This invitation is in 3-D. If you don't have 3-D glasses, put a book or something between your eyes and try to space out and you can sometimes do it.

Please stop by! Bring your kids and your friends! Extremely casual!
January 1st, 2009
from 1:00 in the afternoon
98 Riverside Drive


the countdown begins

I mean, if you were planning a big party in two days wouldn't you just decide that right now was the time to refinish the living room floor?


pleading stupidity

Worked for me. When I sent in my $65 parking ticket with proof I had paid the metered rate—displaying the paper receipt upside down like a total blond—they waived the fee.


tree of the wolf children

Not sure where this falls in the spectrum of environmentally desirable objects, but hey, a very merry to all!


ever everest

Had the unexpected pleasure yesterday of entertaining Russell, Himalayan mountain climber and star of Beyond the Limits, a Discovery docu about climbing Everest. Interestingly, since his clients tend to be mid-40ish financial types, he has experienced no falloff in bookings due to economic woes. If anything, business is better than ever. Next May is booked out, with 70 people on the mountain, including Sherpas and guides and the docu team and 2010 is mostly booked. Russell has moved to the Nepal side of Everest this year after difficulties with the Chinese over permits and this year's Olympic flame debacle, which forced him to cancel the expedition on the Tibet side.


the hatters

Must be the season of the guest. The hat family left today at 5 ayem and the next group arrives directly.


politically incorrect

The Bodega Christmas Carol
We actually got the words wrong. It's supposed to go
Feliz Ramadan
Feliz Ramadan
Feliz Ramadan
Prospero ano inshallah
Please sing along with the (politically in)correct words.
(BTW, Ramadan is not til next August)
(Is nothing sacred? In a word: No.)
(I don't know whether it makes it better or worse to know that this song was penned by a Fox News producer who has spent a lot of time in Iraq and Afghanistan.)


group sex

Do you want world peace? This is real important. If you want world peace, love and understanding, tomorrow is the day for ultimate bonding among all the peoples of the world. And we are planning to do that the way almost all animals on the face of the earth do it but the way that monkeys and people do it best and most, to wit: have sex.
Yes, folks, it's the Third Annual Global Orgasm for Peace!
It is pegged (!) to the winter solstice which occurs at 7:04 EST tomorrow. To find out when to climax in other areas check out the Global Orgasm website. You have a two-hour period (6 to 8 am EST) to join with the Whole World and Make Love Not War.
And remember, you can fly hetero, homo, solo or any and everything else you can think of—invite your friends!—the important thing is to get off. It's not too late! Start now! Set your alarm!

the baker street irregulars

The kids kick off E's annual party with a bit of merry merry. This is the politically correct Christmas carol of the week; tomorrow, the incorrect one.


as the snow really fell

This photo is not in black and white. Left the truck in Erin's driveway, went to Providence with Wolfen, heard from Johnny that he could not drive me, got on the train this morning and caught glimpses of the parking lot that was I-95.
One fellow traveler tried to get off the train after her plane flight to Cleveland had been cancelled (failed and got out at the next stop to reverse direction), another got word that her parents had just been in a 12-car pileup and wouldn't be able to pick her up (they were ok except that when she got out of the smashed car the mother slipped on the ice and hurt her back), and a child traveling alone from school in Boston had to meet her mother in New York rather than her father in Stamford. I would like to know how those stories turned out. But all I can tell you is that a passerby, a cute personal trainer, lugged my overheavy bag through the slush from the subway for me and at last I was home, where I will hunker down and stay—at least for the moment. Yelapa in January is looking good.


as the snow melted

We met in Woonsocket to check out the building H and C are planning to buy. They looked right at home: H on the pink couch with her iPhone with the office and C gazing out the window at the sign reading "Bienvenue a Quartier Francais." Sorry, don't know how to do the accents.


as the first snow fell

Changping made me dinner: asparagus and mushrooms, eggs and tomatoes, hong shao beef, sauteed potatoes with vinegar. And then we went to sleep to be awakened in the night by the sound of snowplows scraping the road outside. Thank fortune I had put concrete block in the back of the truck the night before. And then—but I'll tell you tomorrow. . .


familiar site

In the morning this building was on two flatbed trucks; by afternoon it was as you see it, with the rafters raised. It's a kit barn that comes precut—just match the colors and the dots and nail. Fortunately the day was extremely clement (unlike today, as the poor crew puts on the roof). Erin was on hand to cheer on the crew most of the day (and worry about trucks getting stuck in the mud), Flip left work early to check it out before dark, and Wolfen and Chris showed up unexpectedly. When they expertly began covering stacks of boards with tarps, the contractor said, "Your whole family seems to be into construction!"


game over

The jigsaw puzzle is done, the presents are wrapped and I'm headed up to watch Erin's barn get delivered—and not incidentally to get rid of the truck for the winter.


and this is different how?

December 13, 2008
From the look of your birthday chart this will be one of those all or nothing years, when you either rise to the challenges that life sends your way and emerge victorious, or give up altogether and dream wistfully of what might have been. It's up to you.



This lovely form, which was sent to me by someone who shall remain nameless but her name begins with an H for Hagridden like me thanks very much, may come in useful for some of you who, perhaps inspired by holiday excesses, long to begin exercising but simply need a chart to mark things off on to really jumpstart yourself. Feel free to use this one.


body maintenance

Yes, damn you, I am walking for half an hour or so a day. In the rain. I do the situps. I prepare healthy food. I take my vitamins. I drink plenty of water. I go to the eye doctor and the dentist. I sonic clean my teeth and floss (mostly). I get my eight hours. Oh yeah, and shower and wash my hair and slather cream all over my dry skin and get pedicures and wax and do my nails.
I just have one question: When do you have time to do anything else?


jersey christmas

You kind of wonder what these people wear when they hang out at home. Gold lame tube tops? Brocade smoking jackets? Velvet leggings? A lot of makeup? Furs in midsummer? And what kind of cars do they drive? Cadillac Escalade? Corvette? And to them I say, there's a guy who is making it snow in the Time Warner center every weekend evening. Wouldn't you like him to come to your house and make the whole thing look more seasonal? And by the way, do you need Help?

PS You have to click on the pic to see what's going on behind the fence.


exhumed treasures

Yes, I know they are creepy, but la Otra Rubia wanted me to take a picture of them, and it is her birthday today, so happy birthday to you.
We were poking through the detritus of a life—well, two lives, really, (and bringing rather more of it home than I had expected to)—the other day and I reached the conclusion that we have too much stuff. It's been said before, but you so can't take it with you. So I have vowed to deacquisition for everything I acquire. Or buy another house to put it in. . .


one reason why it's so hard to park

Sorry, I'd write more. But I have to go re-park the truck. I'll be back in a couple of hours.


international news

BORNEO A 23-year-old Malaysian man was killed on Thursday night after enraging other customers who felt that he “hogged the microphone” at what Malaysia’s Star Online described as “a coffeeshop-cum-karaoke outlet” on the island of Borneo.
Karaoke rage is not unheard of in Asia. There have been several reported cases of singers being assaulted, shot or stabbed mid-performance, usually over how songs are sung.
Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” has generated so many outbursts of hostility that some bars in the Philippines now do not offer it on the karaoke menu anymore.
In Thailand this year, a gunman shot eight people dead after tiring of their endless renditions of a John Denver tune. As The Telegraph reported in March, that maddening John Denver tune was “Country Roads.”

We'll always have Wal-Mart.

PARIS Robbers in drag get millions in Paris jewel theft. Armed robbers — some disguised as women — snatched $108 million worth of diamond rings, necklaces and luxury watches from a Harry Winston boutique on a posh Paris avenue in one of the largest jewel heists in history, officials said Friday. The gang of three or four robbers threatened about 15 employees with handguns and hit some on the head before taking the jewels from display cases from the store near the Champs-Elysees.
A security monitoring group for the French jewelry industry has reported a 20 percent rise in armed robberies this year over last, with 132 incidents in the first 11 months of 2008. In London, police have reported a recent rise in holdups of security vans. Police say it could be linked to the credit crunch and predict the trend to continue as Christmas approaches.

And a very merry to all, darling.

MEXICO Besides the two camels spotted near the border, Mexico has seen a rash of escaped animals lately, including four tigers, a 500-pound lion and a five-ton elephant.

Drug lords' target practice.


huntin' season

The following are articles from the West Plains Daily Quill

Youngsters invited to squirrel hunting clinic
The Mo. Department of Conservation will offer a squirrel hunting clinic beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. It will be free-of-charge and open to youngsters ages 11 to 15 who are hunter-education certified and accompanied by an adult. After a 30-minute orientation, the youngsters and accompanying adult will go to an assigned area to hunt until 10:30 a.m.
A lunch of hot dogs and trimmings will be served at noon, along with a couple of squirrel dishes prepared for sampling.

Trimmings? Um, I don't know, but the favorite squirrel dish I've heard about in the Ozarks is deep fried squirrel brains.

Editorial by Frank Martin
. . .Since you will have lots of time to think, consider why some of the other hunters wear camouflage long johns, camouflage watch bands, and carry camouflage hankies and cigarette lighters. Do they really think deer will see them in their underwear or tell time by their watch? And which is more likely, that they want to look as if they just stepped from the pages of a Cabela’s catalog or that their wives are hard-put to find them Christmas gifts?

Maybe the squirrel hunters should have a fashion clinic, too.


not about sex

How likely is your marriage to break up? Find out now using the divorce calculator, which uses statistics, not including how many times you have sex per month (although that question is asked in other places on the site) to figure out actuarially and demographically the percentage of couples like you who won't make the long haul. And honey, it can get long.
And speaking of couples who don't have enough sex, check out these cels from a new book based on the strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which is freaking funny.

In Azu nuz, check out an interview about sustainable jewelry with the CEO of Azu, and definitely check out the new guitar bracelet site at Wear Your Music.


how retirees spend their time

Aarp "Road 'N Tow" Motoring Plan
Claims Department
Dear Sir or Madam,
On November 23, 2008, I got my pickup stuck in an icy driveway in Pennsylvania. It was Sunday and dusk, and there was no cellphone reception. I borrowed a neighbor’s phone and called my Road 'N' Tow service. They were unable to find anyone in my area to help me. I thought the whole point of a towing service was to find someone to help you in an emergency. After a great deal of difficulty, I was able to find someone to help me. It was quite costly, though, and the driver would only accept cash.
I am enclosing the receipt from the towing service for $250. Please remit.
This happened more than a week ago, and I am still mad. This is not the first time I have been unhappy with the coverage of your service. Please send me my $250 and cancel my AARP Motoring Plan membership as of January 1, 2009. That will give me enough time to sign up for AAA.

Parking Violations Hearing By Mail
Dear Sir or Madam,
I was cited on December 1 for not displaying a muni meter receipt.
I did have a muni meter receipt. The receipt says "Display on Driver's Side of Dashboard." As you can see from the photo below, I did that. Unfortunately I displayed it upside down.
I had, however, paid the parking fee. My citation was issued at 09:21 am and my receipt was good until 10:12 am (see photo). I don't think I should have to pay this fine, since I did pay the parking fee.
Thank you.

I hope that about wraps it up for the year.

hot pink child in the city

My nice nieces might have felt a little confined in a New York apartment over the eating ceremony vacation, but they had no difficulty adjusting to the park. Meanwhile, my sister and her husband found out that they had finally gotten permission to build their green house in Mass. You can read all about it on Erin's blog (link at right). Today they begin digging the foundation hole for the actual house. Mazel tov!


diamonds and dust

Just in case, due to the excitements of Thanksgiving, you missed these photographs of the emporium of Catherine Andrews of Madison, Georgia, in the New York Times Escapes section last Friday, I am running them here. I see no reason not to mention that she once planned to call the place Weasel World before going the more dignified route. Especially since there is taxidermy in the place, which, according to Bergdorf's Christmas windows is so this season. Ms. Andrews carries many carefully edited, eclectic items from riding boots to Waterford, as well as being herself a diamond of the first water (not yet an antique, let's just call her "well loved," and, no, I don't know whether she's for sale!) Hurry—the fox sold the day the article came out. So y'all come on down! And if y'all can't, y'all call!


black friday

The Thanksgiving weekenders practice up for Williamsburg at the spectacle store.