Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic - Looking Ahead To 2009

Tomorrow there will be time enough for my musings about the year that has passed

But now it's time to go get diamond-ized so I can ring in the new year with the appropriate amount of bling.

I wish everyone good health and much happiness in the year to come.

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Giving You A Little More Gavin

Just because this it my favorite song of 2008

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Modern Morals - More Love Italian Style

The court gave its landmark ruling after hearing the case of a 48-year-old woman, convicted of giving false testimony to police by denying she had lent her mobile phone to her lover.
The appeal court did not agree that she had broken the law.

It said bending the truth was justified to conceal extra-marital relationships.
In a predominantly Catholic country you might expect the courts to take a dim view of lying and adultery.
But not in this case.
The woman who brought the appeal was from Porto Ercole on the Tuscany coast, and named only as Carla.
Now how funny is this part....
She had lent her telephone to her secret lover, Giovanni, who then used it to call Carla’s estranged husband, Vincenzo, and insult him.
The lover called up the husband to insult him...this is the most un-manly behavior imaginable.

Giovanni, the lover, was convicted of abusive behaviour in a local court, and Carla convicted as an accessory.
Controversial judgements
But the Court of Cassation found that having a lover was a circumstance that damaged the honour of the person among family and friends.
Lying about it, therefore, was permitted, even in a judicial investigation.
It is not yet clear whether the ruling might also apply to men who have secret mistresses.
The Court of Cassation, which is largely staffed by elderly male appeal judges, has in the past issued a number of controversial judgements.
It once gave a ruling, later rescinded after protests from women’s groups, that a woman could not be raped by definition if she was wearing tight jeans, since the jeans could only be removed with her consent.
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Love Italian Style on New Year's Eve

''If a sex strike is what it takes in order to get the attention of our men, husbands, partners and sons, then we're ready for it," she told ANSA, the Italian news agency. "This time they're just going to have to choose: sex or fireworks.''
Italians spend an estimated 60 million Euros (£576 million) on new year fireworks, many of them made and sold illegally. Since 2000 fireworks have caused four deaths in the Naples area and five hundred serious injuries.
Dr Sorrentino said that the campaign to stop Naples men letting off dangerous fireworks would be "long and difficult," but local soundings suggested the sex strike was already having an effect. ''The idea of no sex is not exactly popular," he said.
Such a dilemma...
Fireworks or Sex
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Modern Morals - Another Darwin Award Winner

You know I saw this story on Drudge a couple of days ago and I just wasn't going to go there.
But somehow...I just have to.
From the Hindustan Times
Husband warns public about HIV wife

So...a Toronto man....obviously a future Darwin Award winner
marries a Thai Stripper (or ex stripper, whatever) and gets infected with HIV.

Now he's out to warn other men who may have banged his ex to get tested.

A Toronto man, who was infected with the HIV virus by his stripper ex-wife, is pleading for other men who may have had sex with her to get tested for the disease.
"I know there were other men she slept with," Percy Whiteman claimed on Monday of his ex, Suwalee Iamkhong, who's fighting deportation from Canada. "I am lucky that I was able to find out early."
Iamkhong, 39, arrived in Canada from Thailand in 1995 and danced at Toronto's Zanzibar Tavern for most of her career, which lasted until 2004.

WTF was this guy thinking?
The usual I suppose....she's really a just a very nice girl who just lap dances on the side while she's really going to law school or medical school or caring for poor orphans or saving whales. Oh...she's only doing a little "artistic" dancing and nothing more....she's not really a skanky whore.
Did this idiot think that this pole dancer was a some kind of virgin? Did he consider HIV testing before he nailed her? Did he not realize that risky behavior yields nasty stuff.
Go ahead...tell me that I'm insufficiently sensitive.
Call it service with a smile....sometimes you get even more than what you paid for.
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Vintage Value Venture - A Slinky Start To The New Year

Is it just me or do you too feel that fin de siecle edge of the precipice feeling?
While we've heard the call for a return to reason, decency and discretion there remains that little voice that tells you enjoy the party because life is so very short.
So forget the understated outfit for that chic New Year's party that you've been invited to and go for full on blinged out slink.
Beladora wrap around snake bracelet with 15.00 carats of rose cut H-I/VS diamonds

Beladora hoop earrings with 8.16 carats of dangling diamonds

Posh Vintage 1960's Lillie Diamond Little Black Dress $115

Your equities and real estate may have halved in value but at least you look hot in your other asset....your diamonds.
So sip champagne and enjoy New Year's Eve because it's going to be a long cold winter.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Return To Reason, Decency and Discretion

From the same Time Online article, not all the news is bad.

Not everyone is suffering to the same degree. Swiss watchmakers have been hardest hit but Hermès, the Paris leather goods and silk-square company, has seen its share price rise by nearly 16 per cent this year and expects its sales to grow by about 10 per cent.
Some in the trade believe they are facing a harsh future after a decade in which greed and easy money led to hubris.
And here's the money quote
Alain Nemarq, the chairman of Mauboussin, the prestige jewellery firm, said that the world of luxury had gone wild in pursuit of the idea that nothing could be too expensive and no profit margin too exorbitant. “The pursuit of exclusive trophies ... is finished,” he wrote in Le Figaro last week. “We will now return to reason, decency and discretion.”
We can only hope so.
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Times Are Tough In Luxury Land

From the Times Online
Even fashion giants Chanel and LVMH forced to economise

Until recently, France's marques de grand luxe were claiming immunity from the slump. Demand for the high end was holding up, driven by the luxury appetites of the nouveaux riches of Russia, China and other emerging powers, they said.
The denial has faded over the past month as Russians and Asians have been noticeably absent over Christmas from the boutiques in the Paris golden triangle off the Champs Élysées and their equivalents in London and New York. Business in Japan has slumped.
A week ago Chanel, privately owned and secretive about its affairs, called off a glitzy art show as it was about to arrive in London from New York. Over the weekend trade unions reported that the fashion house was to lay off all of its 200 Paris staff who are on fixed-term or temporary contracts.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2009

Chanel Pre-Fall 2009

Somehow I'm not surprised by this. Even the trophy wives of Russian oligarchs and Chinese mega moguls, must have better taste than to buy into these overpriced outfits from Chanel.

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Not A Wardrobe Malfunction But Will It Make The Superbowl?

(ok...i'm having issues with the embedded code so no video but you can watch it if you click on the link below)

Link: Fleg Master Tlpizza

Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch says that this is the best commercial


I can definitely say that it is the commercial with best use of Wagnerian music.

Hat tip from the himbo himself, Glenn Reynolds

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Going For Gavin - Wild Horses

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The Year In Fashion

What happened in fashion in 2008?
The Wall Street Journal Has the Slide show here.
Yves St. Laurent and muse Catherine Deneuve
January: The Valentino retirement bash
February: The re launch of the Halston line for online sales
March: The too skinny model controversy & Marc Jacobs International pays a $1 million fine
April: TV's Gossip Girl and Mad Men inspire New York designers
May: Sex and the City comes out as a movie
June: Yves St Laurent dies at the age of 71
July: Italian Vogue features black models refuting the trend on the Paris catwalk
August: Michelle Obama wows the world with her fashion choices
September: Models stumble and fall all over the runways with their sky high stilettos
October: Sarah Palin gets the big wardrobe for the campaign
November: Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som and Alessandra Facchinetti take some time off
December: Harry Winston in Paris gets plundered
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Noblesse Oblige - You Know

Since I'm not a New Yorker I don't really have an opinion on Caroline Kennedy's bid for a senate seat.
Mrs. Kennedy Schlossburg has led an exemplary life as a doyenne of New York Society and a fundraiser for Democratic candidates.
Her purebred political pedigree puts her up for the position,
not to mention her Harvard Degree...
can I repeat that....HARVARD!
and Columbia Law School.

Caroline Kennedy
As reported in the New York Daily News
I do believe this is true. And besides, with her personal fortune of some $100 million, she has enough money that she doesn't have to accept sweetheart mortgage deals from companies like Countrywide, or hide stacks of cash in her freezer.
But what's up with her speaking skills?
All in one interview she gave us this.
"I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the Daily News Saturday during a wide-ranging interview.
"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. And, you know, and that would be obviously true with my relationship with the mayor."
About Andrew Cuomo
"Andrew is, you know, highly qualified for this job," she said. "He's doing a, you know, a great job as attorney general, and we've spoken throughout this process."
"You know, I think, you know, we're sort of, uh, sharing some of this experience. And um, as I've said, he was a friend, a family member, and um so, and uh obviously, he's, you know, he's also had an impressive career in public office."
And about her desire to go into public life
"It's really, you know, it's not about just the Kennedy name," she said. "It's about my own work and what I've done with those values."
I'd be the first to say that my speaking skills aren't any better....after all I didn't grow up in Camelot and go to an Ivy League school.
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The Clash Of Civilizations And The Congo - Huntington And The Hutus

"Clash of Civilizations" author Samuel Huntington dies

BOSTON (Reuters) – Political scientist Samuel Huntington, whose controversial book "The Clash of Civilizations" predicted conflict between the West and the Islamic world, has died at age 81, Harvard University said on Saturday.

While I wouldn't go so far as to assert that Huntington's theory as laid out in this book was in arguably correct...

the news from Africa makes me think that Huntington was more right than wrong.

Ugandan army says rebels kill 45 people in Congo church

KAMPALA (AFP) – The Ugandan army on Sunday accused Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels of hacking to death 45 people in a church in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
An aid official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity confirmed Friday's massacre, saying the killings took place in a Catholic church in the Doruma area, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Sudanese border.
"There are body parts everywhere. Inside the church, the entrance and in the church compound," the aid official said.
"We got information the rebels cut 45 people into pieces," added army spokesman Captain Chris Magezi.
"They were cut with pangas (machetes) and hit with clubs but some luckily managed to escape. Our forces came to know about the killings while pursuing the LRA yesterday (Saturday) and the pursuit is on for the killers."

Is it just me or do these people (Hutus, Tutsis, LRA, Tribe du Jour...whatever) hack each other up every ten years or so just for fun....Seems to me that it's just, you know, their "civilization"...

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Celebrity Nonsense - Science Is Not Their Subject

Scientific Advisors - Oprah and Tom Cruise
From The Independent
Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati

When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.
Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.

highly trained medical she high? Exactly how do you train a leech?

Obviously, I assume that none of you would look to Nigella Lawson, Kate Moss or Demi Moore for scientifically based health advice.

But I ask, how many women worship at the "Church of Oprah"? Seriously...she has millions of female fans who believe everything she utters. And do I even need to go into the the whole "Woman's Conference" that she puts on every year where all the highly connected and wealthy California women from Maria Shriver down to the billionaire hedgefunder's wives go to get their update on the politically correct approach to the issues of the day.

So what does all this have to do with Coleridge and Newton?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Isaac Newton

Well just that this is nothing new.

There is something so "junior high" about all of this, like the way that the "cool kids" express their opinions on subjects they know nothing about, like science, to the their sycophant friends who are ever so ready to look down on the "geeks".

Taking this back to one of the ultimate hipsters of the late 18th Century, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Coleridge, best described by the The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature as a "poet, philosopher, theologian, critic, journalist and playwright", leaving out the part about him being an opium addict, wrote about Newton in an 1801 letter to Thomas Poole,

"My Opinion is this—that deep Thinking is attainable only by a man of deep Feeling, and that all Truth is a species of Revelation. The more I understand of Sir Isaac Newton's works, the more boldly I dare utter to my own mind ... that I believe the Souls of 500 Sir Isaac Newtons would go to the making up of a Shakspere [sic] or a Milton... Mind in his system is always passive—a lazy Looker-on an external World. If the mind be not passive, if it be indeed made in God's Image, & that too in the sublimest sense—the image of the Creator—there is ground for suspicion, that any system built on the passiveness of the mind must be false, as a system."

About the last thing that I would say about Newton was that he was a lazy looker on an external world.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Happenings or Trying To Take It Down A Notch

Ah...Christmas is finally over...and after the family feast on Christmas Eve and the dinner à trois avec les enfants on Christmas Day, I'm trying to take it down a notch.
Since February 2008 when I started this blog I've posted 527 times...and considering what it takes for me to write even one post, that is indeed a lot of time sitting at a addition to my day job. (yes, no wonder my ass is fat)
So maybe this week I will post lightly...or not at all. There are movies to see, hikes to go on, friends to spend time with, letters to write, books to read, dinners to cook and things to ponder about the year that has passed and the new year that is beginning ....and yes of course, all these things in addition to keeping my eye on the business...which is a 24/7 thing.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days of Christmas

Hat Tip Found Pennies

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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

Countdown to Christmas

Stuart Weitzman Shearling Boots in Amethyst at $208

Because Global cooling is fact world temperatures haven't actually increased since 1998.
And, even here in sunny Southern California my feet are cold.
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Relient K - Angels We Have Heard On High

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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

Vintage Blue Enamel and Diamond Bangle Bracelets from

Because no one is going to buy me a partridge in a pear tree.
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The Big Chill

From Beijing's coldest December day in 57 years to Canada seeing the first white Christmas since 1971 to a severe cold wave hitting Europe

Somehow I don't think that John Galliano thought that we were going to have record cold temperatures when he designed this practical outfit for his 2008 Couture Fall Collection.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Celebrity Nonsense - Paris Hilton's Bling

From the Chicago Tribune
Police: Paris Hilton's L.A. home burglarized while she was away; $2 million in jewelry missing

Seriously, who keeps $2 million in jewelry at home?

And, what kind of home security system did she have?

Obviously, her silly dog wasn't much of a deterrent...
what she needed was my kind of home security system.

I can't help but wonder...

Was she was in need of cash and set the whole thing up for the insurance money?

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Weezer - The Christmas Song

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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

Beladora Emerald Cross Pendant

And you thought that only the elves wore green on Christmas.
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Recommended Reading - Fire In The Blood

I enjoyed reading Suite Francais by Irene Nemirovsky, an intense book which was to me (in a weird way) a kind of antithesis of Castle to Castle by Celine, so I decided to read Nemirovsky's Fire in the Blood which started slow but built in intensity to the inevitable conclusion.
I'll give you the best quote
"After all, the three of us were young. It wasn't just about the pleasures of the flesh . No, it wasn't that simple. The flesh is so easy to satisfy. It's the heart that is insatiable, the heart that needs to love, to despair, to burn with any kind of fire...That was what we wanted. To burn, to be consumed, to devour our days just as fire devours the forest."
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'Tis The Season To Be Merry

So who knew that Christmas Season really brings out the urge to merge?
The Christmas-New Year's period produces a year-high spike in sexual activity and conceptions in the United States, according to biorhythm researchers and makers of sex-related products.
The Christmas-New Year's period produces a year-high spike in sexual activity and conceptions in the United States, according to biorhythm researchers and makers of sex-related products.
They attribute the increase to holiday leisure and New Year's resolutions to have children. New Year's irresolution fueled by alcohol and partying is another contributing factor.
As expected, the holiday urge surge also expresses itself as a peak in U.S. births in September, according to David Lam of the University of Michigan's Population Studies Center in Ann Arbor.
What is it about Mistletoe anyway?
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Spreading The Wealth Around - Christmas Comes Early On Capital Hill

Are you going to vote yourself a raise this year?

The sotto voce announcement that Congress, after
wagging their collective head over executive pay and perks, decided to vote
itself a $2.5 million raise was a depressing portent. “With economy in
shambles,” read a headline in
The Hill,
“Congress gets a raise.”
A crumbling economy, more than 2 million
constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of
CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
PR-wise, this should be a
Car-execs-take-private-jets-to-Washington-to-ask-for-taxpayer-bailout moment.

So where, as Bob Dole memorably asked, is the outrage?
Don’t hold your breath. What makes this
Congress-takes-some-more-money-from-your-pocket-and-puts-it-into-theirs scenario
so depressing is that people seem to have given up holding our duly-elected
representative accountable for anything short of outright peculation.

And to listen to Rod Blagojevich try to to
brazen it out, even flagrant
corruption may turn out to OK.

And here's the best comment on this article.
“larger and larger swathes of the U.S. economy has been colonized by the federal government” (Roger)

Does this not justify their pay increase? They are taking more responsibilities - running banks,housing finance institutions, auto industry, trying to control the world’s weather patterns….
I get exhausted just thinking of all the wonderful stuff they do.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pearl Jam - Let Me Sleep It's Christmas Time

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David Byrne Does Bizet - Au Fond Du Temple Saint

03 - au fond du temple saint - David Byrne
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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

DKNY Dress from $64.50

Beladora Diamond and Emerald Earrings

Opting for emeralds.
Because I've been told that I'm insufficiently Green because I'm more concerned about global cooling than global warming.

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Getting Out Of Gunnison

The best thing about this photo was that it was taken just before I boarded the plane to Denver en route to LA. Gunnison Colorado Airport December 2008
From Wikipedia
Gunnison is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the United States, especially when snowpack is present. The average January low is −7 °F (−21.7 °C). The record low is −47 °F (−43.9 °C) set on December 25, 1924.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful...

Just another December day in Crested Butte, Colorado

Actually, it was an icy but pristine day at the house at the top of the hill on Mount Crested Butte.
And sorry to disappoint you but I'm tired of the utter arrogance of the Global Warming is Man Made/Gaia is God/Green contingent.
So is this guy.

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And you Thought That you Were Getting "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

So very much better than the Coldplay cover.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pour Mes Enfants - je t'aimais, je t'aime et je t'aimerai

Le monde a tellement de regrets

Tellement de choses qu'on promet

Une seule pour laquelle je suis fait

Je t'aimais, je t'aime et je t'aimerai

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More Bizarre Than Bazaar

I'm sorry to do this to you...really I am.

Look, you already know how I feel about the new Stephen Sprouse line
now we have media whore Marc Jacobs promoting the brand and little else.

Why can't he just stick to designing clothes and collecting art?

Nobody wants to see this.

The very best commentary on this photo is by Wendy B.
You've got to read her post.
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A little Night Music

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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

Black Halo Rita Dress from $345

With thanks to the Ravishing Renee for the Black Halo shout out.
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Around Town - The Big Chill it cold enough for you?

Forget the fact that Las Vegas had the biggest snow storm in 30 years.

I heard the news from my son this afternoon that it snowed in Malibu today.

Shall I repeat that....IT SNOWED IN THE BU!

From Drudge
McCarran closed to arriving and departing flights due to snowstorm

Just more of Gaia's guile.
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Savvy Shopping - On My Fantasy Christmas List

Europa Coat in Loden from $1598

Because this is the closest I will get to spending my Christmas in a snowy chalet in the Engadine Valley in the Swiss Alps....
and because I like loden.
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Because It's Just Not Cold Enough In Beverly Hills

Look where I get to go this week....

Unfortunately, I have to go for family business
and I wont be doing any of this...
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