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.