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Five Things

This week, amid mounting political chaos, there were also great bearers of hope, wonder, awe and appreciation- on a national and a personal scale. I see it fitting to end the week with a recollection of those moments. Herewith, my Friday five.

 

I. The Inimitable Life of Stephen Hawking

This obituary of Stephen Hawking in the New York Times is soaring and beautiful, just like it’s subject. I read it end to end at 3 am and it captivated me more than any obituary has. What a tremendous man Stephen Hawking was. I feel fortunate to have shared this earth with his brilliance.

An excerpt below, recounting Hawking’s fearlessness – both physically and mentally.

“Asked why he took such risks, Dr. Hawking said, “I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”

His own spirit left many in awe.

“What a triumph his life has been,” said Martin Rees, a Cambridge University cosmologist, the astronomer royal of England and Dr. Hawking’s longtime colleague. “His name will live in the annals of science; millions have had their cosmic horizons widened by his best-selling books; and even more, around the world, have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds — a manifestation of amazing willpower and determination.”

 

II. The Students of #Enough

Students participate in a march in support of the National School Walkout in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

I was running errands in downtown Brooklyn Wednesday when I ran into a massive walkout of Brooklyn high school students that stretched a 2 block length of Fulton Street and its width in entirety. “Guns in school? We say No! NRA has Got to Go”, they chanted, marching with determination and purpose. They brought the street to a halt, and in that moment put all of us adults- going about our lives, heads down- to shame. The New York Times summarized their actions thus:

“A month ago, hundreds of teenagers ran for their lives from the hallways and classrooms of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff had been shot to death.

On Wednesday, driven by the conviction that they should never have to run from guns again, they walked.

So did their peers. In New York City, in Chicago, in Atlanta and Santa Monica; at Columbine High School and in Newtown, Conn.; and in many more cities and towns, students left school by the hundreds and the thousands at 10 a.m., sometimes in defiance of school authorities, who seemed divided and even flummoxed about how to handle their emptying classrooms.”

Watching this movement take shape has been an incredible reminder of the power of our youth and their ability to effectively organize. They are eloquent defenders of their right to learn in peace, and have exhibited immense courage. They remind us that it is never too late to channel the idealism and energy of our youth, and speak truth to power when it is sorely needed. What a beautiful generation that has arisen out of the ashes of millennial life. If you’d like to support efforts to end gun violence, you may donate to Everytown.org here.

 

III. Baby Smiles

Onward to more personal sources of awe. And I apologize in advance if you thought, rightfully, that perhaps I’d steer clear of child related topics after my magnum opus on parenthood last week. (Speaking of which, thank you so much for your beautiful words and responses to that post. They warmed my heart immensely).

* Note: the above is not a picture of MY baby. It is just A baby, and an exceptionally adorable one at that.

Somewhere between their first 6 and 12 weeks of life, babies start to smile in earnest (versus a reflux smile that everyone was very quick to point out WASN’T REAL). Via Parents: “Your baby’s first real smile says a lot about his development. It’s a sign his vision has improved and he is able to recognize your face. His brain and nervous system have matured enough to eliminate reflex smiles, and he’s now aware that smiling is a way for him to connect with others. Your little one is also beginning to realize his feelings matter and have a direct effect on the people around him. He’ll smile to express pleasure, excitement, contentment, and happiness.”

Our child started smiling these last few weeks, and it has been my absolute favorite development. It is so sweet and wondrous to see your child’s first smile, and every time she does it is a surprise and a delight! My favorite development of the last week for sure.

 

IV. The Best Banana Bread

On cold winter days, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I love to cook, the room happens to get exceptional sunlight, and since I’m on leave, I find joy in serving up exceptionally delicious meals for the whole household. Not to mention, the beauty of providing sustenance for the baby has been that I literally get to eat whatever on earth that I want and the calories magically get transferred to her.

It’s beautiful. God is a woman after all. I always had a sneaking suspicion.

Anyway, this recipe for Banana Bread (with the additional of copious chocolate and peanut butter chips) has been on constant rotation in our home.  It takes just minutes to conjure, and having a loaf ever present on the kitchen counter says home like nothing else can. Try it. You’ll see.

 

V. LOVE

Do you guys watch Love, on Netflix? It’s such a delightfully funny show. The acting, story lines, characters, and settings are all so wonderful. I won’t ruin it with my amateur review (“it’s about a couple? In LA? and their friends?), but it’s the greatest. I look forward to my husband getting home all day- not because I love him or anything, but because we get to watch Love (JUST KIDDING BABE). That’s how into it I am. Watch it and let me know what you think. It’s a perfect activity for the 500th winter weekend of this season.

Wishing you all a wonderful and uplifting weekend!

xxx

Miss Sheiky

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Movies of the Moment: I Tonya

I Tonya

Rounding out films that are still out in theatres, I’d be extremely remiss not to comment on I, Tonya. For those of you living under a boulder (I kid), I, Tonya recounts the story of Tonya Harding, at one time one of the best figure skaters in the world ( to note: the first American woman to land the notoriously difficult triple axel jump), who weathered unimaginable scandal on account of the 1994 attack on her teammate Nancy Kerrigan. I remember this story so vividly from my childhood- growing up in the midwest, the Winter Olympics were a huge event for us and my family and I watched the figure skating championships near religiously. When this story line unfolded we, like the rest of America, were enraptured in it. And yet, there were so many details of the story that I was too young to absorb, or too naive to realize that I had internalized as fact. In this respect, I, Tonya serves as a redemption tale for someone who became, during my childhood, a caricature of the evil villain writ large.

And yet, I, Tonya isn’t a tale of redemption at all. It is, at its core, a really excruciating account of a life of poverty of violence- first of the parental variety, then the marital variety- and finally of the societal variety. And I found the consistent and raw abuse almost too much to handle. There was no tempering of her suffering when she grew up, moved out of her home, or left her husband. Rather, she is consistently and brutally punished every step of the way despite her boundless work ethic and pursuit of something better. Given that, I found it really hard to reconcile this movie as a comedy (despite it’s comedic elements- brought to the fore by an incredible cast of characters as they adopt their respective characters with undeniable gusto). Pictured below, Allison Janney in the role she was born to play, as Tony Hardings abusive mother.

 

Despite finding the violence near unbearable, the movie is extremely well done – and my husband and friends absolutely loved it. It has taken distance from some of the more difficult scenes for me to embrace just how genius this movie is but all the same, I’ve come around. And like Lady Bird below, it is another example of a film that plays exquisitely to the 90’s/2000s nostalgia that is swallowing pop culture whole at the moment (perhaps a testament to the fact that we would all rather escape to the scandals of our childhoods then live the scandals of the moment, which feel too heavy to bear). Margot Robbie as Tonya, Allison Janney as LaVona Harding, Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly, and Paul Walter Hauser as Shawn are all absolutely exceptional in their respective roles.

It’s worth noting that watching this movie prompted me to also watch the  2 hour ABC special: Truth and Lies, the Tonya Harding Story last week and it was insane to learn how accurate the events of the movie are. I recommend watching the special as well if you can’t get enough of early 90’s figure skaters, because honestly, who can? Not I.

I Tonya- Violent, insane, well-executed, funny, and tragic. A little like the woman herself.

 

 

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Movies of the Moment- Lady Bird

In the next installment of our film series is the exquisite coming of age story, Lady Bird. Written and directed by the brilliant Greta Gerwig, (who also wrote Frances Ha- one of my favorite independent movies of recent years) Lady Bird tells the story of a young woman in Sacramento dealing with trials of family, relationships and friendships during her final year of high school. The film takes place in 2002/2003, and the walk down early 2000s memory lane is but one of many wonderfully enjoyable things about this film.

Lady Bird, is, at its core, a movie about relationships. In the male-female relationship category, we are treated to a range of beautifully accurate snapshots of Lady Bird with the men in her life, whether the tender relationship between father and daughter, the fraught relationship of sister and brother, or the tortured relationships she has with her two boyfriends in the film (played exquisitely by Lucas Hedges and Timothy Chalamet). Pictured below, “nice” boyfriend Danny O’Neill with Lady Bird in one of my favorite scenes from the film.

But where the movie really shines is in the accuracy of the female relationships that it portrays- whether between Lady Bird and her best friend (the utterly delightful Beanie Feldstein, pictured below), or with her difficult mother, played to an absolute T by Laurie Metcalf. You can always tell the difference between a female and a male writer via the complexity and beauty of the female relationships, and this is where Gerwig really shines. Lady Bird is alternately cruel and imminently supportive of her best friend, and theirs is the love upon which the movie is built. It’s a great testament to female friendships, which don’t always get their due in film.

Her relationship with her mother, on the other hand, brought back memories of every squabble I ever had with my own mother as a teenager, as filtered through an even starker lens. As I stare down the impending birth of my own daughter, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I can nurture that relationship and correct for those inevitable differences of opinion. The excruciating part about watching Lady Bird and her mother’s relationship play out, from the vantage point of being both no longer a teenager and not yet a middle aged adult, is that one is left feeling tortured for both of them. And that is why Gerwig again is so brilliant- her characters are multi dimensional- at once cruel and selfish and at other turns nurturing and sympathetic.

All in, I couldn’t recommend Lady Bird highly enough. And in case you are wondering, my husband loved it just as much. It is a wonderfully written and directed film that does a remarkable job of conveying the teenage experience in a way that is delicate and humorous. I hope that she wins all of the awards for this one- and it goes without saying that I can’t wait to see what Gerwig does next.

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Movies of the Moment – The Post

We’ve been trying to watch as many movies as possible lately, mainly because other parents feel it necessary to frequently and relentlessly fearmonger us with comments like “You’ll never be able to watch a movie again.” Any excuse to plant ourselves in front of a screen in the name of living our best lives is A-OK with us, and I have to say we’ve caught some stellar films so far on account of it. Virtually every movie out right now is best in class due to it being award season, but I wanted to recount a few this week that we’ve particularly enjoyed, kicking off with Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

 

The Post

Directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I could probably end the review right there and that would be enough to impel you to see the film. But this is an important movie to watch in this moment of history, so a little more detail is due.

First, a brief history lesson. The story of the Post is the story of the Pentagon Papers, officially titled “United States- Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense.” The papers, in essence, detailed scathing truths about the U.S.’ involvement in Vietnam. One, that the Johnson Administration “systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress.” And two, that the U.S. had secretly enlarged the scope of its actions in the Vietnam War with the bombings of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which were reported in the mainstream media. The papers were released by Daniel Ellsberg, who had worked on the study, and were first brought to light by the New York Times , for which the NYT was served an injunction by the U.S. attorney general. For his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was initially charged with conspiracy, espionage, and theft of government property, but the charges were later dismissed after prosecutors investigating the Watergate Scandal discovered that the staff members in the Nixon White House had ordered the so-called White House Plumbers to engage in unlawful efforts to discredit Ellsberg. The Post is about the moment that the Washington Post enters  the fray on the heels of the NYT, to publish the remaining papers, exposing a massive cover up of government secrets regarding the US’ involvement in Vietnam that spans 3 decades and 4 U.S. Presidents.

These themes- of thankless wars entered into on lies, of presidential administrations lying to and denigrating the mainstream media, of leakers willing to face imprisonment to share the truth with the public, then outed as traitors; and the importance of a free press- are top of mind for anyone who has lived through the Iraq War as well as the first year of the Trump administration. And it is toward the latter, in so many ways, that this film is a direct and unapologetic response. While the film regrettably trades in some of the more poignant historical lessons regarding U.S. involvement in Vietnam for high drama, it’s focus on the necessity of a free and respected press for the perpetuation of democracy is a huge one. For the magnitude of that lesson alone, I suspect it will win plenty of awards.

But there are also a number of moments and details that more subtly appeal to the senses. For one, Katherine Graham (played by the glorious Meryl Streep) plays the first female publisher of a major American Newspaper. Anyone who has ever been the only woman in a room full of men can identify with the shot of her entering a room full of bankers at a meeting during which they will set the IPO price for the Washington Post. In it, Streep is surrounded by a swarm of men in dark suits, and while they tangentially acknowledge her presence (despite her ostensibly being the most important person in the room), the scene only reinforces how invisible and insignificant they deem her to be. I wanted so badly for her to bust their chops as only a woman can, but I was reminded only of the times and how many women like her had to fight to get one word in edgewise, so that I could get in 100. It was a powerful reminder of how far we’ve come.

The story of the Post, then, is also one about a woman finding her voice, and blazing a heretofore uncharted trail. It is Graham who has the final word on whether to publish, and despite the risk to her career, company, and family’s inheritance, she makes the honorable choice.

On a visual level, it is also rich with gorgeous details showcasing the Georgetown homes of the 1970s Washington elite, and the incredible wardrobes of their inhabitants. My absolute favorite scene on this front is the one below, wherein Graham dons a glorious caftan while hosting a party in the garden of her Georgetown home. Just LOOK at that caftan and that hair. She is everything I have ever wanted to be. The intricate wood panelling in her study and the abundance of classic furniture only add to the sumptuousness of the sets.

 

Overall the Post does a tremendous job balancing beautiful period details and high drama with critical themes for the moment. More than anything, it serves a sobering warning that despite our perceived societal progress (and the passing of some 50 years), we currently face staggeringly similar threats to the freedom of our press and society at large. It is a warning that we should be keen to heed and address head on, if we are indeed to survive.

 

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Scents & Sensibility

She sidled up next to me, trying on a harmless but inquisitive tone. “Did you just meet with the president of the company?” she asked.

I was taken aback; I had, in fact, just met with him, in my typical style- to share my observations about what was going wrong, as I saw it. Also in my typical style, I hadn’t shared this information with anyone.

“I did…,” I hesitated, then smiled. “How did you know?”

“Your PERFUME!” she beamed, having solved the case. “I walked into my meeting with him and immediately asked if he’d met with you. I could still smell your amazing perfume in his office!”

Stealth, I was not. Perhaps signature scents don’t mix well with going incognito. But my pride at her flattery superseded any concern about my meeting’s intention being known.

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I come by my obsession with fragrance honestly – it’s in my blood. The National reports: “Throughout history, Arabs have used fragrance as a form of art, a symbol of reverence, and a token of beauty. In the 13th century the Sufi Arab mystic, Ibn Arabi, wrote in his masterpiece, Pearls of Wisdom, ‘of all the worldly goods, three things are dearest to my heart: perfume, women and prayer.”

The Arab world was instrumental to the evolution of the fragrance industry as we know it. It was Arab perfumers who developed the traditions and techniques that laid the foundation for the industry today. And one must only look so far as wardrobe to understand why this is; in a region where modest dressing is de riguer (and many in the gulf region wear abayas or dishdashes), the face and the scent become the focus. In fact, Emiratis- along with their Persian Gulf neighbors in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman, are the biggest spenders per capita on luxury perfume in the world- buying as much as 3 times as much perfume as their Western counterparts. As for my own country of origin, Syria, it was the birthplace of the Damask rose (the name refers to Damascus, Syria, where the flower is said to have originated).

All of which is to say that my affinity for fragrance runs deep, and my collection is a reflection of the places I’ve been and the memories I’ve made in them, At one point, another former colleague and I almost started a boutique perfumerie business here in NYC. While we never pursued that particular passion (aedes de Venustas and MiN New York have a great collection if you share our affinity), I wanted to share a smaller selection of my favorites with you today. Herewith, my Top Five.

Acqua di parma: Blu Mediterraneo – Mirto di Panarea

My husband says of all the perfumes I wear, this is his favorite, as it reminds him of our early days. Because of this, I made the decision to wear it on our wedding day, a sweet throwback to those times.

I first bought this scent years ago at the Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and have since repurchased it a number of times.This perfume is a sea breeze, combining aromatic notes of myrtle and basil with lemon and bergamot, a hint of jasmine and rose, and a base of juniper, cedar wood and amber. It is fresh and evocative; a perfect summer scent, although I often wear it year round. This whole line is delicious- traditional, crisp, and beautiful.

 

Sospiro Collection: Allegro

The only word for this perfume is intoxicating. I discovered and purchased it in Dubai as it was originally released exclusively for the Middle East market by Xerjoff, and is only recently getting wider distribution.  The experience of wearing this scent begins with holding its bottle, a smooth velvet that is luxurious to the touch, but it is the scent inside that I am over the moon for. The scent opens with grapefruit and a light application of pink pepper, then gives way to a soft duet of lavendar and rose. Where the quality of this perfume comes through, though, is in the 3rd layer of fragrance, comprised of sandalwood, cashmere and a tiny bit of oud, an effect that perfume reviewers call “a woody fantasia.”

This fragrance is a definite splurge but I love to wear it for a special dinner or evening. It’s absolutely gorgeous and its depth is unsurpassed. Legend status.

 

Penhaligons:  Vaara

I also discovered this one in Dubai although Penhaligon’s is much more readily available in the US. I must have spent a full day at the Dubai Mall smelling every perfume, and came away with some definite winners. This one is also a departure for me as it is sweeter than most of my favorites, but it is so unique that I couldn’t leave it behind. Vaara is inspired by the Royal House of Marwar-Jodphur in Rajasthan, and started life as the passion of His Highness Gaj Singh II who wanted to reflect his family’s deep love and connection with Jodhpur. Later, perfumer Bertand Duchaufour’s journey to Jodhpur provided him with an abundance of inspiration for the fragrance and the end result, Vaara, was born. The perfume has head notes of quince, rosewater, carrot seed, and saffron, heart notes of moroccan rose, Bulgarian Rose, Freesia, Indian Magnolia, Peony and Iris, and base notes of honey, white musk, cedarwood, sandalwood, benzoin resin (<– note that I have no idea what this is) and tonka bean. Due to its sweetness, I think this scent is a great spring/fall choice (I generally save the heavy ouds for winter, and the crisp citruses for summer).

 

Jo Malone: Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne

This is the perfume that lurks in conference rooms and on shirt collars alike, so wield its power wisely. I bought this at the Jo Malone store on Bleecker street, near our old apartment. This is a gorgeous mix of dark damask rose, wrapped in smoky oud wood, then spiked with clove and decadent praline. Rich, textural and magnetic; and even my most masculine man friends have been known to spritz it on and comment on how incredibly it smells. On second thought, this might actually be a cologne, but I don’t subscribe to labels and nor should you.

 

Carthusia I Profumi di Capri: Mediterraneo

My mother is allergic to most perfumes and Carthusia is the only exception due to how natural it is; after she and my father returned from Capri they couldn’t stop raving about this boutique. Later, when we were in Capri on our honeymoon, we stopped by and I fell head over heels for Mediterraneo. It smelled like August in paradise, and I needed to bring back a piece of it with me so that I could always remember it. Based on an old recipe used at the Monastery of St. Giacomo, and reconfigured for Carthusia, it is bright and exuberant- an instant classic. The scent starts with tart, juicy lemons (which are in cartoonish abundance on the Amalfi coast), then journeys into crushed green tea leaves, lemon verbena, and a hint of lime peels. There are also vague hints of other fruits and florals and a distinctly, every so slightly soapy scent which is complete perfection on a summer day. Carthusia also makes intoxicating home fragrances and incense, which were placed in abundance throughout the Hotel Ceasar Augustus where we stayed. They are all divine.

 

And there you have it, a trip around the world, from Chicago to New York, Capri to Dubai, and throughout the seasons of the year and the illusions of time. Which fragrances spark your memory and moods?

xoxox

Miss Sheiky

 

 

 

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Where have I been? Where have YOU been? You don’t call, you don’t write….

Every week feels insane around these parts but this one has been actually insane.

For one: we were slated to depart to Dubai tonight, and had to cancel the trip (and relinquish our plane tickets which were not NOT expensive) at the last minute, because our friend’s daughter contracted an illness that should have died in 1945 where other illnesses for which we have vaccines should have stayed. But unfortunately, some parents are assholes and don’t vaccinate their children. And so we were left with the thought of spending a week in a hotel in Dubai and friends who rightfully had to look after a sick daughter, and pulled the plug Wednesday.

On a positive note, I’d already had a facial, manicure and pedicure in anticipation of a trip to the land of glitz and nothing was going to stop me from putting them to good use.

First, my husband suggested we go skiing. Then we thought perhaps a road trip to Charleston via a number of bed and breakfasts along the way would be fun (sidebar- I still really want to do this trip). Finally, at 1 am on Wednesday night, exasperated by the seemingly endless  options that also required a great deal of planning- the Mr. looked up at me.

“How about Hawaii?!” he said excitedly.

“HOW BOWT DAT,” I replied in my head. (What I really said, trying to shield my excitement lest I give him second thoughts, was “Hawaii could be a good idea!”)

Ten minutes later we had roundtrip direct flights (thank you Delta. We lub you lontime). Then we promptly passed out because 1 am is way past our bedtime.

The next morning at work, I shot a note to our travel alias, a group of techies who love their travel and have been just about everywhere on earth. “Dear Travellers,” I wrote. “Please send recommendations for Hawaii. We have no children and are moderately adventurous (i.e. would love great hiking recommendations, but anything involving deep sea diving or jumping off of tall things is a no go). So a really great hotel with good design is what we’d like, since we will be lounging around reading a good deal. We also love good beaches and good food, because we’re human 🙂 GO”.

Within hours, dear reader, our entire trip was planned. People who have gone to Hawaii, it turns out, are rabidly obsessed with talking about what they did and where they stayed. It was a God send.

A few lessons I learned:

  1. $$ doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy the flexibility to get out of really shitty situations, and that is a blessing.  A blessing that leads to happiness 😉  I’m thankful we were able to turn lemons into Lemonade, just like Beyonce (if we gonna heal, let it be GLORIUOUSSSS)

  2. Spontaneity is kinda the best. I was so excited to see friends in Dubai, but everything that has been happening domestically lately has made me uneasy to leave. Couple that with the fact that what I really need at the end of this long and brutal quarter is to commune with nature wholly, to kick off my shoes and thrown on a swimsuit and just be for a week. Spontaneous planning allows you to do what you want in that very particular moment.

  3. Rely on the wisdom of the masses! Or at the very best, a small group of people who love to travel. It takes the complete hassle out of planning a trip.

So there you have it. The trip portion anyway.

 

A few other things I have been loving lately:

1) Podcasts – specifically Pod Save America and Ezra Klein’s podcast on Vox. I can’t tell you how much listening to these has revolutionized my walk to work. They make me feel informed, educated, and relatively at peace that there are still smart voices in this world. HIGHLY recommend.

2) Pig Bleecker- A new restaurant that has opened at the corner of Bleecker and Thompson streets that serves an excellent bib lettuce salad, chick lollipops, burgers, fish and other things we crave about all the time. So happy to have a new addition to Greenwich Village. We love you already.

3) These LL Bean shearling moccasins that the husband got for me that i basically live in these days. Happy feet, happy life.

4) Big Little Lies (HBO)– I have to admit the first episode did not endear me to any of these characters but now I am completely hooked. The Celeste story line in particular is intriguing. Watch it and let me know what you think.

5) The snow today – we haven’t had a lot of it this winter and it’s always magical to me to sit and watch it fall. I needed a quiet snowy day today and this was juts the ticket!

That is about it for this much awaited dispatch. I promise not to be a stranger for too long hereafter.

xoxo

Miss Sheiky

 

 

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Happy Friday! Five Things

Happy Friday y’alllll. As we head into this long weekend, I wanted to share five things I have been enjoying lately and a few that I am looking forward to in the coming days.

Herewith:

The Window Seat

Not my actual view (mine’s better)

So back in the day when I worked at an investment bank that may or may not have been compared to a squid, seating hierarchy meant that the most senior person on the desk sat closest to the window, and the power dynamics descended from there inward toward the center of the floor. Meaning, of course, that new associates out of business school (e.g. people who contribute even less to the organization than first year analysts) sat somewhere in the neighborhood of the copy machine. Every person walking by could see what you were doing and it was generally the worst.

I remembered that this week because we moved into new offices which are downright beautiful, and I finally got a window seat you guys. It was a major moment a good 33 years in the running, and I love every moment of it. So exsqueeze me while I gloat over here for just a second.

White Jeans

It was between Khloe K and Karlie Kloss, and you all know I don’t identify with a girl who doesn’t have a bootay.

The saddest moment of last summer was finally throwing out my white J Brands that had become so lovingly worn in and soft that they split not once but twice completely through the crotch and finally tore across the ass in a way that even the best tailor couldn’t repair. In celebration of the coming spring which I am convinced is just around the corner, I ordered a few pairs to replace my old faithfuls. This time, Frame and L’Agence won out over J Brand and I am counting the days until I can rock them again, looking 1/10th as faboosh as Khloe up there. A woman can dream.

Billions

David Costabile as Mike “Wags” Wagner in “Billions,” airing Sundays on Showtime

Billions is BACK. Which is a good thing because we have literally reached the end of Netflix, I’m not kidding. Even obscure documentaries on Victorian cooking. Phone for help- This 60 degree weather can’t come soon enough.

Anyway, Wags is the best character on Billions by a landslide. He gives zero fucks and I aspire to his no fucks givingness every damn day.

Le Coq Rico

We are celebrating a close friend’s birthday Saturday at Le Coq Rico, which is delicious and just sceney enough to convince me we are still in the game. Very excited to put on a dress for the first time in months and air kiss my loved ones over some $90 chicken.

The Whitney

I’l be rounding out the weekend at the Whitney with a dear friend I haven’t seen in what feels like years since she moved to Greenwich (that would be CT, not Timbuktu). There is a great photography exhibit on and I couldn’t be more excited to revisit the beautiful space.

 

There will be brunches and lunches and inevitably some work in between but I couldn’t be more excited for 3 days of fun and adventure and wish you very much the same! If you are in NY enjoy the beautiful weather coming our way, and report back! xoxo

Miss Sheiky

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Democracy.

I didn’t want to turn this into a political blog, but I also didn’t anticipate the utterly vile actions being taken by our elected and appointed officials in so rapidly a fashion as they are today. If you don’t agree with my point of view, gird yourself and read on. If you do, also gird yourself, and act.

This weekend, like millions of others globally, we took to the streets to express that we do not accept the incoming administration’s disregard for facts, for science, for education, for health, and for equal rights. It was a moving experience, one in which the sea of humanity felt so vast that it took us 7 hours to walk the march’s path. There were elderly men and women, middle aged men and women, teenagers and children alike. It was an astonishing showing ; estimates are putting the global numbers at roughly 4 MM marchers. But now, we are duty bound to follow through our discontent with action.

First, we must remain educated on what is happening, regardless of our leanings. Act Up, one of the most successful activism movements in history, was able to get its AIDS platform heard by Reagan’s administration because they considered it their duty to know the facts better than their officials did.

READ. LEARN. ASK QUESTIONS. Do not accept for truth what even the elected officials of your party tell you, and certainly not those who surface “alternative facts.” Fight for a Better America has an excellent list of resources that we should all read. Meet the Cabinet that is currently being put up to run our trusted agencies, and understand their points of view. Understand what resonates with you- you may be perfectly happy with one cabinet pick, and disgusted with another. Develop and hone your point of view and find what resonates with you.

Then get to work:

  • FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE in the house (upper right hand corner). Note their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL THEM.

  • FIND YOUR SENATOR in the senate (upper right hand corner). Not their email and save their phone number in your phone. CALL AND WRITE THEM.

  • Or make it stupid easy on yourself and do this all through Fight for a Better America

  • Sign up at SwingLeft.org – Full stop, our government works best when no one party has a full majority- we need checks and balances and that requires tipping the balances of the house and senate. Sign up to find your nearest swing districts – we will be directed to phone bank or volunteer in person to get democrats elected in these districts.

  • Commit to doing your civic duty 3x per week. That might be 3 emails, or 3 calls, or attending a rally, or watching your friend’s children so she can go to a rally. It could be making a recurring donation to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU. It could be committing to defend a stranger who is being bullied or disrespected.

Finally, the normalization of the abnormal starts in our homes and with our friends. If a friend is vocally supporting the perpetuation of racism, sexism corruption and lies in my presence, I will not remain silent. And I will not tolerate those who remain silent in my presence- those who do become complicit in the denigration of our democracy, and we should expect more of our friends and family than to let this happen.

Let your voice be heard, but lead with your action. This is the harder part but one we should apply ourselves to wholeheartedly. I believe so strongly in the promise of this country. It is a place of justice and of promise, and imminently deserving of our efforts to ensure that it is protected.

Open for Business

Throwbacks.

 Childhood

I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic for childhood this week, partially fueled by the joy I felt shutting off my brain over the last 2 weeks, and partially due to a few things I have been listening to and watching. For anyone else with an inkling to take a walk down memory lane, read on….

The first was the Podcast “Kid Logic” from this American Life, a podcast that I listen to frequently on my daily walk to work. This episode chronicles stories of kids using perfectly logical arguments to arrive at laughably inaccurate conclusions. All of the examples were wonderful, but one in particular hit home, which told the story of a woman who, long into adulthood, pronounced the sign reading “Child Xing” as “Child Zing.” This is something I literally still do, so it spoke to me. Give the podcast a listen, if for nothing else than to get a little laugh in at my expense; it is hilarious and heartwarming and excellent.

The second is the CNN series “The Eighties” which we discovered on Netflix last night. This docuseries produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman chronicles the events and popular culture of the United States during the 1980s, including but not limited to the rise of Television, Reaganism, the fight against Aids, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the Tech Boom, and the embrace of Greed. It is  absurdly good so far. I found myself singing along with all the sitcom theme songs and laughing at Alex P Keaton and howling I Want my MTV! at the TV.  I can’t wait to dive into Episode 2 on the Reagan Years tonight.

If I continue on this path, I will be wearing homemade sweaters with lipstick pails on them and sporting a Ramona Quimby haircut in no time. I’ll be running through sprinklers and riding my bike everywhere.

It was a better time frankly, a simpler one where I didn’t stare at a screen all day. And while we all have grow and evolve; it’s nice to know we can step back into those worlds momentarily and recapture the moment when time calls for it.

Open for Business

The Definitive Gift Guide

Story Time

gift

When I was a wee gal of 26, a “friend” at the time presented me with a stack of gifts, and I was delighted. Sure, they were in cardboard boxes wrapped in cardboard paper, and I silently criticized him for the poor wrapping job. But one mustn’t judge a book by it’s cover (wrong) , and I was happy to oblige.

I opened the first box excitedly and was presented with a stack of collapsable hangers. Not the felt ones, dear readers: these were thick, plastic, collapsable atrocities. I turned hot.

“For your closet!” he smiled radiantly. “Because it could use some organization!” I managed against great odds to force my lips into a smirk. “What a useful gift. I’ll be sure to use them,” I ventured kindly, already reaching for the next box.

This one he handed to me even more proudly. I struggled a bit with the ribbon, likely because it was twine that had resided in his kitchen since 1892 or thereabouts.

And there it was, a Chia Pet. A Barack Obama Chia Pet.

“Because you’re liberal!” he bellowed, laughing his heart out. I blacked out thereafter to protect my sanity, but the damage was done.

 

On the Importance of Gift Guides

The point of this is that there is indeed a purpose to gift guides, both from the publisher’s perspective (usually involving affiliate links) and from the reader’s (good advice that will beget even better gifting). But there are so many misguided ones floating around at the moment that I felt a pressing and unnecessary need to tell you what women actually want. Or more specifically, what this champagne liberal wants.

Hint: It’s not a chia pet. Herewith, the Christmas 10.

1. Equipment Odette Washed Silk Pajamas – for the Lady who likes to Netflix and Chill without the sexual innuendo.

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2. Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Pumps– Because there is nothing more decadent than that thing in your closet that matches exactly nothing else in your closet.

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3. Suzanne Kalan 18 Karat white gold Diamond Cuff – because the heart wants what it wants.

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4. Four nights at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi – Because by the fifth night, having giraffes steal your dinner might go from wondrous to irritating. (Years on bucket list: 4)

giraffe-manor-nairobi-kenya-travel-hotel-photography-26-1giraffe-manor

5. A male secretary to run all of my errands for me – So i can boss around at least one man in my life, guilt free.

male-secretary

“Get back to work Timmy, this is no time for television”

6. A tapeworm– so I can get really skinny and have to buy all new clothes.

tapeworm

 

For my husband

7. A Golden Puppy – Because he wants someone who will jump up and down when he comes home (I KID, he’s just a dog person):

golden-retreiver

8. An apartment with Sizable Study : So he can slave away even when he’s at home “relaxing” (otherwise known as a man cave for good naps)

study

For my nieces and nephews

9. Hansa Toys Extra Large Plush Toys – because these are seriously rad and a complete waste of money, like any good aunt’s gift should be.

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10. A Private Jet so our little minions could come visit us in New York whenever they damn well please, and in style. This one also doubles as a potential study for my husband which is a bonus!

jet

Any additions?