Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Knowledge Is Golden

As smart as we are, we all have blind spots. And we don't know what we don't know.

I, for example, am constantly surprised at discoveries I make in clothing stores. Browsing racks of female clothes, I see possibilities I never imagined before. For instance, I never thought I'd be attracted to pants with tiny metal studs but here we are...

In addition to the new pants ($5 at a thrift-store), I love these Jessica Simpson platform pumps. They're glamorous and make me taller than ever.

What do you think?















Saturday, January 19, 2019

Female Spy


In the past, actresses became movie-stars because they had talent. Today many celebrities utterly lack skill. The contrast is distinct.

Marlene Dietrich was one of the first and biggest movie-stars. She lived the span of the last century (1901-1992) and rose to fame during difficult years between two world wars. Born in Germany, she had to navigate appeals from the Nazis to join them. In 1939 she renounced her heritage and became an American citizen.

One of Dietrich's earliest successes is "Dishonored" (1931), a romantic spy movie made by Josef von Sternberg. In it, Dietrich plays an attractive prostitute who is recruited by the Austrian secret service to become a spy against Russia. The spy chief is looking for "a woman who knows how to handle men" and spots Dietrich. He offers her the task and she agrees out of duty to country. If it isn't obvious yet, her role is based on the true story of female spy Mata Hari.

Dietrich performs her missions in sequined gowns, seamed stockings and peep-toe pumps. And, most alluring, an air of insouciance. In this role, Dietrich presents the rare combination of feminine beauty and inner strength.

My favorite line, spoken to Dietrich's character, is: "If you keep me here another minute, I'd not only be in danger of losing my life but of falling in love with you, you devil!"

Who wouldn't want to look this good?!





Friday, January 18, 2019

Sculpture

I had to go into Manhattan yesterday for a medical procedure. It was scary and painful. To take my mind off the soreness, I wandered downtown to my favorite pen store. There I admired and acquired a beautiful new pen. It was a good way to lift my spirits.

At the pen expo last Fall, the store had representatives from pen manufacturers talking about their products. I met a nice guy named Michael who is owner and designer of Michael's Fat Boy Pens, a small company in Indiana. The company makes its pens in America, one of few companies doing that.

The pens come in several clever designs and are made from aluminum. Heftier than most pens, they are a pleasure to hold in your hand. They look and feel like sculpture. Sculpture you can use.

The model I got is one of the Tesla Coil edition. It celebrates the electrical inventions of Nikola Tesla. This pen is strikingly colorful. I got a stand for it so I can admire the pen instead of tossing it into a drawer.

Do you ever balance out hardship in your life with positive action? It's my go-to way of dealing with difficulty in life.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Time Travel

Forty years ago I had falafel for the first time. It was my first taste of Middle Eastern cuisine which I've grown to love. The restaurant that served this foreign, new food was a tiny place in Greenwich Village (NYC) named Mamoun's Falafel.

Falafel and all Middle Eastern food varies widely from place to place due to differences in seasonings and quality. Of the thousands of falafel balls I've eaten since Mamoun's, none have equaled its freshness, flavor and amusing green interior.

Imagine my delight when Mamoun's recently opened a new place ten minutes from my office in Woodbury! Tasting those same balls in the same green color transports me back in time. I remember wolfing down falafel sandwiches at two in the morning on MacDougal Street after nights of city excitement. The new place is decorated with pictures of that location in the Seventies. I actually checked the photos to see if I'm in any of them.

Go to Woodbury (Jericho Turnpike), order a "Classic" sandwich and pretend Jimmy Carter is still President. You'll feel better.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Time For Fun

What is the best reason to dress up? To please ourselves. To add happiness to our lives. That's my belief, anyway.

I'm coming off a hard week, full of contentious court appearances. I'm utterly wiped out, physically and emotionally. What can cure that? Fashion. Wearing pretty clothes that inject joy into my veins. I'm a fashion-junkie.

Here's today's playful creation. I like the flirty dress, rich purple tones (echoed in my lippy) and feminine poses. I snagged a sparkly little bag and hat at Urban Outfitters, rare accessories for me.

Thoughts?










Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hot Beverages

I love the flavor of coffee but its caffeine revs my heart too much, so I limit my consumption. Since I enjoy drinking hot beverages I've looked for coffee-alternatives to round out the 6-8 cups of daily drink.

Of course tea was the first, obvious choice and I drink a lot of that, both looseleaf and bagged. But I enjoy hot drinks with richer flavor. Lately I've found two types.

The first is an all-natural mix of natural ingredients made by a company in Ohio. Called "Dandy Blend" it has dandelion root, chicory root and extracts of rye and barley. Dandy has a nice flavor, is slightly sweet (from naturally-occurring fructose) and has pleasant texture. It comes in powdered form which is easy to use: just add hot water. You can make it as light or rich as you prefer. Dandy is cheaper than coffee and, once you get used to the taste, it can become one of your regular daily drinks.

By the way, dandelions are actually vegetables and have been eaten for years for their medicinal properties. They were brought here from Italy by Italian immigrants and eaten in salads.

A second alternative is mushrooms. There are several hot mushroom drinks including some mixing the 'shrooms with coffee. My favorite manufacturer is Four Sigmatic, a California company that originated in Finland selling medicinal mushroom products. They're now in 65 countries and growing. They offer a wide variety of hot mushroom drinks; my favorite is Chaga Elixir which has superb health benefits. Unlike Dandy, mushroom drinks are more of an acquired taste so try them before buying.

If you'd like to sample these, just holler and I'll send you a taste.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Sixties

This Summer marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, a famous music festival held in upstate New York (1969). Woodstock is widely regarded as the pivotal moment in popular culture when youthful counterculture took over America and re-shaped music, politics and fashion. It was so influential that for decades people called us "the Woodstock generation." Rolling Stone heralds the Woodstock festival as one of the Fifty Moments That Changed Rock and Roll History.

Woodstock was a gathering of "peace, love and music." Barely-planned, it attracted 400,000 attendees who pulled down fences and walked in without payment. It was a spontaneous assembly of young people eager to be with one another and listen to emerging musical talent like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Joan Baez, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Melanie, Joe Cocker and Arlo Guthrie. Those musicians' careers soared after the concert which was recorded and turned into an album.

A film was also made ("Woodstock") which won the Oscar for Best Documentary. The movie shows how peaceful, fun and lively the large celebration was. Watching it encouraged many to join the hippie movement.

I was 12 years old in 1969 and when I asked my mother about going, she just laughed. I knew she'd never let me go but I longed to be part of the communal experience of my tribe so I had to try. For a moment I considered running away to attend but remembered my dad was a "law and order" cop who'd react badly to that move.

Since 1969 there have been a few attempts to stage Woodstock anniversaries but they've all failed miserably. Reunions in 1994 and 1999 were dumpster fires of violence and poor planning. Discussion has been floated about a 50th reunion this year but it similarly lacks expertise and money.

What do you do when commercial interests fail to offer what you want? You do it yourself! Which is my plan -- I'm going to host a Woodstock party of my own this year. In August, I'll throw a Sixties celebration at my place. Like the original event, doors will be open to everyone who wants to attend. Free food, beverages and music. Sixties outfits encouraged. Dancing applauded.

So, don't be square, man -- come party! I promise it'll be groovy.



What will you wear to my party?  Here are some Sixties fashions to consider...













Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Mishap

Oww... Oww... Owwwww....

I was riding my motorcycle in a parking lot this morning, at about 5 mph, when an inattentive driver clipped the back of my bike, knocking it over and causing me to tumble on the concrete. Fortunately I suffered no serious injuries but, man, am I sore. My left side is aching badly.

Damage to the bike was minor, mostly cosmetic. I'll have it checked out by my mechanic.

The psychology of bikers is that, after an accident, we immediately lift our motorcycles up with the insane belief that doing so will make the accident disappear. Fueled by adrenaline and unfazed by pain, I heaved 800 lbs. of metal to an upright position. Yes, that was crazy but it's how our brains work.

No pics with this post. In fact, I'd like to forget the whole thing happened. Pour me a drink, please.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The New Year

First ride of the year! Cold but refreshing. How did you start off 2019?