Dec 26, 2007

Three things:

1) My grandmother is 90 years old and almost blind. But aint she and her friends elegante (she's on the left)? In old photos she's always wearing bright red lipstick and suits, and she was always a big writer and reader (now she devours audiobooks, and my uncle read her my first novel and she read my second one using some big magnifying machine thing), and I'm telling you she always was some kind of literary looker.

2) Also, I just bought the following leetle painting from Lana, as I love strange stitched up creatures with big white teeth and hearts:

3) I think I'm going to spend another witchly New Year's alone surrounded by herbs and candles. For some reason this holiday seems more important to me than any other one, and I just ain't sure that any gathering or party will cut it.

The end.

This Junot Diaz story is completely wonderful, and very very short, and you must read it immediately.

Also: in the past few days I've seen Atonement, which was pretty great, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for a second time, as it is a perfect perfect film, and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Xanadu, both very fun, delightful musicals to see with one's famiglia, and then today I think we might be seeing The Savages after eating some fancy fancy fish that might possibly be encrusted in nuts.

The end.

Dec 22, 2007

My friend Chelsea asked me to post a photo of the Sweetie soda and Emily Strange book, and I have generously and lovingly complied. Have you ever seen two gifts more color coordinated with each other, not to mention with my extraordinarily fashionable Italian handbag (which I saw in a window batting its eyelashes at me, and which I dreamed about, and which I went back to make mine all mine the next day)? And how cool is it to have soda botles with your grandma on them?

Speaking of stunning visiones, last night my friend Anthony showed me some gorgeous gorgeous photography that made my mouth water and my heart burst and break. He has this wondrous, huge photograph by Richard Misrach on his wall--these clouds being hit by the sun that shift and change as you watch them--and he showed me this whole book of Misrach photos, photos you just want to eat or bathe in. Just look:

And then he showed me all these photos by William Eggleston...

... who can make the inside of a stove look luxurious.

So my parents are in town now. The next few days are all about plays, restaurants, canasta, and movayyyys. We are now off to some Russian Tea Room and some XANADU. Don't be too jealous.

The end.

Dec 20, 2007

This is the most shameless piece of self promotion I have ever seen in my entire life.

That's right. Anton Strout's lazyass Christmas card...



In other news,

I had a completely lovely dinner with Eric and Shax last night at Cafe Luxembourg... which is so warm and sparkly and romantically brasserie-ish, and we had cocktails and wine and I had two of my favorite foods, butternut squash soup and a heaping plate of mussels.. Andddd I learned a bunch of wondrous things. As I have decided to go full force into my Dante novel next, instead of finishing the noir as I had thought, I need to get a lot of facts together about life in medieval Florence as quickly as possible, and Shax, who is getting his PhD in material culture, or the history of decorative objects, told us all kinds of things about how people used to live and what they ate and how they made elaborate designs out of sugar, etc etc.--beautiful, mesmerizing things--and he gave me this big bibliography to start my own research. And Eric brought me back an Emily Strange book from Berlin that is red and black and white and delicious, like a perfect piece of embroidery. And we saw Enchanted, which was half awesome and half wayyy too long. But Cinderella calling out to the woodland animals of NYC and filling the apartment with sweeping and scrubbing rats and roaches and pigeons was not unspectacular.

Today I met David for lunch at Keens Steakhouse and had wine and filet and heard many wondrous stories about his massive crazy family, complete with grandfathers who had soda businesses called Sweetie and grandfathers who invented seamless stockings and stepgrandfathers who discovered Komodo dragons. He gave me a lovely vintage bottle of said Sweetie soda--with a picture of his grandmother on it!--which is red and white and black and not only matches my new Emily Strange book but my enviable Italian handbag.

Oh, and Anton's book is now in galley form and I got my mitts on it when he and Orly came over last weekend... and it is VERY VERY COOL to hold it and fondle it and here is his very rood note to me inside:

This book would be much less glittery and full of less description and cinnamony details [WITHOUT YOUR GORGEOUS AND INVALUABLE INFLUENCE IS WHAT I THINK HE MEANT TO ADD HERE].
The royalties, however, are mine.

Dec 19, 2007

Tonight I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It's really wonderful, one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. Buttery, flickering sunlight, dresses and curtains fluttering in breezes, faces leaning into the camera, moving in and out.. Soft, soft music.. Velvet Underground and Tom Waits.. The whole movie is this long, graceful poem. And it's so sad but so gorgeous and soft and lyrical and dreamy and wry at the same time.. I haven't ever seen anything like it. And you must must see it in a theater. Trust me, and go!

Dec 18, 2007

It turns out that photos were taken at the BAKEOFF. Therefore, I present to you my gorgeous confection glimmering like some kind of divine vision from the center of the table.

Here it is up close. Obviously, even the lens of the camera was so overcome by the sheer beauty that it began to tear. And thus the shot is blurred. But that it was able to register on film at all is a blessing, and so I will not complain.

Here are two more photos to commemorate this historic event.

The end.

Dec 17, 2007

So I would just like to say that, out of 20 lovingly prepared entries in the office BAKE OFF, it was indeed yours truly who was victorious in the all important category of TASTE. I meant to take a photo of my magical creation but, tragically, forgot to, and so it will have to live on in myth and dream and the hearts of all who put it rapturously to their lips and forgot, for that one moment, all that tied them to the earth.

Joi came by in true lesbianic seeming fashion and was fortunate enough to witness this historic event. Afterwards, we went to the Algonquin for celebratory pink cocktails--these of the raspberry chili cosmopolitan variety--as well as to gaze upon the sumptuous tree, which is what my full baker's heart would look like, were it made of bark and needle:

The end.
So my first foray into dessert making has yielded pure gold. I just had to write up a description of my dessert to accompany it in the BAKE OFF. Just take a gander:

It is with this confection that Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony and it is because of it that the Trojan War began (it is rumored that Helen was the first to combine these sacred ingredients in a moment of alchemical and erotic frenzy). Over the many generations it has passed through the hands of only a few secret and witchly chefs, to be consumed only at the most clandestine moonlit celebrations at times of harvest. This is the first time, in all of history, that it has been entered in a BAKE OFF. Exercise caution when consuming it, as it has been made with PURE LOVE, and is very likely to open your heart in ways you never imagined it could be opened. Not to mention your legs.

Dec 16, 2007

Speaking of babies.. here's a photo of me with my best friend Aoife. Just this morning I was telling her how when she's 14 she can come visit me in my Parisian villa and we can wear berets and go see can can girls and eat croissants and snails and smoke thin cigarettes and drink French wine and take our easels down to the Seine to paint the sunset and pick up cute boys..

Can't you see it now?
My obnoxiosa sister sent me a Christmas card on her fancy law firm holiday stationary in which she wrote the following:

Dear Darling Sister,
O tis a merry holiday season. May all your dreams come true to the tenth power. May you become wealthy beyond imagination and give me lots and lots of $$. May you stop meeting losers and find a good man and finally have a damned baby for once. May you win a pulitzer prize for coolness. Have a very merry christmas fairy.
Your Darling Sister

Note: My sister has only recently come to the conclusion that she may not want to have children and therefore I should have them instead. And this after I have waited patiently for so long to have me some nieces and nephews! I have informed her that it is solely her obligation and life's calling and not mine. She makes up stories about how my dad thinks I would be such a good mother, etc. I tell her that she's the one with all the dough and I have too many novels to write. She has decided I need a very rich husband. I have told her she has no time to waste and she better get crackin.

Because, really, she is just very lazy. Sigh.

Dec 15, 2007

Since I spent much time last weekend being otherwise engaged with craft shows and dinners and romantic interludes when I should have been writing, I am now locked in my apartment trying to finish these book revisions by Monday. Well, I have to finish it, as my agent threatened to start breaking toes after this week. Which is soooo rood. Anyway, I did just make a very exciting sojourn to the SUPER STOP N SHOP with Tink to buy all the ingredients for the magical pistachio ice cream cake I shall be whipping up tomorrow to enter in the annual office Christmas party BAKE OFF. Tho my winning does seem assured, as the other desserts will most assuredly be of a more earthbound and pragmatic nature, it is also the case that I have never before made this pistachio ice cream cake--or any dessert at all, for that matter, ever. Still, I am sure I am secretly a dessert making genius. And plus the recipe is very easy and I am quite positive that I can crush me some Ritz crackers in a most glamorously enviable manner, and even mix them with butter. And I was MADE for spreading Cool Whip. Also, it was very weird and even vaguely traumatic to buy the most decadently full and fatty milk and ice cream and butter and cool whip for my recipe, and I had to keep putting products back because they had reduced sugar or fat. And even magical desserts can only win bake offs with a full array of fats and sugars winking out of them.

As if that weren't exciting enough, we then went to the wine store where I got me, among other things, some SEXY RED WINE.


Dec 13, 2007

I loooove this photo:

Dec 8, 2007

So aside from an enviable array of loooovely plans this evening, I am spending the weekend finishing--finally!--my revision of Godmother.. tho I'd really prefer to go see movies and take Shameless on long walks and cook things in cavernous pots and spend hours in a cinnamon bath reading Japanese crime fiction. Sigh.

At any rate, Eric is inspiring me with a slew of messages and photos from Berlin, and of course there is no chance of me going there until I finish this book and get me some more moolah. Therefore I am going to work like a woman possessssed. Here he is earlier today with his actress friend Uli, after hours of wandering through markets and talking over crepes and cakes:


Dec 6, 2007

My wondrous friend Heather truly loves me has sent the following photo for the gorgeous, elegant, and extremely klassy PRAISE section of my website:

Being appreciated by one's friends is very important.

Dec 5, 2007

My friend Eric has been sending me photos from Berlin.. He is madly in love with the city and so am I, because of him. It's like a disease!

But... gloom and elegance! That whole city might as well be smoking from one longgg cigarette holder.

In other news, I saw the Todd Haynes Bob Dylan movie last week and MIGHT have almost finally been converted. Almost.