Friday, October 27, 2006

getting in touch with my masculine side

i looked at a picture of myself last night, and i thought:

wow. i look like a man.

now, through a couple of instant message exchanges, my friend e convinced me that this is decidedly not so. she had just purchased herself a pair of self-described "BEAUTIFUL ASS" jeans (her capitals) from Bloomingdale's for a small fortune, so she was feeling very feminine and powerful and i-am-woman-hear-me-roar-ish.


she wrote back.


after some contemplation, i decided that what i see as masculine are my father's eyebrows. i have them. they're well-shaped though slightly Luciferian. they peak. most of the hairs are well-tamed, although occasionally, if i haven't been keeping up with the pruning, one will shoot out from its bed and point defensively at my companion.

no, she doesn't wax. she has sensitive skin. do you have a problem with that?

they're not mannish, they're just strong. with my noble hook nose, i suppose i'd look pretty stupid with two petite little apostrophes for eyebrows. mine are more like brackets. eh...i'm actually sort of happy to have them. they give me excellent expression abilities and they catch snowflakes.

if only i could develop such loving tolerance for the moustache that reveals its dark side when i've run out of Jolen Creme Bleach.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

if you order the pic, they don't come w/ the title smacked on it.
i imagine that's too keep people (like me) from stealing the image for their own uses.

had an incredibly beautiful weekend with my friend r. she was in from louisville, kentucky for her 30th birthday. yup - the same one we had a surprise party for last week. she already had plans to be here, so here she came!

saturday we lunched at The Coffee Pot and the wandered in union square. we came upon this guy's polaroid transfers. we all instantly fell in love with his diaphanous prints that are innocent and naughty all at once. hope you do too.

note to self: invest in a pair of rainbow tights and whole lotta gumballs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

check her boobs.


it's October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it isn't just about sporting pretty pink ribbons on your lapel. make your mammogram/breast ultrasound appointments, ladies, and make sure your loved ones make theirs.

hold on. have to step up on my soapbox.


the average woman with no family history, should start getting annual mammograms at the age of 40. if you have a family history, it'll probably be earlier, but your doctor will help you figure that out (for me, it was 10 years before the age my mother was when she was diagnosed i.e. my mom was 38 at diagnosis, therefore, they started making a sandwich of my breasts between two cold metal plates at the age of 28. fun!)

every year, i get a mammogram, followed by a breast ultrasound six months later. why? if you're young, your breast tissue is usually too dense for a mammogram to reveal anything; an ultrasound is supposed to be better at detecting blips in young, pert ta-tas like yours and yours truly.

anyway, i made all of my phone calls on Monday. in the next month or so, i have appointments:

1. to see a breast surgeon specialist.

and no, not the guy you met at the bar last week. that card was printed at Kinko's, silly girl.

2. to see a genetic counselor.

do i, or do i not want to find out if i have the breast cancer gene? at 31, i know i'm not prepared at this point in my life to have a radical mastectomy, but determining my genetic risk level will help my doctors come up with the most proactive screening program which, hopefully, will lead to early detection if i do get this motherfucking disease. anyway, the counselor is gonna help me figure that out. should be a a total blast. wanna meet for drinks after?

3. to get a mammogram.

did i say breast sandwich?

4. to get a breast ultrasound.

it's the same ultrasound they do on pregnant women, but this one's for your breasts. they use some cold slimey substance and more cold metal plates. *snaps* for cold metal plates!

oh, but for all the bellyachin', i've got to do it, i know. it just so very much puts me in touch with my mortality, and it really is so much easier to prattle about in our daily lives as if we'll live forever, isn't it? i will not, of course, whether it's breast cancer that takes me, or whether i slip away in my "sleep" at the ripe old age of 95 (my aforementioned breasts being felt up by my very handsome and much younger trophy husband).

oh, goddammit, another reminder. life. fullest. blah di blah di blahhhhhh.

best to wear the sparkly shoes, eat dessert and go skinny dipping now.

ya know, while my boobs still float.


and then, providence! this email from my friend, c, received this afternoon:
so this waiter, after bringing us our drinks on saturday afternoon, proceeds to tell us that he spent a few years in a mental institution after his wife died of breast cancer in his arms. very sad, of course -- she lost both breasts and almost beat it, but didn't. so we're all somber. and then he tells me to check myself every month, which is borderline uncool, and then he turns to my boyfriend and says, to the astonishment of the other diners, that he needs to make sure to "check her boobs" (mine) all the time, because that's how they found the lumps in his wife's breasts -- HE found them. i didn't know whether to laugh or crawl under the table. this poor guy. BOOBS?
hey, early detection, no matter how it's done, is key.

my nephew can fly.

see, when you lean forward like this, it feels more like actual flying.
almost quite literally, a chip off the old block.

sorry for the baby pics...i couldn't resist.

Monday, October 16, 2006

dirt cake + dancin'

r, in artsy fartsy silhouette

i went to nashville this weekend for a surprise birthday party for my old college friend, r. she's a petite thing with curly blonde hair and a laugh that will make you laugh even if you're not in on the joke. i've often found myself reduced to paroxsyms of giggles at the sound of her peals from across the restaurant/bar/beauty salon. her guffaw nudges awake some dormant cachinnation within me, and everyone else within a 12 mile radius. seriously, listen hard and i think you'll be able to hear her in louisville.

it was an absolutely fabulous weekend, planned to perfection by her two cousins, m. and n., who are the quintessential southern hostesses. i still can't quite believe people like these girls exist, and that they did all this work for FREE. r is a lucky girl, and very well-loved.

the surprise

friday night was the big surprise. we all dined at Cabana, a lovely restaurant with the best damn french fries i've ever noshed...served with cheddar-gorgonzola-horseradish dipping sauce. i had the salmon with asparagus (because i'm a dumb girl), but if i had to do it over again, i would have gotten the Lobster and Brie Macaroni and Cheese served in a martini glass. i stole a few nibbles from my neighbors, and yes, it was as good as you think it might be.

when we got home that night (how did we get home?), n. had prepared a dessert whose recipe can be found in every community cookbook worth its salt - Dirt Cake. creamy loveliness layered with crushed oreos. yummerama! i did an impromptu cheerleading dance in gratitude.

n. was sweet enough to write down the recipe for me on her personalized recipe card that i will now share with you:

From the Kitchen of N. B.

Dirt Cake
1 large package of Oreos, crunched
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 stick oleo (that's Southern for butter or margarine)
1 cup powdered sugar
12 oz. Cool Whip
3 cups milk
2 small vanilla instant pudding mixes

Mix cream cheese, oleo, and sugar in a bowl. Mix Cool Whip, milk and pudding in another bowl. Mix the ingredients of both bowls together. Layer mixture with Oreos. Finish with a layer of Oreos. V. cute served ina flower pot!

saturday morning, we rolled out of bed and headed over
to Lyle's School of Hair Design for manis.

later in the afternoon, off to m's house for a backyard barbecue
complete with peach sweet tea and a birthday cake made by r' s Grandma.

m's hubby is from Texas, and a self-proclaimed "nerd for the grill."

then, out on the town in a limo with Quentin, our driver,
who wore a beret and loved our mix CDs.
first stop, Sambuca. a very chi chi bar with women in long sequinned gowns, and martinis so strong i'm guessing the bartender just waved the bottle of vermouth over the glass.

met a really nice guy named "Bob" who let me rub his belly for luck.

bob and i are soulmates, i think.

then, on to Decades, an 80's bar in downtown N'ville, right across the street from Boots 'n' More (where i hear they have a 3 for one special). i have no pictures for that one. sorry folks, i was busy dancing.

but here are the shoes i wore. imagine them drenched in beer and dancing to "Come On Eileen."

there's no place like Nashville.

oh, what a weekend. but now, back to regularly scheduled programming.




Sunday, October 08, 2006

chicken-on-a-stick + babies-in-stilettos

okay, so they weren't quite this bad, but frighteningly close.

i'm in mississippi this weekend, judging the Mississippi State Fair Talent Competition.

so far, i have 3 questions:

1. when did i become a "ma'am?"

as in,

yes ma'am the coffee is complimentary.
oh, god.

2. when did fried chicken-on-a-stick, fried onions, fried corn-on-the-cob, and fried pickles become a suitable dinner?

don't get me wrong, i loved every deep-fried bit of it, although i do think i'll still be digesting it a week from now.

3. when did it become appropriate for 13-year old girls to wear what i will henceforth refer to as "porn shoes?" glittery, clear lucite 3 1/2 inch high heels that they teeter about in while singing "Before He Cheats" (and what, pray tell, do you know about that?) go into any porn store in NYC, and you will see the shoes that i speak of. hey, i'm all for sexual adventurousness and stilettos, but i'm also 31. not 13. i couldn't even wear pantyhose until i was 14, and i still look like a retard in heels. i realize that i should allow for the fact that i'm in PageantLand, but all these gussied-up babies (and they are babies) in push-up bras and stilettos make me a little sad.

at 14, i was still sneaking up into the attic to play with Barbie. these girls are dressing like her, and their parents are footing the bill.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

the power of positive drunk dialing/emailing

nothing quite like waking up to an anonymous voicemail message left at 1 in the morning. a deep voice that has seen waaaay to much cigarette smoke and Jack Daniels grumbles:

Check your email.


hm. brevity is the soul of wit, The Bard once said. the same, one could say, applies to drunk dialing...keep it short, keep it simple, and if absolutely necessary, follow up with a platonically pseudo-amorous email.

this, found in my inbox this morning in response to an email i'd sent to a couple of friends from high school about recent size ate developments...(most authentic if read with a backcountry Southern accent, and if you can get your hands on a Budweiser and a bag of boiled peanuts, all the better.)

I am a heterosexual male who is a model of perfect health. You may remember me. My name is E.H. I am so glad to talk to someone who can truly comprehend the perfect male. Please don't let the fact that I am drunk diminish this message. My wife and I are so proud of you and everything that you stand for. I am seeking a holistic solution that incorporates Red Bull and Mountain Dew for breakfast and double cheeseburgers into my very demanding regimen. I must maintain an unlimited energy supply for my wife's insatiable needs. As you know both of us, I am eagerly awaiting your cosmopolitan "New York" advice. Anyway, you have no idea how much we love you and sit on the edge of our seats for your fame to come so that we may stop working and our celebrity managing career begin. Don't ever change.

i don't care if he was drunk. made me feel better, and this is going in the scrapbook.

Monday, October 02, 2006

aunt joAnne

a pencil sketch done by Aunt JoAnne from a photograph of herself at age 2

i always intended to get to know her better. i always intended to ask her questions about what my mother was like as a kid sister. i always intended to visit her artist's studio out in California. i always intended to record the story of how she, an earthy, liberal artist with paint-stained fingertips, met and fell in love with my uncle Mac, a quiet scientist who would go on to become renowned for his work in the field of superconductivity.

oh, the road to hell and all that tripe...

my aunt JoAnne Horsfall Beasley died on saturday night at 9:34 pm PST. sudden and sad, and i never got to watch her paint. i found out yesterday morning, awakened from a hard slumber by the cell phone on my bedside table.

after all of the phone calls were made and the shock diffused, i went to a friend's art gallery reception in Manhattan. in homage to Aunt JoAnne, i put on my most "artistic" outfit - a black kimono-style dress with an Oriental print dancing across the bodice and skirt, and a pair of dangly red-glass chandelier earrings (Aunt JoAnne was always known for dressing colorfully and "inefficiently." meaning, i guess, that unlike the sensible women in the family, she didn't buy loads of neutral separates that matched each other. she wore "outfits" - singular ensembles that exploded in color and texture and flow. now that i think about it, she dressed an awful lot like her paintings).

i'd planned on going anyway, but considering the circumstances, it seemed even more appropriate that i spend the afternoon in an old art club, surrounded by hundreds of canvases and idiosyncratic artists. i wonder how many afternoons Aunt JoAnne spent like that? hob-nobbing with her co-artistes, sipping white wine while mulling over the exhibit, fighting valiantly (toothpick as sword) for that last cube of cheese on the platter.

sigh. life is short, and yet it seems like 67 years should be enough. pish. it's not.

she never stopped learning, always adjusting and tinkering with her means and medium of creation. watercolor, pastel, photography. just a few weeks ago, she'd sent me a link to her new work in digital imagery. my favorite - one of a camellia and a pussywillow branch:

i haven't cried yet. maybe i will, maybe i won't. (i probably will).

the there a lesson here?

well, margaux, how about instead of spending your life intending to...


intentions make rather paltry paintings.