Friday, November 28, 2014


Hope you are well? It's been a whole month since I blogged, heck. The blank page becomes so frightening, doesn't it? And then you start thinking: why would anyone want to read my nonsense...Thanks for writing in and getting me back into it. It's the day after Thanksgiving here, bright and shiny. We had a quiet-ish one, but a good one. My brother, Tony, and his family came over the bridge, he has four girls: Pietra, 23, Devan, 20, Mirabelle, 11 and Cecily, nine, so for once it was girls galore.

The whole fang dang family
The front garden knew visitors were coming - old show-offs

Can you believe our hibiscus are blooming, Oakland in November.

It had all the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving. The day opened bright and beautiful with requisite yelling at the kids dispensing of repeated instructions about scrubbing the outdoor chairs.

The mish mash of chairs, tablecloths and wobbly tables from the garage that makes up Thanksgiving.

A day like this would not be complete without Kevin and I having a marital about how to cook the bird. Last year Kevin opted for Tarquin, the Ashtanga practising eco-bird from Sonoma. It was a mite tough so (after a few reminders from moi) this year he purchased one that was pre-brined. Friends, it was perfect.

Tallulah and Kevin with his golden pre-brined bird

Like childbirth, by the time the guests arrived we'd forgotten the pain. What a great day. It was all there: the early tension and ranting, the competitive ping pong, the loosening of the belts, the talk of surgeries past, the differences of opinion over who was the hero of childhood reminiscences. And many good chortles.

I did the roasted potatoes (serrated and covered in flour - how do you do yours?) plus roast yam and butternut squash in lemon. We had kale salad (loads left over in case you're wondering)

Plates of food never photograph well do they? But it was yummy
Brother Tony made the speech, his wife Grace behind him (love her dress!)

Tony's younger girls made the pies under the tutelage of their babysitter (who is a pastry chef by training...this is the Bay Area after all)

It was so warm we ate the pie on the deck out front


Tallulah, Teddy and Cecy
Cy taught the girls to Ripstick
Tony, 54, had double hip replacement last month. But the old man still beat Harley, 17.

Corner shop flowers performed well

Groundhog Day on the outfit, same as last year, Alice and Olivia trou
I know you to come to this blog for bunion-kind outfits but these are one aberration...the old YSLs are the most comfy (all relative) high sandals you'll find in the land
That old holiday staple, the clink of young children taking bottles to the recycling bin, was missing this year - Kevin and I have been on a two-month no-drinking binge (is that a thing?). We've got two weeks left.

And the line-up that makes it all worthwhile...

Cousins; Mirabelle, 11, Harley, 17, Cecily, nine, Cy, 10,  Jackson, 15, Devan, 20, Tallulah, 13, and Li'l Pietra, 23.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Three Last-Minute (!) Halloween Costumes

Young Wendy reckons she "sucks at Halloween." Well, if she has one pumpkin on her porch that's 100 percent more decorating than I've done this year for Halloween - or as Cy calls it "The birth of the Candy Gods." Today I did take some snaps of three genius-easy costumes ideas while Tallulah was shopping at her favorite second hand store Crossroads. Just in case you need a last minute costume...

All you need for this one is to cut out a paper beard and stick on a slip.

Hipster Waldo Just Wants to Find Himself. 

Wanda, The SouthWest Witch. (Just wear black with a touch of Santa Fe)

Some others we've have done in past years, though not all for Halloween.

Viking Kevin - look behind you!
Me (right) having cocktails with Viking grrrlfriends
Sarah, Lesley and Sally doing Seventies, baby. I know who to come to for white boots

Me and Kevin being the Green Day guys, Billie Jo and Tre Cool. They used to live around the corner - wonder if this costume had anything to do with them moving away?
Back of Green Day
Andrew and Caryn doing Avatar

Vicki and Michael - The Hangover

Me and Kevin being Wacky Races. Teddy is McMutley. I'm not going to win any Oscars with my scared face - put some effort into it girl!

Tallulah and friend Ariana are Cookie Monsters. Cy is a baseball fan

12 years ago! before our re-model, Me and Kevin, two faces of Boy George: Doing Probation and Eighties George
Me and Kevin were Royal Tenenbaums
Seb and Laura being Shy Ronnie and Bonnie (Sat Night Live)

More characters from Sat Night Live including The Wild and Crazy Guys!
SNL characters: Dick in a Box, Two Pats and Roseanna Roseanneadana

More SNL: Mary Katherine Gallagher and Martha Stewart's Topless Christmas

Phew, this is only a tenth of our costume photos. Hope you have a spooky day possums! Much love my boos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Selfies by Jackie Kennedy and Andy Warhol

Just found out that Warhol and Jackie Kennedy have something in common. The other day I saw this mirrored image Jackie Kennedy took with husband JFK and sister-in-law Ethel. That same night we went to a private art collection (as ya' do, darlings) which featured Andy Warhol -  who of course was the master of the selfie, way before it was Zeitgeisted. In fact our selfie culture is the realisation of his vision.
Ethel, Jackie and Robert Kennedy

The private Fisher Collection at the Gap Headquarters in San Francisco. All these pictures are being donated to MOMA so you can see them there soon.

The Warhols were part of the Fisher Collection,  described as one of the greatest private collections of modern art in the world. It's chockaful of Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, and Andy Warhol.

We had "won" - i.e. paid for -  this evening for eight people at a fundraiser for the Oakland Museum. You've probably noticed there are fundraisers galore here in the US  -  nothing here is paid for including proper education.

Inspired by the Kennedy linen-arama I wore my old linen trou made by Gwen Stefani (with her own fair hands I'm thinking)

Me, Ron and Amber

The foot dude says I need to wear sneaker-like shoes from now on what with me bunions. These ones are MaxMara bought in London (and as you can see already need a scrubdub)

Great chance to see a wide range of work from Chuck Close, the hyperrealist artist, who despite achieving fame as a portrait artist, suffered from "face blindness" where he is unable to recognise faces. Then unbelievably one day in 1988 he had a spinal artery collapse and overnight lost most of the use of his limbs. He taught himself to paint with the brush strapped to his arm with tape.  The paintings look like photos from afar but close up you can see the squares.

Close continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant. Viewed from afar, these squares appear as a single, unified image.

Then we walked across the road to the  Pier 24 photography exhibit (open to the public) which I had never heard of.  You would never know it's here. You literally go through a whole in the wall. See the Bay Bridge overhead as you go in?

Pier 24, you can see the Bay Bridge looming over

He we all are: Kevin, Mike, Kenny, me, Ron, William, Amber and Rachel

The screen shows old music videos. Look at Amber sitting in the stuffed dolphin chair

Amber loves animals - she volunteers at a dog shelter. She would rather like this stuffed dolphin chair

 Sisters Rachel and Amber. They were Kevin's "little sisters" at Penn State. (It's a fraternity-sorority thing apparently)

They provided wine and a Mediterranean platter. Naturalement I scoffed all the stuffed vine leaves. Mike and Amber looking out the Bay Bridge to Oakland. You feel as though you are floating on the water

This looks deceptively easy, like "I'll just stick some magazine images together" but it took forever apparently

They have a collection of old work I.D. badges

And finally a whole room full of photos that you are allowed step all over. An artist printed out all the photos uploaded to Flickr in one day. You might find something from your camera here.

A room full of photos uploaded in 24 hours to Flickr

Then onto Waterbar and seafood.

Nothing is new and everything is.

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