annual report

It's been a big year for Little Miss Thing who turns 28 tomorrow: New building, new dog and new car (two days old, above). Not many adult markers left for left for next year, one might suppose. Photos by Christopher.


more about fashion

The distaff side may not have the headgear going on, but she has a lot else. Check the chic bag, recently purchased at some place in Soho that I've never heard of at an irresistible (i.e. less astronomical) price and the fab jaquette. I am sorry you cannot see the boots.
Trust me, everyone needed all of their clothing to keep warm yesterday in the howling winds and sub-zero temps.



Certain people always know what's stylin'. Earflap Russian hat is so happening.
Also, for those who have yet to purchase a calendar for the upcoming year, see blurb in New York magazine.
Also, my favorite quote from yesterday's Times:
“One of the problems is newspapers fired so many journalists and turned them loose to start so many blogs. They should have executed them. They wouldn’t have had competition. But they foolishly let them out alive.”
Something the Russians seem to have understood.


as per usual

I know, Wolfen, I shouldn't put my phone number and address on the web.


winter festivities

Christmas Eve en mass in Mass, followed by jollifications and jubilations in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Now back in New York, New York, to prepare for the next round.


no fruitcake

I'm having a problem with the fruitcake thing. I know they have fallen from favor. Everybody talks about tossing fruitcakes in the trash and how everyone hates them. Well, I do not.
Fruitcakes used to simply appear during the holidays. I have this one friend that used to sometimes send me fruitcakes from Assumption Abbey in Ava, Mo. I think they were my favorites ever. Or maybe I was just older, and this fruitcake thing comes on with age. So this year I finally caved and went on line. I was actually going to purchase one for myself. It seems that not only has Assumption Abbey been picked up by Williams-Sonoma, but the monks (all four of them?) have also had a fire in the kitchen. No fruitcakes until March. March? Who wants a fruitcake in March?
So I am putting out a plea: If you are about to throw a fruitcake in the trash, think of me.


on a platter

For the past three evenings, photographer Donna Ferrato has been holding entertainments in her Tribeca loft to sell prints and calendars for Christmas. As a side benefit, she has positioned a chair and a light so that photographers can shoot partygoers. These two made use of a tray to bounce the light onto Fatima's face, giving me a creepy flashback to John the Baptist's head on a platter.
Those who want calendars may apply to our little calendar girl at Donna Ferrato. We love we love we love our little calendar girl every day every day of the year.


meanwhile, on block island

John sends in these pix of the scene at the compound after the great First Storm of Winter.
And Happy Belated Solstice!


at the museum

New York is full of tourists slogging through the snow. Not least, my cousin Avery and her Great Aunt Sally, in from New Orleans, who took in the shows and the snow and the museums and the Planetarium. I wish I had taken a picture of Avery, with her fresh pink cheeks, but all I took was this picture of a tree while I was waiting for her.


bear it

The elves of Woonsocket have been busy packing and shipping, the elves of 98 Riverside have been busy withdrawing and stuffing envelopes and gritting their teeth, and the elves at the North Pole have been just plain
by the Christmas list from my niece, which my sister has entitled
"Why My Daughter Never Gets What's On Her Xmas List to Santa"

1. A pink or black TV for my room (with cable).
2. Money
3. A pink flip sideways phone with unlimited texting.
4. Eye clops mini projector
5. Pink laptop for myself.
6. A baby black bear (and my bear license).


winter roses

I read the following in the New York Times yesterday:
In a 2007 study by psychologists at Northwestern, Princeton and Lawrence Universities, researchers measuring public perceptions of different groups found that “housewives” were perceived to be approximately as competent as elderly and mentally retarded people.

I better get a job. . .



Whaddya think? Balcony overlooking the sea from the master bedroom? Worth the building permit hassle?


summer's coming

Winter isn't even here yet (this pic taken by brother John last year), but summer rentals on Block Island are already booking up—a month earlier than usual. Weeks at Hannah's Hideaway (left) are almost gone, but rentals at Claudia's Surf City lag. Apparently people aren't as into the rustic chic thing as the chic chic thing.
What can I do to make Claudia's (which I consider almost perfect) rent better? It already has nice bathrooms and the best shower in the world. I suppose I could switch out the windows, add an upstairs balcony, put in insulation and dry wall.
Still, I keep thinking: hot tub. . .
What would you do?



rudolph the redneck reindeer

It's holiday season —and deer season. Going to show that there are nests of rednecks even on tiny trendy islands fourteen miles off the shore of Rhode Island.


mock up

Tomorrow! Be there. Oh, and promptly.


another sad pet story

I saw the following in Craigslist, and it reminded me so of Mr. Squiggles (which, by the way, that damn mechanical hamster toy is named after). The ad was headlined: I LOST PANCAKES
"I was floating down the river on my tube, and Pancakes was right next to me. He is a small, 13 legged centipede who loves taco sauce, hardy partying, and never forgets to take his gummy vitamins. I looked back and he was gone, floating away. . . SCREAMING. No one knew what to do. He is a very good floater, probably because of all the gummi vitamins he takes. He never eats McDonalds when I do either. If you find him could you please e-mail me immediately!?? I miss him so much and I have no one to talk to, and no one to drink beerz with. He was my only friend. He was supposed to be 12 this upcoming Feb. 9th. He is an Aquarius.


birthday girl

Kate (right) gathered quite the crowd in fashionable Greenwich Village, including the Photographer (center) trying to talk the Rapper (left) into posing nude with all his tattoos proudly displayed. The Ex brought cupcakes.


wear out wear your music

Just a reminder that, as with so many other businesses, this is high season for our own wear your music. Bracelets made with the guitar strings of famous musicians (expensive), colorful fashion guitar string bracelets (cheap) and charms like silver guitar picks are still available for delivery by Christmas, with profits going to charity. The line is featured in Rolling Stone's gift guide, and will be shown on the Today Show on Monday during the 10 o'clock hour. So check it out and make like Good King Wenceslas: give the gift of giving.


power for the people

With packs of electricians roving 98, it was refreshing to receive The Power Line, a newspaper for members of the Missouri cooperative that you have to join to get electricity in the Ozarks. There's a great article about an 86-year-old who grows broom straw to make his own brooms, another about a woman who paints gourds to look like Santas, and a news item about Missouri's number of smokers (fourth from top nationally) and cigarette tax (second to lowest) (coincidence?). Then there are ads for things I didn't know were things: the Han-D Stock Tank Heater, the High Country 3-Tier Saddle Rack, the Motorcycle-ATV jack. And the classifieds! Instrument repair of dulcimers and mandolins; Catahoula cattle dog, hog dog, tree dog, guard dog pups; play gospel songs in 10 lessons!; gentle mammoth jack, 6 yrs old has only bred jennets; ginseng seed for sale; cheese making supplies.
Rural is different than urban. No wonder this country can't get it together.


progress at 98

With the American Eating Ceremony over, the electricians were allowed to continue with their work. They bored through my hall to put in a breaker box, later to be tied in to replace the fuse box in the kitchen. There was dust, but not too bad. Kathleen is painting now.


not much living room

The electricians arrive today to bust up the hall and kitchen, so, with a litle help from our friends, we moved everything into, um, Steve Mack's room.


the joiner

Yes, it's that time of year again, the time of year when I reexamine my club memberships.
Note bene: Memberships, plural.
Never let it be said that I am as inflexible in my principles as I am in my joints: I have joined a gym. Yesterday.
As for the Explorer's Club, I have worried this decision at great and boring length before. If I can make a reservation there for my 60th birthday party a year hence, I will reup for a year. If not, I will just go to the gym so I can live that long.



post prandial

Doggie Dear, worn out by her first Thanksgiving.


excuses, excuses

Sorry I was off line yesterday. I was busy. I should be busy today, but I'm just tired. Ed, the turnips were a huge hit.


guess who's coming to dinner

(2006) this year
Female: (11) 12
Male: (6) 9
Males under three: (2) 0
Sets of twins: (1) 1
LBGT: (that I know of) (2) 2
Psychiatrists: (1) 1
Under 25: (6) 4
Big media employees: (2) 1
Female car mechanics: (1) 0
Chinese-Americans: (1) 1
Latinas: (1) 1
Gasner/Dowling clan members: (7) 7
Aliens: (1) 0
Parents: (6) 9
Blonds: (6) 8
Strangers: (1) 0
Native Americans: (0) 0


guess who came to dinner

OK, let's get into the wayback machine and go backwards in time to 2005. It was the only Thanksgiving Wolfen ever missed. (They're en route to New York even now.) But there were plenty of other folk. Here we go, a golden oldie entry.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with—oops, wrong holiday. It's time to play: Guess the weight of the turkey! Also
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!
Well, Angelina, Dolores and La Otra Rubia for sure. I think Mr. Li, too, although having never met the guy and not wanting to encourage his pretentions, I may change my mind about that.


Wolfen said...
Do you think you can save some for when I come home from Mexico in April???

nicole richie said...
the turkey weighs way more then me so like 66 lbs probably - it would be so unemployed in hollywood.
anyway I was invited by angelina to come but you guys are so not my scene. I am gonna be at bungalow 8 with adam.
vomit for me after

la otra... said...
That's a big turkey. With a big wishbone, I'm sure. What are you gonna wish for, Claudia?

Otra Rubia With the Too Funny Sister said...
p.s. Is Kim Chi coming?

paris said...
Really, Nicole. Such talk! You always did want to be Twiggy.
Men want to see a girl with some turkey on her bones. Like me.

mr. li said...
Mr. Li must disappoint Lady Bride. Li cannot attend Happy American eating ceremony.
Li must fast and purify, in prepare for sword fight with rival Mr. Danger- Fleece.
However, Li is send gift to beloved. Expect gift is arrive today.
Li knows Lady will be charmed by gift to save charms for Li.
Li has study what say King Presley:
"We cannot go together, with suspecting minds." Li say "Don't let our good love die". (Sob).

Wolfen said...
Li...bro....can I call you that?? I mean, well, you and my mom...uh...well...I guess I can stick with Mr. Li for now... untill...well...anyway.
But Brighten up man...It's a holiday, and you get to eat turkey!!!! I would fight you for that right!

neruda said...
this looks like a 21 lb.+ turkey sorry we are not there to eat it with you ..i know it will be great as long as surfer girl is cooking...you have fun now and don"t forget to be grateful in the middle of all the joy and wonder of family and friends



In French, souvenir means memory. Here, it means memento —a keepsake that reminds you of a place you've been or an event you treasured.
That's why it's a little worrisome when you can't remember where the memento is from. Like this cork I found while tidying up for Thanksgiving (countdown starts today). Is it a Champagne cork? What was so special about it? Was it from Hannah's wedding or my 50th or last Thanksgiving? Who knows? Barrett? How about this rock? Is this the one from Mt. Everest? This sand, is it the sand I collected from Stinson Beach (with Janis Joplin's ashes in it) or is it from Jamaica, Hawaii, Florida, San Onofre?
Note to youth: Label your souvenirs while you still recall.


the bad news biz

Today I wrote a letter of recommendation for a young woman who is applying to journalism school. It was a counterintuitive exercise for me. I am writing this as several friends are waiting to hear whether theirs will be among the 600 jobs deleted at Time Inc. Also as it is announced that the AOL spinoff in a couple weeks will cost 2,500 jobs there. Nine years ago. AOL and Time Warner accomplished their synergistic merger that brought both companies low. Former honchos during the merger are now cooling their jets respectively on big tracts of paradise in Kauai and California. Internet business kaput. Magazine business kaput. Didn't even last a decade.
Meanwhile, my candidate. Journalism jobs these days are scarce and the few outfits that can hire have a bad case of who-you-know-itis. She feels stuck at her current yachting magazine job. And who could blame her—she wants to write about serious, important, or at least amusing subjects rather than about how to float your boat. (Come to think of it, the yachtbuilding biz could be in as much trouble as the magazine biz in this economy!) Perhaps as she gets her degree, the stormwaters will subside and we will be able to see what journalism will look like when we reach harbor again. Otherwise (to stretch the metaphor too far), we're all sunk.


who you gonna call?

You never know how things are going to come out. Take a gently nurtured child, pamper her and give her every material thing her heart desires, introduce her to proper society, send her to the finest schools in the country and you should predictably wind up with a Westport matron whose work life consists of a few days at the Minks and Sinks rummage sale.
Not a person who moves from working as a go-go girl wearing pasties to clubbing baby seals in Alaska to writing House of Horror comic books. But even knowing this history, I could never have predicted this most recent incarnation as a security guard on the set of Vampire Diaries. What's next? How the hell could I possibly guess?


more about animals

Some people still have pets. Some people have kitties which they keep by their fireplaces in Brooklyn while eating Italian pastries all day long and not having to go to work.
Some people used to have pets and now only have dreams about animals (or eat them). One of those people dreamt the other night that she was working on a story called "The Hunters of Green Comfort," about a new symbiotic relationship that had developed throughout the world between cows and monkeys. It was a pretty weird dream, especially because the cows (!) were The Hunters.
Cows? I could believe maybe pigs. Did you see the NYT article about pigs the other day? Stop me if I've told you the story of my pet pig. . .



It is my sad duty to inform you that Mr. Squiggles has passed away. He was becoming increasingly, er, sluggish. And as far as slugs go, it's kind of hard to tell which end is which unless they put their eyestalks out. I did some research to find out what he needed in the way of food or environment and found this great pet slug site and moved Mr. Sqiggles to a new container with some fresh romaine, using spring water rather than NY Tap. Alas, the move seemed to do him (or her) more harm than good and that was kind of that. I laid his body to rest in the sweet potato vine pot in case he came back to life, but I don't think he (she) is going to.


still serving beer

The West Plains Daily Quill, my favorite small newspaper in the world, put the 200th anniversary of Thomasville, Mo., on the front page yesterday. Yes, it's the New Goose, turquoise eyeliner and glass blocks and all, but is there any reference to the fact that Old Carl is no longer the owner? Any mention of the newest taxpayer in this mouldering town? Any mention in the lineup of Famous People of T'ville that a world renowned journalist who has climbed Mt. Everest and canoed the Amazon, interviewed two Presidents Bush and countless movie stars now calls the Goose home?
This is the peril of talking to only one source for a story, oh Quill reporter whose boss I am likethis with.
And this diss, despite the fact that I know Frank Martin!


name that pet

Big excitement at the Dowling International, a.k.a. Claudia's Crashpad, and no I am not talking about Aymar!
I was just finishing off some watercress yesterday when I ran across a foreign object. Well, he/she (slugs are hermaphrodites) was actually probably native to the watercress, so you could look at it that he/she ran across a foreign object in his/her watercress, to wit: my finger.
Anyhow, he/she was too small (see fingertip) and cute to execute, so now he/she lives in a walnut meat container with the rest of the watercress. I'm not much on pets, as those of you who want me to buy a chihuahua may know. Any idea how long slugs live?
And please suggest a name.



An expedition can bond people—and the more brutal, the more lasting the bond. High altitude is pretty brutal—especially after the first month. I went to 22,000 feet in the Himalayas with Russell (left), and Jeremy made it to the top of Mt. Everest, 29,000 and change. And even though we see one another only every few years, it's always a pleasure.


strong men

Rabbi Abraham, a man who goes for extreme cold-water swimming at Coney Island, poses with another Brooklyn fixture, now recovering from abdominal surgery. They both look pretty damn healthy, considering.


artist at work

Peruvian-American artist Aymar Ccopacatty put on a bitchin' show at Tribes Gallery. Called Recycling Urgencies, the show is comprised mostly of work Aymar made by spinning "wool" from plastic trash and using it to form weavings or knits. A video and display shows the artist at work. There are also paintings. Buy one today! The show will only be up for another couple of weeks.
Aymar is onto something important about flotsam and jetsam. A recent NYT article says that there is a trash whirlpool twice the size of Texas in the Pacific.


a little ditty

About Frank and Dianne: They bought yet another property In Missouri, including forty-something acres and this lovely John Deere room, with matching fan blades and wallpaper! There is also a horse room with matching fans and wallpaper. . . They were so charmed by the decor that they are considering a move from their current palatial abode, pictured above post Halloween. . . while they were otherwise occupied at the cafe in T'ville.


day of the dead

On the Day of the Dead, an exhibition of the life work of Ann Sims Rath Dugan opened at the Harlin Museum in West Plains, Mo., complete with Tower o' Tupperware and a Mexican Day of the Dead altar with sugar skulls made by Ann's daughter Jessica Rath (top) and admired by Ann's granddaughter. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful artist. Up for two more weeks and well worth the trip.


three down

I shut down the Goose yesterday.
Dale came out to drain the pipes. Hopefully Bear has shut down the squirrels' quarters in the roof, too. He did not want to, but he did climb up and stuff steel wool in the nest hole. I shut down Claudia's before California, and Hannah and Chris shut down Hannah's after Halloween. So the real estate empire has been winterized, and a New York rent stabilized apartment is it now. Spotless, thanks to Kathleen, who also laid in my favorite food and drink.
And by the way, I left the Goose at 8:30 ayem and got home, via planes from St. Louis and Chicago, at midnight or so, about the time the Yankees won the World Series. Hell, I coulda practically driven home in that time.