Thursday, December 24, 2009

BE: Christmas is A Birthday

As we celebrate the biggest birthday of all time I thought it would be helpful to have our resident experts weigh in on the man himself.
Happy holidays,
POOG

Question: Jesus is always interpreted through the lens of the interpreter and then shaped and reshaped to meet that interpreters own vision of the world. So, I ask, what about the REAL man? What was he like, what did he wear, what lessons can we take from him today as we approach the celebration of his birth?

Samantha Vignette answers: We know nothing about him really. Especially the so called "lost teen years" when it is believed, for absolutely no good reason, that he travelled to India to study polytheism and the Kama Sutra. It is important to know what you don't know and to use that information to inform your day to day decisions and how you treat other people. I would hazard a guess that even though little is known about him, other than he did exist and was crucified as a criminal, he was probably nice sometimes to certain people. The lesson here is that we should also be nice to certain people. I would say everyone, but that's hardly realistic. You should treat people nicely as he might have done when he could however. I call this Niceiticity. Being nice because it's the right thing to do sometimes. That much I know is true. The rest is all uncertainty and from this we grow and move forward.

Samantha Vignette is the director of the Niceiticity Institute in Lausanne, an organization dedicated to the idea that doing good deeds can benefit a person in the here and now and not just in an afterlife.

Thoprac Mishri answers: I like to think of him as a regularly guy. The one that I might meet on a bus if I rode them. Or, since the biblical record mentions carpentry, the man that I would call when I need my kitchen cabinets refaced. People don't like to think that way, but this is a key lesson because I say so. That doesn't really answer your question though. We know that the gospels are incomplete and that heurmenutics are subject to the political and cultural environment of the day, as well as the psychological predispositions of the scholar doing the interpreting. A complete reading would necessarily include the Gnostic Gospels, which shed a relentlessly mocking light on the canon. The entireity of the available literature tells us this: he lived, he spoke, he may or may not have married, he may or may not have died on the cross, he may or may not have had children, he may or may not have gone on to live as an Essene, he may or may not have risen from the dead, he may or may not have been a brunette and possibly he had head lice. Chances are good. We do know that his mother did not have a fine toothed steel comb however but that she probably would have appreciated one since she may or may not have had more children. Based on this information we have a worldwide monotheistic religion that, when merged in a syncretistic fashion with pagan Germanic tribal tradition results in an annual orgy of cutting down trees, bringing them inside and buying way too much wrapping paper. It warms the heart to know that we come together, regardless of religion ultimately, to celebrate his birth even though, given the actual dates of the Roman census of that time, it probably took place in May.

Thoprac Mishri is a leading proponet of the Christmas is More Than Christ's Birthday movement which is dedicated to the belief that anyone, anywhere can celebrate anything at all for any reason but that the support of a major organized religion sometimes helps.

David Yuan-Lee Knowles answers: Everyone likes to think of him as one of their own. In England he is white, in Africa he is black. Our tradition, ancient Confusionism, maintains that he was Asian, but just taller than the average Asian man and with more facial hair. We are pretty certain that when no one was looking he would braid his hair into a long queue and play with his beard so that it tapered on the edges of each tip. These physical attributes clearly explain his apparent rejection of formal religious structures. Random, but possibly true like so much that we know. Along the same lines, his spirituality like all spirituality, was based on acceptance, love and tolerance, especially for those who disagree with you and have power over you. See?

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go: Mongolia!

I’ve just returned from a very spontaneous trip to Mongolia where I was just stunned and overwhelmed by the beauty and wonder of the architecture, food and people but not really the weather or accommodations. Mongolia is literally days away virtually any way you chose to travel, but once you get there, you realize that the air is different. Cleaner, purer, more innocent. It is a place I will definitely spontaneously visit again because I’m not quite sure when anyone would actually plan in advance to go there given other available options. Through good friends I met three very lusciously charming young men who opened their yurt up to me and my entourage. They revealed parts of Mongolia that would otherwise have remained hidden. Here, we’ve put together a list of the most BEST places to GO!



You-Tang Yurght
Desolate Plain
Mongolia
+1.389.255.8663
Youtangyurght.com

I stayed at the newly renovated You-Tang Yurght, here pictured, located in the heart of the plain. The Svn Lassiter designed exterior blends seamlessly with the environment.








But, the outside is nothing compared with the inside. The beauty of the design is the way that it changes the weather around the actual tent by generating a field of harmony that lowers the temperature in the immediate area, like in a fairy tale. The Yurght (pronounced YURT) has several organic restaurants featuring cuisine from other desolate regions of world – a first in my experience. The food and drink at any of these venues would please the most difficult foodie and, believe me, I know some difficult foodies. Speaking of which, I could not resist a daily cashmere skin facial and buttocks massage. The uniqueness of the goat actually still being attached to its skin during the process is very special. Everyone should try it at least once in this very short life. Absurdly luxurious!!

Blue House
Moron, Mongolia
+1.389.256.8995
Bluehousemongolia.com

If You Tang is not quite your cup of tea, I recommend staying at the more contemporary Blue House. This restored palatial residence only welcomes guests who wear shades of blue, the color of eternal peace and inner sanctity. So hip it hurts, but not so much that it will kill you. Definitely a bargain if you have been on a spiritual quest and having no luck. The quick fix aesthetic is not just on the surface, but ends up being a fully immersive saturative experience. After a week of wearing blue, eating blue (yes! Only blue foods) and seeing blue you realize how overrated the rest of the spectrum is and how very little we all really need to be happy. Blue house is located in Moron (yes, a real place, really) and is a quick chartered camel ride from the capitol. You can also rent a Segway to get around the tent complex.


Mongolian Berry


This is not a place, but a gift. This small yellow berry is my new miracle food. It has the amazing quality of tasting like nothing. Which is different from having no taste, which we all know is a sad thing. I had never seen or eaten the Mongolian Berry before my Mongolian BFFs introduced me to it at breakfast on my first day there. We at it muddled into our water with a soupcon of honey. Divine. At lunch, I sprinkled the berries onto my salad and ended up just picking them out and only eating them (but I made sure that the remainder of my salad went to someone who really needed greens, which are sometimes very hard to find here). By dinner I was hooked. Dried Mongolian Berrys were powdered and used as the primary spice in our Hot Pot. If you can’t make it to Moron you can order them directly from Matt and Galinda, two New Zealand expats who’ve built a life around the berries that is enviable. At $20.00 a quarter pound (plus shipping, sorry) you can supply yourself well for a Berry-filled feast.

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Get: Regifting with Elan

Let's be honest: everybody, at some point, has regifted. As those of you who always agree with me know, I think regifting was originally conceived by native Americans. Ramon A. Gutierrez, associate professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego, writes about the social aspects and inequalities of gift giving. Regifting isn't the central thesis of his book When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: 1500-1846 (Stanford University Press, 1991) but can be inferred to include regifting, if you have an open enough mind body dialog. In a conversation that I imaged having with him during an inner peace stretch session early yesterday morning it occurred to me that we could all benefit from a return to Native American giving habits and their uncanny reliance on what are now recognised to be sound ecological recycling practices. But, their gifts were so not stylish.

Hence today's letter: regift with elan. Here are some great ideas:

Personalize It: every object can be personalized - if you are artistic enough you can do it yourself with an etching knife or, for those of us more challenged in that arena, by taking it to Tiffanys. Even if the gift didn't start there if you use this code: POOGrocks when you take the gift in, they'll do it for just $150.00. Far cheaper than the cost of a new gift.

Daisy Chain It: With every regift include a "regifting chain." This is the list of people you'd like to see this gift go to over the course of the next year. It's really special if you write the list on embossed paper in a Renaissance script, to capture the holiday spirit. It's really a nice gesture when you are regifting to a particularly busy person. Takes their having to think about who to give it to next right out of the process. For those among us that love things, this document can take on a life of its own and in this sterile digital age who doesn't love a hand-written progressive regifting geneology at the end of the year? Pas moi!

Give it Star Power: Think of your most illustrious friend and have them autograph the object. This is always fun and can make for years of cocktail party patter. One of my favorites! One of my most treasured possessions is a paper weight carved from the petrified skin of pig carcass suspended in translucent oleo. M. thought a signature from Damien Hirst was just the right thing and I have to agree.

Location! Location! Location!: Last but now least, half of the gift is its packaging. Colorful, drawstring silk bags hand painted in Nepal can make any gift memorable. Don't underestimate the power of cashmere, either. Cut up any old blanket or throw to make delightful gift saris. Tie with a starched satin ribbon and your good to go!

I hope you like these as much as I do and that they help to make your seasonal regifting a little more fun! Send us your ideas!

POOG

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, November 26, 2009

BE: Parents and Love

I am dedicating today's missive on parental conflict to my parents who are together today, but in another country. Even though I am not with them and they don't celebrate Thanksgiving or really understand it, I know they are thinking of me and turkeys and mashed things. My parents are the greatest remote parents on earth. This is me, giving thanks, while I talk about the anxiety and conflict that their mercurial love and poor judgement cause me every day. Having said that, my parents are the best parents anyone in the world could ask for. Not just parents, but my best friends, my karma doctors, my essence. Below is a conversation I had with Sanjay Witherspoon, who teaches ancient parental conflict resolution philosophy in his awesomely decorated yurt in Shoreditch.

Question: SW, why is it that our parents can bother us so much, even as adults, by just being there for us?

SW: This is the wrong way to ask this very important question. The correct way to ask it is, why, as a pre-born spirit, you choose parents whose very existence would drive you crazy. This is the question. Any other way of asking it shifts the blame to someone else. And, it is important as a child, to stay true to the idea that you are the center, the core and all things start with you. If they drive you crazy it is, in the end, your fault. Or your mother's.

Question: If all things start and end with me, the child, why do they result in withering exchanges when all I want is world peace?

SW: Do you? Do you really want world peace? Or, is your quest one of holistic unification with the womb? Something you can achieve only through systematic vedic annihilation of the parent as other. In a peaceful way, of course. If you can recognize that your parents are on the same quest in a never ending infinite path of parental conflict and irresolution then you can come closer than they have to achieving your goal.

Question: What?

SW: If you can recognize that your parents are on the same quest in a never ending infinite path of parental conflict and irresolution then you can come closer...

Question: Nevermind. But, where does it end? Do I exist in a penumbra, consigned to always labor as a child to understand how my parent's ineptitude will affect my diet and my skin?

SW: Diet and skin are the most important facets of your relationships with your parents. These things are not negotiable. Emotional instability, episodic depression. These you can live with. If you cannot maintain healthy diet and skin the right course of action is to walk away.

Question: Walk away. This is one of the core tenets of your philosophy, but it is easier said then done. I tried to walk away last night but after my parents yelled at me and then at each other I had to stop in my tracks. The shift from their yelling at each other to yelling at me was startling. I realized that who they were yelling at made a huge difference. I mean, I really don't like it when they team up and yell at me. Where does it end?

SW: In the fetal position.

Question: Is that a yoga position?

SW: No, it's the actual fetal position: a tightly wound ball of infantile immobility and insecurity.

Question: Could we make it a yoga position? Because then I could wear my friend Stella M's new line of not-too-pricey-if-price-is-no-object line of yoga clothes sold at the Gap.

SW: I suppose so.

Question: If my parents wear the same clothes will it make us feel better?

SW: Maybe, but it's doubtful.

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Kayahaleh.

SW: Kayahaleh.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Go: Mobile Munchies

I worked on September 5th, 6th and 7th this year and had the great fortune of finding super yummy lunches on all three days . As we all know, finding a mid-day meal that is healthy and incredible and has its roots in poverty can be really difficult. However, tucked away on the side streets of exclusive or safely edgy major metropolitan neighborhoods are a new generation of mobile, high-end peasant food purveyors! The city food scene has taken to les rues! In Prii, of course!

Locanda Tokyo
New York, NY
Locandatokyo@twitter for daily locations

As some of you many know, even though I’ve chosen to live in a MUCH older city, I’m a born-and-bred New Yorker. I think, if I could have when I was younger and in NY all the time, I would have eaten lunch at this mobile seaweed salad truck every day. This is the best seaweed salad I’ve ever eaten and, believe me, I’ve eaten A LOT of seaweed salad. Don’t forget to ask for the wholeness and wellness side order of bread. Did I mention, it’s got an old-school vibe?

God and Mammon
Los Angeles, CA
Godandmammon@twitter for daily locations

If you can imagine an imaginary place decorated to look like a real place meant to look imaginary, you could easily be thinking of this fantastic restaurant. The best gumatoma clams are served with a stunning cornucopia of fresh ersatz Maori side dishes. But, the homemade thin crust, organic, lactose free, free-range chicken pot pie, my fave, is the coup de culinary grace. The simple slightly-pricey entrees and the freshly-made elderberry extract make this a worthy local favorite. Book in advance on the days you know you have to work.

Cybelline
London, UK
Talk to someone in the know to find location

My heart fluttered the first time I took my best celebrity chef friend to this bodega-cafe on wheels. This ceviche taco restaurant in a discreetly unmarked white van, serves the best and most brilliantly scrumptious ceviche tacos outside of Las Alamandas. (I just learned that Las Alamandas is named after the lovely yellow alamandas flower indiginous to that part of Mexico and the source of a relaxing, all-natural anti-menstrual migraine serum? Who knew?) My friend LOVED it (Cybelline, not Las Alamandas, although who doesn’t love that, too?). Nouvelle Mexican by way of Shoreditch.

More mobile hotspots to come next work work!
A GOOP Spoof

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Do: A Better Playdate

Every woman with children knows the pain of finding the perfect play date. It's often the case that the kids get along, but the nannies or mothers don't. Or, just the opposite. Don't you remember having to play with children you couldn't stand, but had to play with because your moms were friends?

Well, those days are mercifully over! A new service, e-Playdate, has revolutionized my life and will yours, too. For someone like me, who everyone wants to either be or be friends with this service is invaluable. The idea was brought to fruition by Samantha Plummer and Juliette Knopes who were fed up with play dates from hell. Here they are to explain their awesome contribution to mom life:

Samantha and Juliette:
Samantha - The idea came to me one day, when Anjou, my 9 year old, said to me (after I'd spent hours arranging logistics) that she just hated her play date because the other child (who shall go unnamed) had her hair in her face the whole time, even though she was wearing a headband. It was distracting and aggravating to my daughter, whose personal aesthetic is very refined. What a drag! I thought. Wouldn't it be great if I could find friends that she loved looking at while she played? Voila!

Juliette - My epiphany was a bit different. It's all about me. I love accompanying my kids on their play dates. It's an opportunity for both them and me to build life-long friendships. But, that only works if I like the other moms, and recently that hasn't happened. Take the last non e-play date play date that I went on: The kids got along fine, but the other mother and I barely tolerated each other. She droned on and on about something she was reading. Of course, we set a good example, and were unfailingly polite, but I'm sure she felt just like I did and was thinking "Oh My God, I'm frittering away my life talking to this idiot!" I mean, her shoes were scuffed in places, up near the toes especially. I told S about it and she shared Anjou's experience and we were off to the e-playdate races.

Samantha - It works pretty much like a dating service. You sign up and create three profiles: yours, your nanny (ies) and one for each child that you want to arrange playdates for. The profile is broken up into some basic areas of interest: fashion, skin care, residential square footage, types of exercise and sports, vacation preferences, ashram preferences, charitable causes, allergies, working experience, if any. Of course, the standard demographics like race, ethnicity and household income and weath are there, too. Geography is available if transportation is relevant (no airplane, for example, or horses).

Juliette - The results are amazing because of the granularlity of your selection options. You can specify whether you or your nanny is going to be the primary play date adult and whether you will go on play dates where the other mother isn't present but the nanny is. In a situation like that, it's really nice to know if the nanny speaks English or has a doctorate (of course, from another country, so it doesn't really count, but it's nice to know.)

You can sign up for e-Play date at http://www.myeplaydate.com/.

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Make: Tasteless Treats

This week we bring you the delightful Meredith Ethrington and recipes from her mecca of taste-free, texture-full cuisine: The Sandpaper Puffpastry Bakery! Time to sing a vegan ode to these clue-free treats and get down, or something like that. Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.

POOG: Meredith, how long have you been making tasteless, gravelly but beautifully decorated and (mostly but not entirely) sugar and dairy-free baked good? What inspired you to take up the mantle of this worthy culinary cause?

Meredith Ethrington: You know, I didn't pick this route. It picked me. It was a kind of intestinal destiny. In 2003 I had six months of just DREADFUL diarrhea (which is SO hard to spell, but SO easy to get) and unbelievable gassiness. My doctor broke the news: stop eating. I explained that I LOVE eating and she conceded that if I ate cardboard-like foods I would improve significantly. It was a sad moment because I LIVE for food that tastes at all. But, I decided to embrace the necessary changes. The first time I went to the food store was disorienting. Usually someone else does it for me. But, once I got used to being there it was just, well, it was annihilating. If something was white, it was probably tasty. If it was green, it was filled with air and chloroform or something like that. If it was red, it either once lived or maybe grew on something. And, if it was packaged in plastic, well, you just can't do that anymore. I thought - why can't I find something scratchy and buff-hued with textural hints of mocha that was wrapped in a stiff, pleated ivory recycled thingy! It is really that hard? So...I did it and I thought I should share my Gastric Epiphany with the world. It took 6 weeks, but The Sandpaper Puffpastry Bakery was born in those six weeks.

POOG: What has the result been? What positive outcomes have come out?

Meredith Ethrington: Well, I've always been rail-thin and now I'm positively skeletal. It's been a great side effect of taking everything out of my food. You really don't have to diet when you take this approach. It's a lifestyle and if you follow the one rule, eat dirt, then you don't have to remember a bunch of silly little ones or count calories. And, since you're generally too weak to exercise you never have to do that either. I am just exceedingly cautious about letting any color creep into my food at all.

POOG: What are your to-die-for ingredients?

Meredith Ethrington: Well, my top ingredients would be berrit oil extract (it's really high in florid acid, stimulates the amygdala minor and can create almost the same taste as butter without the taste), guava skin (I prefer guavas from Costa Rica because it's nicer there then some other places) and Ray's Gluten/Sugar/Dairy/Chlorophyll/Salt-Free Powdery Filler (my whole Bakery would cease to exist without this miraculous substance). You can get all of these at a local health store or online.


POOG: How did you make your recipes? I mean, no one's done this before, right?

Meredith Ethrington: You know, many people have tried this at home, but haven't really capitalized on the availability of these ingredients in the way I am. My recipes were hard to come up with because people like things that taste good. It's a downside of evolution and there aren't many of those, so that's hard to grapple with on a daily basis. Because, I believe heart and soul in evolution. Especially in a spiritual mind/food/body way, from an Asian perspective, via Brooklyn and Brixton in the late 90s. But, I put myself on the mad culinary steeple chase and I had to move forward.

POOG: Is frack sugar-free? I know EVERYONE thinks that and are wrong. Maybe you can clear that up.

Meredith Ethrington: Frack is not glucose free. It's a genetic antecedant to cane. Sometimes people can digest frack however, but still not eat sugar. It's white. Even when it's brown.

POOG: Are there any especially thrilling recipes you're working on? Variations on old classics. As you know, I love El Soya Marzipanito Preservados faux Little Debbie Raisin Cakes, do you think we'll ever have a taste-free version of the real fake one?

Meredith Ethrington: I just made a version of these the other day! It was terrific, because the original was already kind of a brown/oatmeal color, I just had to find a way to get the yellow out. I LOVE El Soya Marzipanito Preservados marizipan reproductions of processed foods! It's my goal to improve on them by making foods that look like them, but have no taste at all. When I announced that I had made a fat/sugar/gluten/butter/dairy/taste free version of El Soya Marzsipanito Preservados Litte Debbie Raisin cake in the bakery every started shrieking, but in a tasteful way. One woman on 78th and 5th even slipped out of her yoga class early to try one. Luckily, everyone adores them and some people even say that it's the best thing I've ever done. "Qui sais?" as they say in Locust Valley!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

GET: Fall Fashion and You

Last month, I secured the help of a new friend, Jennifer Milly, the Fashion Editor (and now Contributing Blogger) of Vain and one of the best dressed, pre-pubescent looking women I know. She helps me get dressed every day by using her discerning eye to create trends for fall that will work every fall until 2010, when she'll come up with new ones.

Jennifer Milly shares:

Here is my stylating list of Fall (pout) and Winter (double pout) trends for 2009/2010. Since I'm really already thinking about Fall and Winter of NEXT year, what I'm about to describe will smack of the passe, but to you every single stitch will feel bright and shiny new. It's coming to me now...this year's trends that speak to what you can do everyday to be fashionlicious. Just remember: Be true to yourself, but not too true.

Reptilian Intergalactic It Girl: Remember those shoulder pads that your mother still wears? Well, as they say in the fashion world, what comes around goes around. My life would not be complete without Alexander Wang ribbed leggings (just $425!) topped by my genuine anaconda-lined Z-zipped Club Monaco jacket (shoulder pads included, of course). Top it off with your retro, over-the-top headband hair bow and you're good to go this October!

Girly Girl Diva: There is no such thing as too much flounce this fall. Some fashionistas might say "Don't Do This At Home". I say, "DO!" As my father to said to me on my 11th birthday, "You're MY little girl, but now you're the world's and don't ever forget it!" When you add layers of pouf to a simple, every day skirt the whole world stops to stare. My favorite: D&G patent leather crinoline underskirt ($1225) - goes from carpool to cocktails. I wish I had a picture.

Sex Slave: We all know bondage comes and goes, at least as far as fashion is concerned and this year is no different. Boots, belts and bows are all the rage and no Fall and Winter 2009 wardrobe is complete without at least one nod to the dominatrix in all of us. Take your pick: over the knee leather boots or velvet neck collar, it doesn't matter. What matters is making carpool memorable: after all, that part of your kids' life is just a small part of yours, why not make it something they remember fashion-fondly,

Helmut, Krina, Nicholas, Brian: designers that I HAVE to mention. If you don't know them, you should. Now you know their names at least. Their designs, fitted, baggy, shaggy, tapered, it doesn't matter are elegant on any woman (not literally of course), whether she's on the red carpet or the kitchen floor.

I only buy my leather at Annbelle Bespoke Newton-Smythe's (yes, that is actually her middle name - how cool is THAT!) whose lovely little store is just off Sloane Square in London. You can't do that, but I thought I'd mention it.

A GOOP Spoof

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MAKE: Bimbobop

It's irresistible. Bimbobop, which roughly translates into "silly women's food," is essentially a rice bowl that you can fill with medium grain taupe coloured rice and obscure vegetables that someone told me are good for you. It's a great way to use food that no one else particularly likes. The key is the GALO - Glutinous Asian Liquidy Oleo (GALO) that holds it all together.

Serves: 4 (if two people don't really eat)
Time: More than you have, but I'm OK with that

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups of medium grain taupe coloured rice
3 tablespoons GALO* (see above, usually I try and make this myself, but you can find it in specialty stores)
Blukoko and Celery Pinko
Roughly 16 3/4 cups worth of flummy root, blanched anise bulbs, sauteed mini squash with seeds shaved out, ginger and garlic grown in a sandy loam and, if you are able to find it, aged kimchee powder
1 firm block of firm basil-infused polenta, shaved into roughly 80 slices
2 tablespoons of tasted, husked sunflower seeds for garnish

*If you haven't used them yet, you should get the excellent measuring spoons that I use - they are ceramic and made in Monaco by a small women's cooperative.

Layer your rice bowls with the shaved polenta and rice three times (as you would a lasagna). Allow the two people eating to add the remaining ingredients in any way that makes them smile. Garnish with sunflower seeds!! Voila!


Virual video produced by Merrell Cherouny
Music would be by I'm So Fine

A GOOP Spoof

Saturday, August 8, 2009

GO: Barcelona Bites

Barcelona is my favorite place to have a layover on my way to the Seychelles. I first went when I was 22 years old, with a huge wad of money, a Louis Vuitton satchel, my able assitant and not much else. I fell in love with the city’s complete committment to beauty and art. I absolutely LOVE beauty and art. Where else can you get a Tibetan massage in the morning, have a live decendant of Gaudi's give you a tour of his most awe-inspiring creation at noon and drink coffee made from coffee beans found in hidden trove of actual ancient 8th century Moorish beans dug up by underpaid archeologists? Below are a few suggestions for eating and drinking while there. Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.

Quel merde!

Sueco Albóndigas/ Tamarite, 104+34.935.245.241
This gem of a restaurant was first recommended to me by no less than the prince of tapas, Enrique Salazar Rodrigo Juan San Sebastian El Rocito Mayabar Hendrickson (his father was Swedish - he is just to die for AND boy, can he cook). Reservations are hard to get, but if you plan three years in advance it is worth the wait.

El Cucaracha Blanco/ Margolia, 104+44.882.687.449
This exquisitely hip bar features only white drinks. The white roach motif was created by Jeff Koons, who occassionally drops in for a quick quaff. My FBBFinB swears that two swigs of the frothy Vapid Vixen will cure any ill.

Distopia/ Margolia, 104+44.375.245.241
Very old school, high fat rice dishes and full of interesting tortured types (the restaurant, not the rice). Great if you are travelling with people you don't know well, but would like not to get to know better. The food just oozes ennui.

El Soya Marizpanito Preservado/ Mercado Viejito 104+44.228.945.331
If you have to pick just one place this is it. It is, without a doubt, the best soy marzipan sculpture reproduction of preserved foods restaurant on the planet. During the two and a half months of the year that I throw myself heart and soul into work I have to be especially careful, because it is so easy when I am tired and hungry to eat real food. This in turn leads me to eat processed foods, (yes, my favorites are Ho-Hos, followed closely by Little Debbie Raisin Cakes) which is a serious no-no. It's then that I remember El Soya Marizpanito Preservado - their remarkable soy marizpan processed food reproductions are so good that I have them shipped via air to whereever I am. Faux Twinky heaven!

A GOOP Spoof

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DO: In The Rooms Where Women Come and Go

As some of you may know, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. When you're a mom, whether you work full time or not, this is even more true - not for you, of course, but for everyone else. If your mind goes, everything falls apart and then kids don't get to do what they want and husbands are inconvenienced. Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.

So, about three months ago I decided to keep my mind busy and find a topic each month that I could really become an expert on during 3 or 4 half-hour sessions. This month I studied TS Eliot with a fabulous woman named Hermione Swope whom I met in an ashram in the Bahamas in February. She recently completed her orals at Cambridge and offered to personally tutor me for the month.

Her topic, TS Eliot: Time-Travelling Transvestite Mother Unmasked, has revolutionized the study of Eliot's work. I thought I would share some of her landmark findings in the hopes that you, too, are inspired to learn something new every four or five days when you can spare the time or focus for long enough. Her conclusions are startling for their originality, but once you stop to think about what she's saying, all you can think is "Duh!"

On The Wasteland:
  • "April is the cruelest month" - Hermione points out that, in a genuinely poetic sense, for mothers, June is the cruelest month. This is because a woman who is a mother of children (as opposed to a mother of, say, invention) is faced with conflicting priorities that surface explicitly when her children are not in school anymore and she has to figure out what to do and how her life is altered. These questions are existential and can cause genuine and deep despair. But "June is not April," you say. Hermione Swope was the first person to prove that that in England, during the time the TS Eliot wrote, children came back from boarding school in late March. April WAS June. NO ONE had considered that before.
  • " A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water." As Hermione points out on page 98 of her opus, is there a better image of what it feels like for a mother today to have to sit through "Land of the Lost" on a summer afternoon. Clearly TS Eliot had seen the movie prior to writing these lines and then travelled back in time. After which he/she says " 'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad." "Whose aren't?" I ask.
  • And then, as if this isn't enough proof that TS was a time travelling transvestite, there is this stanza: 'What shall I do now? What shall I do?' 'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street 'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? 'What shall we ever do?' Only a mother today in week three or four of June could have written those lines. Ppphhhh! It is remarkable that no one saw this before Hermione.
  • Particularly poignant is the line :"By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept... " Hermione argues convincingly that it is a simple typo and should read :"By the waters of Lehman I sat down and wept..." Who among us does not have a friend bemoaning Lehman this summer? I almost fell out of my chair during the session in which she pointed this out.
On The Lovesong of J. Alfred Proofrock
  • "There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet" - I mean, BOTOX by any other stanza.
  • "Do I dare Disturb the universe? (Read: Can I change my children's sleepover plans at the last minute?)In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse (No, I can't, but my children can, only to make new complicated ones that require more driving). For I have known them all already, known them all :—Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons" (and soup spoons and gelato spoons and melon ball scoopers and measuring spoons for baking and spoons that can be used in sand boxes or not)
  • "And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Would it have been worth while, To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball To roll it toward some overwhelming question" This speaks for itself. But Hermione parses it so elegantly and she can do it while doing hot yoga.
  • And finally, what woman hasn't said to her husband in reference to her June ennui, as TS clearly did: "It is impossible to say just what I mean! ... “That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.”
See what Hermione sees? You could just weep it's so clear that she's right.

Monday, July 20, 2009

BE: To Flake or To Glow?

Yesterday, I realized I no longer glow. I flake. You know, as in, I actually flake. The skin on my elbows, my legs, my head. This is often the case for women of a certain age. But what really horrified me was that I didn't really care. I mean, it would be nice to glow of course. But, flaking, that's just where I am right now.

One day, I will glow again - maybe with the help of moisturizers, luxurious bath routines, personal groomers, sea weed and vodka scrubs, good low carbon footprint lighting - but I will. My newest friend, Milicent, who lives in Mallorca, swears we just bathe too much on this side of the planet. We strip our surfaces of essential body oils and the result is, well, really bad flaking. I explained to her that flaking is just the natural order of things (buy my book - "I Wasn't Born This Way". The alternate title, which I personally voted for but my publisher didn't like, was "Not One of My Cells Was Present at Birth - The Perpetually "NEW" Me." I just think it is clearer and, for marketing reasons alone, that's really important. ) But, back to what's important, Milicent is on a disciplined regime of one bath every 9 and a 1/2 days and I have to say, the results are astounding. She virtually shimmers. The natural emoliants in her skin literally take on a life of their own. I admit to being envious and I have committed to joining her in the summer and adhering to her routine. If you, too, are interested visit us. Mallorca is lovely that time of year and not bathing keeps the hordes away.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

MAKE: I Am So Lucky

My friends Val, Cynthia and Merrell are so like me! We all have children, we try and work when we can and we breathe oxygen. It's ridiculous! We decided, since we share so much and our nutrition and life ethos' are SO similar, that we should put our heads together and come up with an easy idea for how to make dinner regularly, you know, so that we can feed our families. Well, it was AMAZING. Cynthia suggested that if we bought food and took it home with us we would be a long way to our goal. I agreed. Merrell was all over the idea and even added that getting food they would like and actually eat might enhance the experience. And, Val, she had the great idea that opening a wine bar together would provide a good place for us to stop and gather ourselves before taking the food home. It's amazing what a group of clever, dynamic women can come up with if given half the chance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

DO: Staying SANE

As I write this, I am completing the fantastic two-week “SANE” mental heath programme described below. Designed by self-described specialist Dr. Bettina Ruiz, this approached allowed me to think clearly and go through my day normally, something I cannot do if I am on a medication-free equilibrium programme. I followed her steps to the letter and can report that the results were startling. I was really normal-seeming. (I did have to end my seriously fun and slightly buzzed serotonin enhancement phase about six weeks ago – oh, well, c’est la vie). I have also really enjoyed finding out the details about everyday life, etc. seen through a vague haze. This revolutionary approach is amazing. Make sure you talk to your internist or holistic guru to see if SANE is right for you.

POOG: What is “Sane”?

Dr. Ruiz: After myself facing the chronic problems of everyday life I realized that many of us are dealing with constant symptoms that overwhelm us. Basically, as a culture we aren’t paying attention to basic principles of sanity. I developed the SANE program to help treat these symptoms by addressing their actual cause: life.

When our systems are overwhelmed by life, in the famous words of Chinua Achebe, THINGS FALL APART. Sleep deprivation, dehydration, no time for mediation, eating sporadically, waxing infrequently - all ensue in a mad rush. Forget facials. Simple things, like well-filed nails and coiffed hair. The majority of these symptoms are clearly due to life.

In my new blog: SANE: A Startling Approach, I make my solution available to everyone. The three key strategies are: Spelunk, Sedate and SIP– in that order. When you SPELUNK you are able to remove the psychological barriers to sanity that build up during years of living. Spelunking enables you to dangle in the dark caves of existence, taking you out of the then and placing you firmly in the free-fall of the now. Only then can you SEDATE using a combination of natural elements that I have engineered to emulation neurotransmitters that are only usually released immediately after male orgasm. At this stage you are ready to SIP (Sleep in Place) – detailed in the blog.

POOG: How did you come up with the approach?

Dr. Ruiz: After engineering school, I moved to London to complete my degree in 18th century literature. This radical shift left me 20 pounds thinner, plagued with acne, riddled by doubt and anxiety. No amount of Xanax, yelling-therapy or hot stone massage helped. I tried acupuncture, Vadic rope walking, crushed glass inhalation. Nothing. The diagnosis: Deal with it. I couldn’t and in a creative frenzy I designed what I thought would work for me personally: a reliving of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. I only made it as far as the caves when I fell into a deep sleep. It happened so fast, I didn’t know what it meant. And still don’t. I regained my lost weight however, my skin cleared up and my confidence soared. I looked and felt like I was 13. Everyone wanted to know how and now Here We Are. Today the SANE program is part of several practices in London, Paris, LA and Mumbai where I am designing a new, integrated Tantric SANE methodology.

POOG: What are some practical tips for a bit of SANE in day to day life?

Dr. Ruiz: Spelunk, Sedate and Sip whenever possible. No one ever thinks about the manifold opportunities for spelunking in daily life. Just carry a small pack of ropes, hooks, carabineers, and opportunities will reveal themselves. The next time you feel sketchy, nervous, getting ticky - find a cave-like cavern. Then, just move on to SEDATE and SIP. It’s that easy.

Visit my SANE program at www.saneprogramme.com where you can join a community of former crazed people around the country and the world who are doing the SANE program in unison and harmony. There, you can share your tips and successes with them and help other get SANE too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

POOG - Ordinary Greatness

On Monday afternoon, in a serene corner of my garden, Jessica Benchly, a longtime practitioner of unguided meditation, will be discussing the meditative and redemptive qualities of ordinary clothes. I met her purely by accident one day when I'd decided to sell my unwanted clothes on the sidewalk outside of my house. E-Bay came to mind, but in the interest of supporting the local economy, I thought the sidewalk would be better so I set up shop. She walked by and picked up a luscious little pink cashmere sweater trimmed in lavender-hued ostrich feathers. The minute she saw it you could see her eyes glaze over peacefully, the tension flow out of her posture and her breathing become deeper and more enriched. I thought to myself - I want to feel that way. This woman knows something I don't. So I asked. She offered to hold a seminar for me and my friends and Voila! Please come and bring a friend. Make sure you bring as many of your clothes as possible because she is going to demonstrate tantric techniques. See you there!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

DO: My Pooch and Yours

My dog is very old and will die one day. But, for now, he just smells. Years ago we called him Sparticus Effluvius and are reminded of why whenever he wafts by. As a citizen of the planet he is my equal. As a member of my household, he is not. The lovely groomer who comes to cut, wash and dry his hair always has a kind word for him. The other day I shared with her the story of my good friend, M.C., whose ingenious method of stopping her dog from barking at the front door (a good squirt in the face with a (lightly alcohol-laced?) water bottle) is one that I wanted to share with you. It brings her such joy, is such a release, that I thought all women should know about this technique. I am looking for the perfect spray bottle for every room in my house. I found a lovely venetian glass one for the powder room on the first floor yesterday and just thinking about it gave me a sense of calm. Thanks, MC!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

GET: Gentle Leeching

One day, when being bled by a German hirudineanist in my glorious New York loft, an Italian friend came in and commented that I had the beautiful pallor of a late medieval/early renaissance woman-child (you know, the ones that were confirmed as saints due to inedia and anemia). I assured her that even though I was covered with blood-sucking parasites, I was faring better than those unfortunates who, after all, never had the chance to experiment with tofu recipes and were sometimes burned at the stake.

In order to dispel the enduring bad reputation of blood-letting, I asked Helga Schmidt-Simmons, my personal leecher, to explain the remarkable benefits that can accrue not only from a regular blood letting, but even from the periodic application of well-hidden baby leeches just prior to special events. (Remind me one day to fill you in on the juicy details of the time that I strategically used my small jar to ensure that my skin tone and elasticity were ideal for a photo shoot in Figi.) Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for the use of this holistic technique and it's not everywhere, anytime (some would say "Never." but I humbly beg to differ and have the skin to support my position.)

Here's Helga on Phlebotomy:

I am a modern practicioner of the ancient and much maligned art of blood letting and have my own private practice in major world cities and some smaller, exclusive ones. I am always in a healing mindset. There is no healing that I won't undertake because I adore healing.

I am fluent in seven languages, including being able to read latin backwards. I attended school in Pisa and then completely my studies in Salt Lake City, which most people don't realize is the world-wide center for blood drawing. In addition to completing my PhD there, I was featured in a documentary about ancient horses and their migration from China. Although this may seen irrelevant, it's not.

Here, I hope to give you a clear picture of the sanguinary benefits of my particular techniques. Blood-letting techniques are based on the belief that the bodies humors guide it's health. Therefore food is very important in the overall equation of success because if a leech eats the wrong food it will be in a bad mood, which sucks. Therefore, in my practice, I have focused on making sure that the diet we feed our leeches is pristine and ultimately enchances their efficacy. As such, they are fed a steady diet of fois gras and a protein shake infused with basil. The fois gras ensures elasticity and the protein shake promises strong suction capabilities. The basil is metabolized in such a way that each leech is covered in a subtle sheen of basil oil extruded through the skin, ensuring that, despite the best sucking capabilities there is a smooth and painless adhesion. This is very important to my clients since overt sucking is some times upsetting to them. The dietary-based methodology is the only one of its kind in the world. Our clients are always happy with the results, which include:
  • An immediate reduction of blood pressure
  • A loss of appetite that can last for days
  • An enviable sheen
  • And, lastly, a temporary weakness resonant of long-forgotten Victorian ideals of womanhood

*If any practitioner claims the same feeding techniques make sure that they are actually following through. We have completed a certification process, which includes the Feng Shui requirements, that is extremely rigorous. If you are interested in our checklist please contact us directly at http://www.bloodworks.com/.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

MAKE: A Cupcake Recipe

Nothing resonates with the sheer delights of childhood (or overcoming a difficult childhood with outthem) like the perfectly made cupcake.

The recipe below was shared with me by Bitsy Klein. Bitsy is an old school AC/DC fan, an avid collector of 14th century erotic Sanskrit poetry and a WJPS survivor (WASP-Jewish Parents Syndrome: Parents Who Feel Extremely Guilty Because They Genuinely Love Their Dogs More Than Their Children). Bitsy’s recipe below is filled with the guilty pleasures of an over-examined youth – salted butter, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, some more salted butter and a dash of cod liver oil (so surprising, yes?). I particularly adore the subtle juxtaposition of the salted butter in the cupcakes with the unsalted butter in the frosting. Heaven on earth, or at least Heaven at my house when she visits for our annual cupcake and cocktails.

YIELD: about 3 cupcakes
· 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
· 1 3/4 teaspoon powdered baking soda
· 2 teaspoon soda-ed baking powder (different from powdered backing soda – this is baking powder that has been liquefied and can be sprayed from a nifty pressurized can available only at Humberts Purveyors on Sloan Square, next to the Sacchi’s)
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
· 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (perfect for your vegan guests since I recently learned – sugar doesn’t come from ANY animal)
· 2/3 cup granulated sugar (ditto)
· 2 large eggs or 1 large egg substitutes, like in vitro eggs
· 8 teaspoons pure Cuban rum
· 5 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
· ½ cup , coarsely chopped (optional) Carob


Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.


Whip the salted butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about four minutes. She suggests five, but I have found that four works better.

Add the eggs or their substitutes, one at a time after you break them open. Beat in the rum. On low speed, add the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in the carob and cranberries.
Bake til done. To frost, let cool and then roll each cupcake in a vat of slightly softened unsalted butter. Even though it is slightly inconvenient these cupcakes are best eaten with a fork and knife but are worth every single slice.

For kids, serve without the silver ware, but make sure to have plenty of help around to clean up!

For more information about Bitsy Klein’s traumatic childhood and adult recovery, or to buy her new book check out her website www.bitsyklein.com.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

BE: Food for Thought

Everyone always talks about Food For Thought - but what does that really mean? I don't really know. Do you? It seems like a wise thing to say, but if you reverse it is it more meaningful? Today I'm advocating Thinking for Food. Food can't think for itself and those of us who are more privleged in every way need to take a stand.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

BE: Spiritual Drivel

One should always be on the alert for what I like to call "Sprivel" - spiritual drivel. This goes beyond road-side platitudes, like "If God is your co-pilot switch seats," or "Thou Shalt Not Kill or Commit Adultery" or "Be Nice." I had my "sprivel" epiphany when I realized that someone I thought was awful was a really nice person and that I had, for years, been malicious and hideously judgemental. I thought to myself that maybe I should reconsider my assessment after she willingly gave up her airline seats on the last flight out to Gstadd for me and my daughter last Friday. We really wanted to go and, although we tried not to whine when we got to the door of the airplane late, we just had to. She single handedly got the flight attendant (I secretly still like calling them stewardesses, it brings back warm feelings of the glamourous days of travel when you got all dressed up, were fed well and elegantly served by perky-chested beauties in lovely navy uniforms and faux-Hermes scarves...oh...) anywho...to open the door and not only let us in. She then gave up her seat. I really underestimated her and felt that she was a nice person for the first time. I had been so unfair for so long. Then came the epiphany. There was lady in first class (who really looked a little iffy) and she witnessed my enemy's kind gesture and she said "Do unto others." I admit I looked blankly at her and she continued, "Are you really going to let her give up her seat for you? Don't you know the golden rule: Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated..." It was then that I realized: Ppphhh, that is such a load of drivel, wrapped in the sanctimonius garb of spirituality. Of course not, I said. It makes her feel good and makes me feel good to. Sprivel! It is a bottomless pit! Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

THANKS: An Inspiration and an Unmitigated Success

Dear loyal POOG readers, I don't usually follow one post so quickly with another, but your response to and support of Silks for Success has been staggering. My favorite donation was a threadbare pare of parachute pants from the 80s. You could practically hear Duran Duran as we cut the swatches in the office.

In fact, one diehard reader (and constant source of inspiration) bravely and kindly shared a childhood story that has sparked an entirely new initiative. Her fond memories of "a fleet of very small people who made me wonderful sets of underwear in every color" (some of which she donated to our Vintage Silks collection) are the catalyst for the evolution of Silks for Success, which we are renaming Undies for the Underprivileged (AKA Panties for the Poor). By refining our collection efforts and focusing on this niche we feel that the organisation will be infinitely more successful. Thank you all again!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GET: Everyone Should Sleep in Silk at Least Once

The world would be a better place. That's just the truth. All silk is not created equal, (I realized this when I was nine and my godmother, Carolina H., proved it to me at lunch one day in a cute little bodega in a lovely upper class neighborhood in Lima) but any silk will do, really. Given all of the harshness in the world today, the hard edges of reality, the angularity of moving through time, I think it would be good for everyone to consider how to get even a tiny square of silk for just a quick snuggle. To that effect, I'd like to announce the launch of a new foundation - Silks for Success. We will gather unwanted swatches of silk from manufacturers world wide and redistibute them to as many people as humanly possible in an environmentally correct way. We think that dropping squares of silk from well-marked and decorated hot air balloons would serve the triple purpose of leaving virtually no carbon footprint, getting our heartfelt softness-for-everone message out and providing the tools for everyone to participate (by dropping the silks out of the basket to the earth below.) If you are interested in donating any silk that you have left over from gowns, undergarments, furnishings, please send them to Silks for Success, Capitol Hill Celebrity Efforts, 201 4th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003. Please use only recyclable materials in your package. The whole good team is just thrilled!

Friday, May 22, 2009

MAKE: A Simple Delight

Remember lemonade stands? The delight of a carefree, breezy spring or summer afternoon spent on the sidewalk selling too-sweet lemonade to hot passersby. Well, times have changed and my children's cherished memories will include not lemonade, but water. That's right. They had a fantastically successful Water Stand on Saturday and raised more than $400 for a budding entrepreneur in an anciently third world country. A prouder mother you will never find. I just have to boast. My oldest daughter, dancing in and out of the house in her ragged old Mustique sweatshirt, was the vision of a smart, driven business woman in the making. It was her idea to change the sign from one that said WATER to one that read Water for Starving Thirdworld People of Color, "the difference between sales and marketing, Mom, duh!" So sweet. It was my son's idea to package the water with blueberry-filled ice cubes (at a premium of $4.75 a cup). What a dynamic duo, if I do say so myself. If your kids would like to chair a similar water sale here is a list of ingredients:

Water

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

GET: My New Driving Shoes

Everyone SHOULD have these! They have revolutionized my life, my wardrobe, my friendships, my driving. I don't know how I survived without them. And no, I don't have a multimillion dollar contract with the fine italian leather shoe purveyor of these shoes. I JUST LIKE THEM. They come in every color and my good friend Stacey swears that she wears them to bed. I am not sure what her husband thinks about this, but maybe it works for them. My daughters Parsely and Sage have little mini versions of mine and it is SOOO cute. They cost about $468.00 for the kids and an adult pair is just under $800, but it is SO WORTH it. I've found that I actually SAVE money with these shoes since I use them to DRIVE and WALK in . Who knew!

Monday, May 18, 2009

BE: Thoughts on Anger

Hi, I thought it would be interesting to ask a few people who know nothing in particular about the subject what their thoughts are on anger management. Some people believe that asking experts, you know - critical thinkers and people knowledgable about a topic - is actually a better path to take. But, I disagree. I think that asking people who are potentially complete idiots - you know, who know nothing specific about a topic - might yield a broader spectrum of answers and hence perhaps come closer to the truth ultimately, statistically speaking. So, I have asked Maggie Fife, a nail technician; Peter Mallory, a financial analyst formerly employed by Goldman Sachs and Leslie Nguke, a windsurfer from Malawi what their thoughts on Anger Management are. Here are their thoughts. Be happy!

Maggie Fife replies:
Gee. I don't know. Maybe a manicure would help. You know, you can listen to nature sounds while you have your hands done.

Peter Mallory replies:
Are you joking? Haven't you figured this out yet yourself? What? What? I don't see what the big deal is about managing anger. EVERYONE gets angry. You just need to find the right person to yell at. That's the key to success. There is ALWAYS someone to yell at. That's what makes a good manger - knowing who to yell at. I mean, really.

Leslie Nguke
Dude. Peace out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

DO: How To Part Your Hair Like a Supermodel

There are bad hair days and BAD HAIR DAYS. You all know what I am talking about. Well, Henry J. at Studios Max in New York is an expert on all things sebaceous and he is also one of the world's true gems in general. This weekend, he shared an invaluable tip with me on a day when I thought my hair was just going to make me sob or beat my children. It was so simple, so quick and so effective that I thought I would pass it on.

Six Simple Stops to Parting Your Hair by Henry J.

Step 1 : Buy a good comb. Narsicca makes the best one. It costs less than $50.00 and can fit into your pocket when folded. The key is to make sure that your comb has a very pointy tip. Some people think that using a sharpened 3 cent pencil works the same way - but don't be fooled. It doesn't.

Step 2: Find a well-lit mirror and look at yourself face on. Remember - we are all beautiful inside and flaws are not your problem. If someone else looks at you and finds flaws, that's their problem. A mirror is your friend and should be treated as such. If your lighting is not good then find another mirror. In order to achieve a good part you need to make sure that there are absolutely no shadows on your head or face. Stop now and check for shadows.

Step 3: Raise the pointed end of your Narsicca comb and place it on the tip of your nose. Counting to 17 slowly raise the top to your hairline. If you reach your hairline before reaching 17 start over. Counting to 17 may seem silly, but it 17 is a spiritual prime number of great significance. If you reach your hairline on the exact count of 17 you will achieve superior results.

Step 4: Once you have reached your hairline take three deep breaths, close your eyes and let the comb take over as you push it back along your scalp. When you have reached half way along the crest of your skull, stop. It is at now time to look at your handiwork.

Step 5: Take a piece of 18" tooth floss and bite one end in your mouth. Raise the floss up and over your head and line it up with the part. Pull the floss into the part you have created and pull it up and over to your nape. Tape the floss to the back of your neck and complete your part by pulling the comb to the point at which the tape meets your hairline.

Step 6: Remove the tape. Smile.

Parting your hair in this way should take no more than 12 minutes. It's a little more than usual, but wait till you see the results. Once you've achieved this part you can do almost anything.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BE: Mommy and Me Tweener Classes

I realized early this dewy morning that the days of Mommy and Me ballet classes are gone forever. Filled will longing for the easy, mindless hours of non-confrontational twirling and tutus I came up with a new idea: Mommy and Me Sex Ed! Why not continue the tradition, taking valuable lessons we've learned and pass on practical information to our girls in a fun way!

The lessons that came to mind immediately are the ones we all know, but that are sometimes hard to follow through on:
1) Set by example (which I take to mean a grown up version of "Show and Tell")
2) Communicate clearly and frequently

When you combine these two, a weekly sex ed class that you can share with your tween daughter becomes as easy as getting a full body wax.

Not one to sit on an idea for long, I immediately called Janice Nessorini at Bantam Books (if you don't know her you should, here's her number, 212-879-8890) and she is putting together a preliminary curriculum, book proposal and short documentary film for schools. Since this is not really my field of expertise (having only had sex, but not taught it to my daughter in any detailed fashion) I made a few topic suggestions that I hope she incorporates, ranging from how NOT to tell a boy NO and 5 easy steps to latex free orgasms. I hope you can join us! Schedule to follow.

Friday, May 1, 2009

DO: Socks for SOCCS

As you may know, I sit on the board of an organisation called SOCCS (Sisters of Owners of Canine Cancer Survivors). It is a wonderful organisation, dedicated to a little known group of women who are sisters of owners of canine cancer suvivors. Resources for these women are limited, to say the least. In addition to providing financial assistance, SOCCS works closely to meet these women's day to day emotional and social needs through a series of seminars, mentors, cocktail parties and hot stone therapy.

Our upcoming event was my very own brainchild: SOCKS for SOCCS. We will be auctioning socks donated by authentically stellar people (you know, stars). Although your socks are probably lovely, realistically they won't raise much money unless you can demonstrate that they've been worn by someone with a high twitter ranking (but thanks anyway). My friend, M (#2 on Twitter last week), has donated the pair pictured here, which have the added benefit of having been peed on, in a demonstration of territoriality or incontinence (we're not sure, but who really cares) by her very own sister's cancer suviving pooch Fred (isn't he adorable). The auction details are below:
Date: May 16, 2009
Place: DivaDogs Nightclub
Time: 9:00pm
Online Auction: http://www.soccs.org/
Please join us!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

GET: Personal Lubricants To the Rescue

OK - now, here's a topic no one wants to talk about. Head lice. They're the most democratic of bugs and there is a great new way to get rid of them. I almost fell out of my chair when my children's pediatrician suggested it: Personal lubricants. That's right - this gigantic, booming market (lots of baby boomer women looking for a lube job) - has found a new expanding market in: lice eradication. If you think I'm joking, check this out: http://weeklyvolcano.typepad.com/spew/2009/01/wet-works.html. Now, I know that it's not glamourous, but IT WORKS!

Friday, April 10, 2009

MAKE: Being Prepared for April

April is a funny month. It's not really hot, not really cold. Somedays are just right for curling up in front of a fire with a good book, others for kite flying. I say, be ready for both. To that end I spent the last week with Kikuro Harami an world-reknown calligraphy kite master from Osaka. She showed me how to carefully transcribe my favorite texts onto kites. Each page of text takes about 2 hours to move onto a kite. But, think of the upside! An octagonal box kite can fit almost all of Anna Karenina if you use both sides of the fabric. I was so thrilled with our results. I sat all of Sunday with a cup of echinacea tea under a faux (or real!) cashmere throw reading my kite and then, when the sun came out, ran outside with the kids (who were quietly reading with me) and flew it. Our Make It Yourself instructions are easy to follow. And, as far and I know, these are the ONLY ones that Kikuro has made available. Happy Flyeading!

Monday, April 6, 2009

DO: Thoughts on Our Heated Planet

I've been very focused recently on global warming (WHO HASN'T!). In this day and age, it is essential that we all focus our inner and outer resources on areas that will have the most positive impact for the greater good. Usually this also means the most positive impact for own's own personal good, but not always. So, it makes sense to turn off the lights, unplug all unused electrical appliances and gadgets, not use airconditioners, and bicycle whenever possible - all things that would be good for our glorious, irreplaceable planet, but - for me personally that would all be bad. However, it's important to think about and hope that millions of other people (less focused on and actually financially capable of achieving both existential and physical comfort simultaneously) will do it. If you, dear reader, are one of those people, God Bless You.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

DO: Feeding The Spirit and The Body

It's REALLY important to feed your kids. If you don't they might die. I know it seems obvious, but some people just don't realize how important it is. We looked into the importance of food to kids' growth and found incontrovertible evidence that it's essential. My own three children grow like weeds since I started feeding them 12 years ago. I learned from the start that not feeding them was not an option. For some people this is an overwhelming chore, but I know that if you stick with it, you will be happy in the long term.

Friday, March 20, 2009

GET Other People's Food

It struck me earlier today that the key to culinary happiness at home may indeed be getting other people's food. By that I mean any solution that results in someone else making your food. It might be a sibling, a neighbor, a professional cook. The main thing is that you aren't involved. Barring these options, the best solution is, of course, to have your food delivered. Take out is a good second best.

Given the economic situation that the world is in I have an ingenius solution to making a takeout or delivery meal more "homey" - like comfort food. The solution is kid-made condiments. Below is a list of recommendations for easily acquired and made condiments that compliment the appropriate regional cuisine. By teaching your kids to make these regularly you can both save some money by ordering less AND make the meal more home made and fun!

Heirloom Tomato Ketchup
Organic Egg Mayonaisse
French's Mustard (there is NO substitute for this mustard)
Lavender Honey
Dead Sea Salt

A quick family class at Institute Culinaire De Toute Chose Folie on a Saturday will do the trick!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

GO: Great Exhibition

Here is a suggestion for a great exhibition currently being held at the Museum of Not So Modern Art in New York. A great debate continues to rage over whether late 20th century masters should rightfully be considered contemporary or modern. The same is true for some early 20th century artists. I claim to know next to nothing about how to resolve this dilemma, but many of my friends are avid collectors of both types of artists and I love to perch myself on the side of a plush purple velvet armchair in JS's lovely Venitian palace in Queens and listen while they wax eloquently about whether Damien Hirst is really just today's version of Marcel Duchamp and what that means for the evolution of art in a very, very human way. But, back to the Museum's exhibit. Between now and November 1st the Museum is hosting an exhibit of never-before seen"What If" images by 20th century's giants. My favorite's are Picasso's "What if...I'd Been Born a Girl" in which he explores how much more beautiful and less misogyynistic his portraits of women would have been. Another in my top ten is Matisse's "What if...I Had Been a Miserable Bastard instead of a Basically Happy Man" in which is painted something strikingly and preciently predictive of Francis Bacon's bleak, post war self portraits. And, lastly, (this one is actually my favorite) Van Gogh's "What If...I Hadn't Cut My Ear Off" a beautiful testament to his auditory imagination. Now, I know he isn't technically 20th century, but as the small cards on the side of the paintings explain - "In spirit, he was more 20th century than most of the artists featured in this exhibit. So There." Not to be missed. Spoof Gwyneth Paltrow GOOP.