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Kettle Porn, Kettle Corn

As a Jewish witch, I don’t get that worked up about the gift-giving aspect of the challahdaze, as I like to call the winter holidays while rolling great buckets of phlegm from the back of my throat. (Take that, GOP!) Oh, I like the lights, the pine trees, the pageantry. I especially like all the unchecked love. But mostly I view this season as yet another effort of the Church and capitalistic structures to rain–er, snow–on pagan parades since the real star of December is the winter solstice.

If you consider the true messages of Jesus, who reportedly was born in the spring and of whom I am a lifelong fan, they have nothing to do with cumpulsory gift-giving. In fact, if you parse out his words, it’s clear the dude was an anti-materialist. A freaking socialist, really.

So I receive very few presents, which is fine because I give very few presents. Instead, I use this time of year as an opportunity to buy myself one item that I really need–something practical and well-crafted–because it makes me feel so very Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Oranges from Pa in the stocking, anyone?) Which is all to say: Meet my new beautiful tea kettle (left), the replacement of the Le Creuset I bought at the beginning of this tired teen decade (right).

Ain’t time tough?

The Church of Scorpio New Moon

Dowager avenger

I was standing on the corner of Third Avenue and 21st Street yesterday when a woman came up to me wearing a floorlength cocktail dress, a sparkly headband, rubber galoshes, and a ratty mink coat, and told me—didn’t ask but told me–to open her bottle of Coke. After I did, I asked if I could take a photo of her since I so admired her outfit, and she said “fuck you” and sauntered off.

Obviously I took the pic. And obviously I loved her ultimate dowager chic. The exchange wasn’t just classic New York. It also was classic Scorpio Season.

I don’t know about you, but all I’ve wanted to do lately is burrow under the covers with a flashlight and a book. It’s not just the weather. It’s that the sun and, as of tonight, the moon are lurking in Scorpio, the sign of birth, death, and regeneration, with Mercury about to go retrograde in this sign as well. Continue Reading →

Blue Is Beautiful

Evie playing chess with Duchamp to make boyfriend Walter Hopps jealous. My guess is that it worked.

Once upon a time, the brilliant essayist Eve Babitz was also a painter. In the 1960s she was not only known for her magical groupie powers but for some of the key album covers of that decade–most notably a collage for 1967’s Buffalo Springfield Again. And although she had limited patience for movie stars (she did deign to fuck a young Harrison Ford, but then he was mostly a weed dealer and shoddy carpenter), she hobnobbed with some of America’s most-touted artists–among them Annie Leibovitz, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and Marcel Duchamp. (Only one of the aforementioned never saw her naked in person.)

But one day Evie put away her brushes for good. And the reason, at least according to every teller of the tale (including Eve, who is honest if not exactly truthful), can be traced to one seemingly offhand remark by Earl McGrath. A sort of Oliver Wilde-cum-Leonardo Da Vinci-cum Frank Abagnale Jr cad-about-town who quite possibly was her only true match and definitely her only worthy frenenemy*, McGrath gazed upon one of her paintings.

And after an exceptionally pregnant pause, said only: “Is that the blue you’re using?” Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy