At one point in my life the Academy Awards were my life. Not any more, for the past decade I’ve been able to watch from home in my pajamas.. I don’t have to worry about bodyguards, drivers, gowns, jewelry, after parties, day after gifts….nada! I’m in utter non-glamorous bliss. Actually, for all my years in “the biz” the closest I came to attending the Oscars was at The Russian Tea Room with the New York contingent of non-westbound not nominated mostly retired actors. I wore a slinky, probably too tight, golden dress that sparkled and some rather punishing shoes all purchased off the rack. While in LA I worked with people who attended the Oscars and even slept with my head on a pillow over a bag of $$$ jewelry to be worn the next day (I still cannot believe it was entrusted to me and don’t think I slept a wink that night!). I’ve jumped up and down when actors I love have won, cried knowing someone who is a real human being won, been grateful for the talent and so pissed off when someone one did due to politics (Sean Penn, you are amazing, but come on your boy Mickey Rourke deserved it that year!). I want Tom Hanks to win again so he can give an award-winning speech and for Cuba “Show Me the Money” Gooding to find his way back to acting (he just might be getting there). I love when something outrageous happens on the red carpet (cue Bjork!)
What I’m really looking forward to this year though is Billy Crystal. That man is funny! He’s also a really good host. The two are not always the same. ***How amazing is this trailer featuring him (and how much do I love that William Fichter is in it)!?!
For those who are getting dressed up here’s some advice from one of the most stylish women in the world. My rules for the red carpet: stock the car with essentials (water, deodorant, tissue, contact solution, gum…), wear Valentino or Carolina Herrera (nothing that will show sweat stains!!), keep the jewelry to a minimum (Harry Winston’s vintage is best), bring hot arm candy you can have fun with or one of your loving family members, smile (practice in the mirror – put your tongue behind your upper teeth and check which side is better in the mirror) and be nice to everyone (you’d think wouldn’t you?), mind your posture (practice walking in your dress and shoes!), go early so you don’t get lost behind all the “A” listers and their publicists and refrain from taking pictures (till the parties anyway and only if you see others doing the same). Then just have fun, especially for those who are not nominated, take it all in sit back watch and pinch yourself. xo
A subscription to Garden & Gun (the monthly guide to all things Dixie) $24.97
“12 months of Red Truck Bakery“: a delicious gift every month for a year (you just try to take a slice of their double-chocolate moonshine cake away from me!) $380
Alabama Chanin DIY Bandana Kit (100% organic cotton jersey bandana in reverse applique comes painted, stenciled and ready-to-sew) $39.95
Handblown glass pitcher (ingredients not included for a cool glass of lemonade or sweet tea) Simon Pearce $135
A Gee’s Bend Quilt (contact The Gee’s Bend Quilter’s Collective at 334.573.2323 for a handmade quilt that is worthy of being a family heirloom, these exceptional quilts are steeped in history) FYI ask questions to make sure the quilters were compensated appropriately …i.e. this article. $$$
Anything by Savannah, Georgia born and raised Flannery O’Connor. This amazing woman lived during the first part of the 20th century crafting some of the most beautiful stories. $10 – 20
Oh how I miss you so. I first visited New Orleans in 2000 on a road trip from Texas to Kentucky, and then again in 2001 on another road trip from Los Angeles to Maine (at the time I thought my friend and I were turning around in Maine). Those trips almost don’t count. I primarily spent my time in the gaudy French Quarter and pristine Garden District, learning little and seeing less of the “real” New Orleans. I felt it a fun, wild place full of mischief (all kinds) and inhibition. Disturbingly divided racially and economically. I was younger, naive, and sheltered. Perhaps the best thing I did during my first trip was dine at Commander’s Palace and when I visited again the following year I let go drinking those deliciously sugary alcoholic slurpees in the street. Ten years later I returned a different person embracing the city and being embraced everywhere from the Seventh Ward to Treme by so many incredible people. When New Orleans winked at me I ran to her.
Katrina wreaked her havoc and New Orleans fought back with polished brass, mythical cocktails, visionary architects, parades, streetcars, Southern raconteurs, enthusiastic folks who know their way around a kitchen, and the New Orleans Saints (even people I met there who say they don’t like football watch the Saints).
Shaila Dewan of The New York Times wrote of her days in New Orleans in 2007 “WHAT other city, after being half-drowned and left to starve, foiled by bureaucracy and attacked by the auto-immune disease of rampant crime, could stagger to its feet to welcome visitors with a platter of oysters on the half shell and a rousing brass band? What place, barely two years after Hurricane Katrina, could provide streetcar rides and impromptu parades, riverboat calliopes and sidewalk tap dancers? When chroniclers look back, the city’s ability to be itself — a place that embraces sorrow and joy with equal gusto — in this hardest of times will become part of its legend.”
The city for all her faults and oh so alluring treasures is a phenomenally powerful place where one could live fully in an only-in-New-Orleans way. I will be visiting New Orleans to work on rebuild projects and wrap myself tightly in that blanket of humidity I found so intoxicating while drinking those delicious Pimm’s Cups. or sweating in a second line following a great brass band through the streets.
To everyone I met there you know who you are and know you touched me. My heart goes out to you, my arms are open. You are courageous, sassy, and warm. I’ll be writing about some of you and your great talents and generous spirits in posts to come. xooo
The Fourth of July is a few days away, but the long weekend starts tomorrow! I hope you all have fun plans this weekend. I’m hosting the first shindig at my new home and going swimming in the nearby lake. With any luck I’ll have worked out my iPhone kinks and have Polaroid photos to share of the outdoor games, grilling, desserts (watermelon, popsicles…), and house made cocktails. Rather than fireworks I’m happily going to settle for the mysterious and ancient seeming fireflies which light up the back field at night. So beautiful.
Fun finds online this week…there have been so many good ones recently and I want to share them with you
How could I not share this man eating Nutella video with you? Curious how you respond. At first I thought it was hilarious, then totally grossed out.
On the more high brow level is this trailer for “Making Faces: Metal Type in the 21st Century,” a new documentary by Richard Kegler. It is a video document of the late Jim Rimmer, the Canadian designer of almost 200 typefaces.
Brilliant marketing company in Portland, Oregon (of course!) created DIY monthly paper toy calendars…join and download for free. Love the July camping one, seriously cool!!
What did I do before The Huffington Post? Oh, read the Sunday edition of The New York Times (and I still do, but HP is my news oxygen M-F)….have you heard about all the possible restaurant chain closings next year? I’ve got to say I’m not entirely disappointed that this might mean less animals killed in factories and Americans maybe eating healthier by maybe cooking for themselves. Of course, I feel for all the people who will be unemployed.
Beautiful, thoughtfully written and compiled food blog I discovered this week. Going to have to make some of the recipes, sound so yummy and those colorful photos!!
Cup of Jo’s tattoo posts are my favorite…I can’t believe she doesn’t have any and am sure if she ever does it will be adorable like her writing (yes, writing can be adorable at least in her case she just seems so sweet). I love the two I’ve got and now that the weather is warm I can show them off
Okay, so I actually wouldn’t be caught dead in short shorts…but those J Brand denim cutoffs I picked up at my favorite Portland, Maine boutique Bliss are not exactly thigh covering. One check in the store’s normally somewhat flattering full length mirror and…then OMG my legs are white and I need to tone wow I really need to add something to my routine. For years I was obsessed with my weight and found walking two or more miles a day kept me in check mentally and physically. Well, that’s all good and fine but the reality is I also haven’t owned a great pair of shorts in a long time. Let’s face it shorts are about the least flattering item maybe ever created. You can tidy up your feet (the least attractive part of a person’s body in my opinion) with a pedicure (men if any of you are reading this….please don’t get a pedicure but for God’s sake keep those toes clean) and short skirts cover up just a wee bit more.
Thank everything for my friend Jessica, who in true Maine fashion is a swimmer/painter (talented!)/occasional instructor at the Camden (state of the art) YMCA/shop keeper (with her mom who is a children’s book illustrator/rug designer….)..One desperate (I can be rather dramatic about these things, but then can’t we all?) call to Jessica and two days later I’ve got a 10-minute kick my butt into shape workout I can do in my barn. I’ll be sharing this workout with you down the road once I’ve been into it and have results…just in time for lake swimming. Jess is my Tracy Anderson (whose Dance Cardio Workout DVD is in my small collection).
So, why all of a sudden writing about this…because I’m torn in usual fashion. Since stepping off of the Riggin and away from Annie’s amazing baked goods last Saturday I’ve been trying to lay low on the sweets (chocolate covered raisins from Fastachi have been my one exception). Well, that’s fine until you stumble across these two lovelies.
Think Raspberry Meringues, Mocha Buttercream, Aunt Sis’s Peanut Brittle, and Rock Candy. What the heck is a girl to do? Can I do both? Well, going with my ever faithful bit colorful live life to its fullest Auntie Mame approach I’d say we are about to find out. After all, if Parisian women (okay, they’ve got the genes for the jeans) can do it can’t I at least try!? Forgoing processed foods and snacking, drinking lots of water, being active, and Jess’s exercise routine/my long walks cannot end in complete failure right?
I’m about to wrap up the day by taking my dog out (she is old so I need to watch her in case she falls and just a wee bit mischievous.. enough she would wander somewhere that smells great and where I cannot see her) then pack for my trip. I should add about Paige is really so much more than my dog, she is truly my companion riding along with me to meetings, lounging by me when doing the dishes or sunbathing (finally and today!), nudging me when “she knows” I should be done with the computer, and making me smile all the time. When I first adopted her eight years ago she was a bit of an escape artist and frightened by certain kinds of people, brooms…now she’s my old gal lollygagging about the house and yard sniffing at the kitty (an adoptee from Mexico) and pointing out every so often there should be something more in her food bowl. The wild turkeys held back whenever we would go out at night (they tend to wander in early in the morning providing gobbles the way roosters call and at dusk..strolling about and occasionally breaking into the funniest run I’ve ever seen), but now they sense either we are harmless or not interested. I’m not sure how much Paige senses their presence, but I hope she doesn’t feel vulnerable or weak if that makes any sense. She’s noticed the ducks, but for some reason those have not interested her much (while in the “city” I loaded her up with stuffed birds of every kind – she gets the real ones are not her toys), but “Fatty” as I like to call him or her…our resident woodchuck is all together a different matter. She is obsessed with Fatty, but then again so am I. The furry creature, which is not much bigger than a football can EAT. He/she plows like a drunk at a Las Vegas buffet.
The first year I had Paige I took her two-hour day sails out of Camden. She seemed to love it, so we went several times. She has never been a swimmer, but then I’m not sure German Shepherds are (she is a mix)…and preferred to splash about on the shore. I love the water, being in it, on it, and just darn near anywhere near it. I’m a Pisces, but that may have nothing to do with it. Tomorrow I will drop off Paige with her (amazing) dog sitter (she is spoiled rotten and we both love it), pick up a large (it will be very early) coffee, and drive from Portland to Rockland to meet the boat. Then it is 2 1/2 days of checking out of work and electronics and checking in to nature. We’re expecting fireworks tomorrow night (the natural kind forecast by NOAA), but that will be fine…anchored in some harbor with friends, food, and drink.
So, what to pack for this trip…for onboard a windjammer…The Schooner J&E Riggin’s eleven cabins are cozy yet comfortable as on any boat. My cabin has two twin beds and homemade quilts, a sink with cold running water (“heads” toilets are above on deck), porthole that provides light and can be opened for fresh air and ventilation (big one for me since I’m a wee bit claustrophobic).
The key is, as always, to not overpack. Going in the bag… sneakers, wool socks + hiking boots, jeans, pajamas, shorts (recently purchased J-Brand cut-offs), t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, heavy sweater (I’m bringing my EMS fleece lined sweatshirt), bathing suit, sunglasses, and sunscreen. *If I were going out for a week I’d bring a baseball cap and waterproof rain gear. As it is, I may bring my rain jacket. Book, stitching project, yarn, and camera.
Inspiration: Erin Wasson (just switch the blazer out for something more casual)