, Women's Rights, Marriage Equality, Children's Rights, Religious Equality & Tolerance and many others... It may seem as if I spread my interests thin, but I have found that for the most part, every cause I feel strongly about are in fact small splinters of a much larger movement for Equality and Human Rights... It's MY right, and it's YOUR right to live the life you choose in a healthy and accepted manner, without having to be considered "alternative" or "expendable."

So how did we get to this point though? When did we become a country by and for the 1% instead of by and for "The People?" Well, truth be told in many ways we've always been by and for those in power. In the early days it was the land owners rather than the servants, today it's the corporations and political backers rather than you and I. Not to say there hasn't been great changes made for the better, there has. We see this in the "Rights" movements in the 1960's and 70's which fought for equality for racial, religious and gender equality... And we've come even further through the 80's and 90's in areas of sexuality being more widely accepted, although we still have some ways to go on that front...

However, for the most part, people have gone about their lives without using their time to focus on making changes. And THAT is how we got where we are. American's as a whole have happily ate up propaganda and accepted shady practices as "the way things are." Why? For the most part because past generations didn't have the options we do today, and we learn our habits from our parents & grandparents. So since our parents didn't take the time to research where or how their furniture was made, we tend not to think about it.

Is it laziness? or Is it simply a lack knowledge about what we SHOULD be doing?  Personally, I think it's a little of both. For the most part people don't think about doing their own research, we're told from the time we're children to believe "experts" and follow their lead. And for many people this includes following the lead of politicians, large organizations and corporations assuming that they have the best interest of others at heart when they act. This is the very definition of "lack of knowledge." But there is also a layer of "I can't be bothered" in there too. How many times have you went to the store and simply tossed things in the buggy without first flipping the box to see where it's made or what ingredients are really in it? For lack of a better term, that's laziness at work, and we are ALL guilty of it at least minimally...

This all begs the question though "How DO we make changes?" Well, you have the option to grab a sign and go stand in the cold and the rain on wall street. OR you have the option to take just 10 mins a day and make HUGE changes from the comfort of your home... I don't know about you, but I'm not all about pepper spray to the face, so I'm going to choose to make the changes from home... But how exactly do we make those changes from home?

 Pick your battles - 
    The first step in making changes, is deciding which issues you are interested in changing. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to limit yourself either! If you see an issue that you disagree with, act to change it... Support groups who are working to make those changes and do the research to back up or support your beliefs concerning this issue.

 Pick up a Pen - 
     Making your beliefs known is as easy as writing a letter! Take 5 minutes a day to write letters or type out emails to your local and national politicians, corporate leaders and small business owners alike, and organizations which both work for and against your causes. Let them know, kindly, where you stand and what you plan to do to make changes in your life to support your beliefs.

If, for example, you're writing McDonalds to express your support of their removal of business from a company which has been shown to have unethical animal practices, include the fact that you are not only supporting them for their choice, but that you are doing your best to STOP supporting companies who have not pulled away from that company. I would also suggest writing said company and express your feelings to them as well and make it known that you understand that by supporting companies who support them that you are supporting their practices, and that you are taking steps to ensure you stop supporting the companies who do continue to purchase from them. What does this do? It allows McDonnald's to know where their customers (or people in general) stand on such issues, which will encourage them to make similar changes in other areas. But it also lets makes it know to the other company that animal abuse is NOT okay, and that they can only expect to see more loss of income as long as such practices are followed because if the companies who use them loose business, so do they...

Now, you may feel as if a single letter isn't going to make change, and therefore it's not worth taking your time to write. To which I say, then make it 100 letters, or 1000 or even a MILLION! Send a copy of your letter to organizations who support your beliefs with a note attached that states "This is the letter I have sent to _______. I am providing it to you in an effort to have others do the same. Together our voices can be heard!" Many of these organizations are willing to include such "template letters" in their emails or mailings and will encourage other members/readers/followers to follow suit. If this group has a Facebook Page or Forum on their website, take the time to make your letter, as well as the address or email of those you sent it to, public so that other members/readers/followers may do the same. It only takes a few extra moments of your time, but it means that your one voice, may be heard a thousand times over... THIS is how change is made!

 Hit them where it hurts!-
     Please take the image of walking up to a politician and decking him the face out of your mind! Although that may be rather enjoyable, it's not quite what I'm talking about! I'm talking of their bank accounts of course. Politicians, Shady Organizations and Corporations are only as powerful as their income... So make an effort to purchase products from companies from companies and support charities who have ethics that work in accordance with your beliefs. Want to see more jobs? Put down the box that says "Made in China" and find one that says "Made in America." Does it take more work? Yep. But is it doable? 100%  Want to see slavery abolished? Find out which companies pay a fair wage to ALL their employees and purchase from them! Want to see healthier, more natural and less chemically toxic products on shelves? Find out which products are healthy and purchase those... If your local stores don't sell them, ask them to (again, those letters come in handy here).

It may be small changes, something as basic as switching to cloth diapers, but it makes a HUGE impact! Think about the numbers - One pack of disposable diapers lasts about a week, and on average will cost consumers between $10 and $15. So how much money are YOU (all by yourself) not giving the disposable diaper companies and stores who sell them simply by switching to cloth? A MINIMUM of $520 a year! If 10 or 100  families switch, it equals THOUSANDS of dollars lost by these companies and stores. Which will FORCE them to come up with alternative methods of income, and if they are following the trend, it means more cloth or cloth supporting products.  And in the case of something like diapers, it also reduces waste, green house emissions and chemicals which come in contact with both the environment and your child.

But what about something we all use? Diapers only apply to those with small children, so what about Toothpaste? Deodorant? Shampoo?  The same rules apply. Find products and companies that support the ethical beliefs you hold. Whether that be low pollution, low chemicals, fair wage, fair trade, no animal testing or whatever else the companies ARE out there! Then, simply purchase those products and not others... In most cases it is NOT more expensive to purchase but every dollar you spend on products and with companies who share your ethical beliefs, the more money you're taking away from those who don't. Again, it's about numbers... If you buy toothpaste twice a month, that's $8 - $10 a month or $96 - $120 a year going towards making a change for the better... Add on to there the food you eat, where you buy clothing, what electronics and appliances you buy, what car you buy and of course, don't forget books and your religious supplies... Over all it adds up to THOUSANDS of dollars out of the pockets of those who practice negative business practices or produce products which are less than worthy of a good society.

It also sends messages to the politicians and organizations who depend on the support of corporations and CEOs to give them their power... Oil companies can't pay politicians to make laws in their favor if we are buying less gas because we have electric cars... Pharmaceutical corporations can't "donate" to medical schools, organizations, political agendas or offer "kick backs" to doctors or hospitals if we stop using toxic medications in favor of natural remedies. And the list goes on and on...

Share! -
     Your mother told you to share! You need to listen! When you find products that are "worthy" buy two. Share them with your friends, family and co-workers. When you have items that you no longer need, pass them on! And most of all when you have knowledge that can help someone else, share it! Something as basic as sharing a link to a new or different charity can change someone's life, so don't hesitate to do it. When the holidays are coming, remember not to compromise your ethics when buying gifts, and include a note with "better" products introducing them to the person who is getting them.

     For example, when I switched over to a Diva Cup, I didn't just purchase one for me and leave it at that. I told my mother, my grandmother, my sister, my aunt and my friends - hell, I even blogged about it! Did I change the world? In a way I did. I changed how AT LEAST 3 women deal with their monthly visitor and I sent a message to disposable product companies as well as my local shops that my money is our money is used to purchase healthier products. Now my local grocer is considering carrying both cloth pad options as well as cup options... And it was as simple as finding a product I loved and believe in, sharing with those around me and letting my local shops know where my money was going... It may be a small change, but no one has ever won a war with one shot...

Shop SMALL-
     Small businesses are owned by small people just like you and me. Shopping through large corporate centers only supports the issue, not the solution. Keep your neighbors, friends and family members in jobs by supporting local small businesses every day. Even if all you do is stop in once a week for a coffee at your local corner shop, you're making a difference to someone! You're keeping a business running, keeping people in work, keeping a paycheck going out and keeping your money in your town - which makes everyone's lives better!

Raise your children with values - 
     As I talked about in the beginning, most of our habits concerning politics, ethics, corporations and "experts" comes from our parents. So the same principal can be used when it comes to raising our children. If we live in a way that is dedicated to being the healthiest most positive lifestyle we can have, a life which is creating change for the better, and in a way that does not allow injustices to slip by us in favor of ease, our children will see and learn that. Their lives, their world will be healthier, more just and overall better not only because of the changes that WE made, but because of the changes which they will make. If life must be a cycle, make sure you're giving it a positive push toward the future!


So what is the point in all this? Well, the point, boiled down to it's simplest form, is that you can make a difference just by living your life! There is no NEED for signs, shouting and fighting... Instead, make your stand known by what you do every day! This country - and the world - would be so much better if everyone just lived their lives with the understanding that everything we do - every action, purchase, and product - is a piece of a much bigger puzzle so it's important to stand up, while you do what you do!

In case you want to feel good about your own parenting abilities.....

The following AP story appeared on Yahoo News today:

Nazi-naming parents seek to regain custody of baby

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey couple who gave their three children Nazi-inspired names is due in court Monday to try to regain custody of their newborn.

Heath and Deborah Campbell's lawyer says state child welfare officials took custody of the child named Hons after he was born Thursday at Hunterdon Medical Center.

The state took custody of the couple's other children nearly two years ago, saying there were in danger because of previous violence in the Campbell home.

Their parents made headlines in 2009 when a supermarket refused to decorate a birthday cake for their son, Adolf Hitler. His siblings are named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler.

One has to wonder exactly what is going through the mind of a parent who bestows this name  upon his child. Exactly what kind of chance does a boy named Adolf Hitler Campbell have in life? How much teasing will he undergo? How much outright hostility will he face? How old will he be when he legally changes his name? What sort of relationship will he have with his parents in the future?

Forty years ago Johnny Cash composed A Boy Named Sue, about a boy who was given that name by a soon-to-be absentee father so that he would grow up to be tough because of all the ribbing he would take.

Sue had it easy by comparison. 

What sort of political and racial attitudes will Adolf have when he grows up? There are basically two possibilities here: either he will absorb his parents' (evidently) Nazi values, or he will be a flaming liberal. It's one or the other.

A name like that just doesn't seem to leave much room for a moderate, centrist position on those issues later in life.

I was curious as to what they looked like, so I Google imaged Heath and Deborah Campbell and found this picture of them with their young son Adolf:


I was a little surprised to see that they look a little like hippies. 


Adolf himself looks adorable. But I'm not betting that he stays that way, especially personality-wise, as he grows older.

Brothers?

While pondering the question of whether J. Edgar Hoover was part black (see previous post), it occurred to me that the one person Hoover resembles most, ironically enough, is Jesse Jackson. Both men have their eyes spaced far apart, often a sign of fetal alcohol syndrome, and both have a somewhat bug-eyed appearance as well:











































Weekend Recap



Can you believe it's Thanksgiving week already!? I'm excited! We had a great, super chill weekend. We went to the Met on Saturday with a friend who was in town on business.


The girls love the Egyptian wing best at the museum, not surprisingly. (Weren't you super into Egyptology as a kid? I totally was.) They also really liked the modern art gallery. I think it's cool how kids are always drawn in by the big Pollock. I noticed probably four or five other children hovering here and talking about the artist's approach ("did he paint it? did he pour it?"). I hope my girls grow up loving art as much as Michael and I do.


Yesterday was really low key because we're all fighting off colds. It was a good excuse the lay low and watch some movies and get excited for the short week ahead of us!

I'm prepping my Thanksgiving table and it got me and my assistant Colleen thinking about dinner plates. We worked together to find some really cute ones for all the upcoming holiday dinner parties. I don't really have holiday-specific china, but I feel like anything goes with holiday decorations anyway. My favorite is mixing patterns; like, the dinner plates are one pattern, and the salad plates something else in different colors and scale, etc. Also, I'm super into gold flatware and pick it up whenever I stumble on random pieces at flea markets.


What's your Thanksgiving table going to look like this year? Any fun, inexpensive plate patterns I missed?

I'm working on getting up some more living room tours for you this week, so come back later today for a really exciting one. (Hint: this woman has no fear of color!)

Cheese and Water Chestnuts

Totally random, but I had this strange yet meaningless realization today while having lunch with the family at PF Changs...

There is no cheese in Chinese food. Name one Chinese dish with cheese. For that matter, there's really no cheese in Asian food in general, I mean cream cheese in the Philly Roll at your local sushi place definitely doesn't count.

Your welcome for pointing out this interesting fact.

Or.

Please forgive me if I've wasted your time.


J. Edgar

















Saw Clint Eastwood's latest directorial effort, J. Edgar, last night. Not bad, but not great either.

The movie came across more as documentary than as drama. Eastwood tried to hit all the highlights (and lowlights) of the FBI director's career. The movie briefly touches on Hoover's role in centralizing a fingerprint database, on his role in apprehending the most famous criminals of his era, and on his relationships with various Presidents, without delving too deeply into any of them. 

The movie tries too hard to be even-handed about the question of Hoover's sexuality, in the end leaving it unresolved. Clyde Tolson, Hoover's longtime companion, is portrayed as unquestionably homosexual. But Hoover is portrayed as someone who on the one hand proposes marriage early on to a woman, and who claims to have gotten "physical" with actress Dorothy Lamour, yet on the other as a man who dressed up in his mother's clothes on the occasion of her death and constantly dined with and vacationed with his companion Tolson, to whom he eventually left his entire estate. Eastwood's refusal to extrapolate from the documented facts of Hoover's life comes across less as scrupulousness than as an abdication of a moviemaker's responsibility to take a stance. C'mon, Clint: was he or wasn't he?

The third possibility is that both Hoover and Tolson were simply repressed homosexuals who had a homoerotic relationship but who never consummated their relationship that way. If that was the case, then the movie was an accurate portrayal. But the young Tolson was portrayed as a tall, good-looking, well-dressed, self-confident young man. The idea that such a man would be satisfied for his entire life with this one never-consummated relationship just doesn't ring true.

DiCaprio did a workmanlike job in evoking Hoover. DiCaprio may be a great actor, but playing a stiff like Hoover takes less chops than other roles.

Armie Hammer, great grandson of billionaire Bolshevik Armand Hammer, demonstrated his familial loyalty by playing Clyde Tolson, Hoover's longtime companion. (What better way to strike back at the ferociously anti-Communist, wannabe he-man Hoover than to play his closest friend as a flamer? Armand would have been pleased.)

Judi Dench plays J. Edgar's mother, who tells him at one point that she would rather have a dead son than one who was a daffodil (read: gay). Her forbidding performance is not too far in spirit from the one she gives as M, James Bond's boss.

Naomi Watts, one of the few actresses who has managed to be both siren and serious actress, plays Helen Gandy, Hoover's longtime secretary. Watts gamely lets herself be gradually aged for her role. Her performance is so good -- and unobtrusive -- it never occurs to you you're looking at the same woman King Kong fell so hard for.

Jeffrey Donovan, star of television's Burn Notice, takes a turn as Robert F. Kennedy. He seems to have been cast more on the basis of buck teeth than acting ability. His Boston accent is too broad, and even his bushy wig lacks subtlety.

Steve Sailer's review of the movie mentions that J. Edgar may have been a mulatto, from a family which passed. (Look closely at the picture above.) If that was the case, then Hoover, as both a gay man pretending to be straight and a black man pretending to be white, was certainly well suited for his job of catching criminals who essentially led secret lives.

Surprisingly, given all its other faults, the movie was actually sort of touching as a love story. Any long relationship where there is still visible affection at the end is moving, and the odds against such a relationship make it even more so.

Eastwood is arguably our second best film director, after Martin Scorcese. He's brought us Unforgiven, A Perfect World, Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Father, Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino, and Hereafter, among others. But this latest effort will not further his case for overtaking Scorcese.

OOTD: 11/20

Shirt: Jcrew White Perfect Shirt
Skirt: Anthropologie
Belt: H&M
Boots: Blanco

Have you ever stumbled upon a good blog? Yesterday, I discovered Kendieveryday.blogspot.com. I flipped through her photos and loved every outfit she had. Today's outfit was pseudo-inspired by her.

Boots are all-the-wear right now in Spain. The weather is cool, a little dreary, but nice. So you will see a lot of boot outfits in the future winter months.

Was your outfit inspired today?

Pill Popping Broodle

So last night, or um...this morning when we got home via a taxi after heavily celebrating the birthday of a friend, I couldn't locate my old lady pill box from which I pop my required medication every night. I knew I would be...comprised at whatever time we returned so before we left, I took my pill box out of my bedside drawer and placed it on my pillow where I knew I'd have to see it, no matter how late or how goofy I was and thus remember to take my pills.

I did remember to take my medicine, independent of my little reminder placement, but I couldn't find my pill box. I was stumbling around confused and searching for my pill box. I NEED those pills every night--especially the hormones. I looked under the bed, in my drawers, in the kitchen, my bathroom, and even my purse but I couldn't find them anywhere.

Luckily I had a few extras still in the pharmacy bottle so I just took those. I was so annoyed.

Now, this morning I'm up, head throbbing and gingerly making my very necessary coffee while "shhhhushing" the kids as nicely as I can when I notice our little Broodle puppy rooting under the sofa. This is not entirely unusual as she's always getting into something.

"DING, DING, DING"

I crawl over there and whadaya know, she has broken into my pill box.

Ok, gross and dangerous potentially I guess, but gross because she had apparently enjoyed the FISH OIL capsules more than anything else!! There is now fish oil residue in our rug. This as you can imagine does not smell good.

Cleaning and smelling it in my current post-party state does not thrill me.

And what am I supposed to tell the pharmacist? She ate four of my progesterone capsules too and two of this antibiotic I take to keep my complexion clear.

Do we need a trip to the vet now too? She seems to be ok, so I don't know.

Note to self: fish oil capsules attract curious pets.

*Broodle--half Poodle, half Brussels Griffon. She looks like a black version of "Verdell" from the movie As Good As It Gets.