weasel world

Imagine a place where a giant weasel whirls as a giddy calliope plays "Wecome to Weasel World." Well, you have to imagine that bit for a while, but if you step inside Madison Georgia's CBA Interiors, a.k.a. Weasel World, you will find an ermine princess swathed in diamonds. A cowhide rug, antique cocktail watches and other unexpected and quite costly treasures. The emporium has now been open for a month and accepts consignment items.
I used to sell sea shells by the sea shore. What would you sell if you had a shop?


at the kgb bar

Nina Burleigh (who appears to have shown up at People somewhat after I split and to be doing about the same job) has written a book called Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt. Last night she talked about and read from her book, which Howard had helped edit, and he and I went to listen. It was the story of an east-west debacle she compared to the current war. Her mother, she says, is from Iraq and her father American, so she knows from cultural collision. Alas, I am doing my annual cleanse and couldn't test the array of vodkas available.



Last night I dreamed that I was doing a story on the campus of a Bible college totally populated by—lesbians! I thought, "Don't they see the irony in this?" And by day three, when I was invited to a prayer breakfast the following morning, I said, "This athiest has had it. Prayer breakfast? This story is done!"
In other nightmares, Rudy Guiliani doesn't lose in Florida today, and Mitt Romney wins. Do we revile these guys or what?
And as for the Kennedy mantle, Obama, isn't it a trifle threadbare?

Down in Texas, some people are afraid an alien nation is gunning for them. No, not Mexico, real aliens in a UFO. And one guy has pictures. Watch this.



What I did instead of what I was supposed to be doing this weekend.
Other activities: Crossword puzzle, Sunday paper, web news updates, long phone calls, and reading four books at the same time— two fiction, two non, which I suppose means I'm not totally into any of them.

What did you accomplish this weekend?


be an angel

Dear Angel Baby,
I have a friend, a well known artist with many awards, who's getting eviction and foreclosure notices on her apartment. She needs about $30,000 to keep her place. Help!
My friend is a profligate spendthrift with a manic streak. Still, she is one of those very rare brilliant lights who deserve to be supported for the joy and clarity they bring into the world. She has spent years helping desperate people and has saved many lives with her art. Literally saved. No kidding.
Now she is desperate, and I really don't know what to do. Since giving yet another friend $20,000 to keep her from losing her place a few years ago, I don't have the credit to float this one.
Get in touch with me, and we can work out something. To clarify: I am asking for an outright gift or grant. I would prefer you pay the mortgage directly to the bank (yes, they made one of those pesky, risky loans), but want to make sure you are not scheming to get the place yourself. My "friend" is not me, truly, and she has no idea I have posted this. Please. Be an angel. Quick!
Love, C


death and taxes

"Thank you for having me in the time of your not need," said the Mack. And indeed, I think I have spent only one night alone in my apartment for weeks. Well, two nights, now, after last night. His father recently died, and he is trying to sort out the estate. There is a lot of this going around in my age group. Me, I am dogging it as I try to force myself to do merely my own taxes and only my own mortgage refi. Think ahead, people, the rates will likely fall again next week.


new york news

Word: People feel unsettled about the future, financially, politically and in every other way, but there is this: Good-bye Rudy Tuesday! as NYT columnist Timothy Egan (or his editor) memorably paraphrases the Rolling Stones, with the news all New Yorkers want to hear.
Not that, as our own Elaine Rivera learns on WNYC (below), they know exactly who they do want.

buffy goes to a party

Apply makeup lightly.
Sleek hair back.
Don boring duds.
Wear pearls.
Practice winning smile and synonyms for the word "lovely."

For the most recent offering by TAKAC, check out
Empty Orchestra.


doing lunch

Ed and I have lunch a lot. We have been having lunch a lot for about 18 years. I'm not so positive that it's been so great for our careers, but hey—he's still employed.
We are creatures of habit, Ed and I. We like certain places and certain waitresses, preferably with accents (like Joanie, above, laughing on the left), and certain foods. Over and over again. We do not tire of these choices because if we like something we like it. It also cuts down on the decisionmaking process. With world affairs and heartache to worry about, we do not need to worry about whether we can get a table. We like places where we can always get a table. Mostly that's because the kind of places we like, everybody else is sitting at the bar. Sometimes we sit at the bar, too. And sometimes we invite other people to lunch. But not usually on Monday.
When it's been a hard time, whether at work or at home, Ed usually orders chicken pot pie. I order a steak. Otherwise, he has pastrami, and I have a grilled cheese sandwich. He likes spinach salad, too, and pasta (if we're at an outdoor cafe) and duck l'orange (if we're at the French place). We both like hamburgers, but right now we don't have a place to eat that serves good hamburgers. We both like them very rare.
We drink beer at about the same rate of speed, also, although we mostly do not drink the same kind of beer, unless it is Stella on draft, on which we agree. The rate of speed at which we drink is about two beers/hour. This is not too bad unless the lunch lasts six hours, which it has been known to do.
Sometimes we don't have lunch because Ed is in Afghanistan or Kosovo or Haiti or Iraq or, lately, in that real hellhole, Washington DC. Or I might have been on the road or on the island. Still, I think you could easily average it out to a hundred lunches a year. I don't feel like doing the math on the beer.
Ed, correct me if I'm wrong.


He used to be known as Yacht Boy, but lately my captaining cousin is less concerned with designing his way through the waters of the Eastern Seaboard and has begun making pottery tiles and assembling them into things like this Hello piece.

Rosalee, on the other hand, had been writing books on the seashore in Peru until she took a break to paint—a trompe l'oeil building to look like the desert scarp behind it.

You see, when you can't count on the stock market, you can always count on art—or real estate. Maybe.
Or, in the case of J's Peter, on both. See his artwork, a house for sale in the south of France, here.

BTW, you do know that by clicking on a pic you can see it larger, don't you?


normal life

With Ma Mere and Sis in Mexico, things on Riverside Drive are settling down somewhat—although the guest bed hasn't had a night off yet. TAKAC (The Artist Known as Chang) stopped over for some ear candling and then spent the rest of the night on the sofa, managing one frame in the ayem.


dance, dance

I took a little Tribeca vacation with Mamadonna, but the scene was more zestful than restful. And the food was damn good.
Happy birthday to Dada, who turns the age of a Beatles song.


vacation in nyc

Photographers West, Ferrato—plus one



The art hounds had sushi on the balcony amid images with which you may be familiar. Right smack in front of this one, as a matter of fact. And a fine time was had by all on Wall—except anyone who had anything whatsoever to do with the stock market. The wait staff was bracing for the 4:30 onslaught of the closing-bell-let's-get-hammered crowd.


aw da precious

I think this dog should win an Oscar.


no-pants day!

Yes, it's the seventh annual. And you too can be a part of it! Just hie on down.
When: Saturday, January 12 at 3:00 PM, Sharp! (Over by around 5:30)
Where: Meet at Foley Square at the black sculpture/fountain. It’s near the Brooklyn Bridge 6 train stop, between Centre and Lafayette, just north of Duane.
Bring: A backpack and a metro card.
Do not bring: A camera (don’t worry we are taking pictures)
Wear: Normal winter clothes (hat, gloves, etc)


man of the mountain

He was a grand old man. I got to shake his hand once at the Explorer's Club, of which he was honorary president or something. In his era, of course, it was the white man who climbed Everest (not to mention named it—no matter that the Sherpas called it Chomolungma or Sagamartha) and got the knighthood; Tenzing Norgay's name did not echo from the mountaintops. It is amusing to see writers scrambling to give equal credit these days without lessening Edmund Hillary's accomplishment. The Jersey Girl sends the following quote from the New York Times: "I’ve always hated the danger part of climbing, and it’s great to come down again because it’s safe,” Hillary said in 1977. "But there is something about building up a comradeship — that I still believe is the greatest of all feats — and sharing in the dangers with your company of peers. It’s the intense effort, the giving of everything you’ve got. It’s really a very pleasant sensation.”
For the record, we will assume the Kiwi beekeeper considered Tenzing Norgay his peer.


muralist at work

This week, Photographer Garrison installed five or six murals, some in a new Wall Street sushi place and some in a rehabbed mill building. We are now taking recommendations for a new label for the Kaffeine Kid. The Artist Formerly Known as a Photo- grapher? Please weigh in with your suggestions. It's tough being in charge of all of these pseudonyms—even as a pro name-caller.


home cookin'

Snuck in a Sunday dinner with phamous photog Keri Pickett while in the middle of the middle of the country. Organic to da max and some kinda good!
PS Yeah I know it's—Wednesday already? But I'm a little time lagged.


doctor, doctor

The town of Rochester, Minnesota, is the finest medical theme park in the nation—and very possibly the world (I haven't been to Bangkok so I'm not poz). The anchor store here in Rochester is the Mayo Clinic. When I interviewed King Hussein and Queen Noor in the late '90s, they had just taken over a whole wing of the place for the king's treatment for, if I recollect correctly, Hodgkin's lymphoma. (It was his last interview, alas, and they knew it when I met with them.) In any case, people come to the middle of God's Nowhere for treatments of all kinds from all over the world, partly because of self referral and partly because of the quality of care—and partly because of the theme park aspects.
The various hospitals, treatment centers, outpatient facilities, nursing homes, rehab centers and pharmacies are all interconnected by a labyrinth of underground tunnels and a skyway on the second floor. This is because of snow. Nobody actually walks on the street but me.
Interspersed with the dedicated medical facilities are hotels, steak restaurants, parking lots, chic boutiques, martini bars, malls, salons, places to buy bottled water for $3 a pop and anything else a captive and somewhat disabled audience could require—wheelchair entrances, handicapped suites, hot and cold running walkers and pills pills pills. If I were a drug addict Topkapi I would climb the balconies of the Marriot and prowl the corridors of the Kahler Suites and put Medicare out of business.
This is the world headquarters of Ill-Anon, a place for those who have complaints about their complaints, but like a lobster with it.


it's melting

Minnesota snow, that is. Not my cold cold heart.


the latest

A New Yorker cartoon pictured two women meeting in the park wearing baby backpacks—except that it was their mothers they were carrying. "Yes, mine is 79," one was saying to the other. "How old is yours?"
So tomorrow I go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to pick up my mother who was medivacked out of Mexico for a back operation on my birthday a few weeks ago. That same day my father went into the hospital for blood clots in his lungs. My father is home now, and my mother would like to go home. (Separately!) But she is sufficiently confused by the painkillers she is on that she can't go back to San Miguel. So I am bringing her back to NYC and we will see what we will see.

In storm news, last I heard Ace and family, without power in Sausalito, had evacuated to a friend's house in San Francisco. J seemed to be holding down the fort with Anna, Duro logs, soup and a still-powered cell phone.



hold yer horses

OK, I swear to all you hold sacred (not I, of course, but whatever cow or horse you hold sacred), that I will be back with the program presently. I have Great Pix of the New Year's event, but fear I might have to take a nap before posting.