Archive for October, 2009

Digest 10/30/09

30 October 2009


No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1.  Those whales I was talking about. Epic.

2. FM “Bunny” Allen was one of the last great white hunters and a notorious lothario in Africa. From the FM Allen newsletter Camp Smoke. The whole issue is worth reading. Highly entertaining and informative. Here’s a good one to start with: The Legend of the Little Bastard, aka the car the killed James Dean.

3. Shout out to CU economist Christopher Barrett. He is brilliant, Google Scholar him. I also like the way this article starts out, too, with the age-old fish adage. Incidentally, I was, this past Tuesday, at an Ashoka meeting, during which they expressed their own motto to “support the person that would change the entire fishing industry.” Good thinking.

4. Beautiful art photos from Ashes and Snow, supported by none other than Rolex.

5.  In the spirit of Halloween, an article that more-than-mentions death metal rockers Slayer. Dance with the Devil by Josh Max is archived on the Happy Days blog on NY Times that I am so constantly impressed with. I went to a couple of GWAR concerts in Seattle back in the day and rest assured I did not leave ‘happy.’ But that’s the whole point of the Happy Days blog–cataloging the search for contentment in its many forms in the face of the economic and other insecurities of the day.

Holiday season is officially here! Have a safe and fun Halloween to all my friends around the world, may you have more treats than tricks. Courtney


Oh, desolee! Plus, Halloween.

29 October 2009

Well, I apologize for not posting in a while. It probably wasn’t so smart for me to start a blog whilst writing the bulk of my thesis. Expect things to stay thin until mid-December. Then I hope to write again, richly and often.

There are so many things I want to tell you about. I’ve been collecting woollen goods from Pendleton. I’ve been buying dresses in anticipation for holiday parties. I’ve been investigating dinner candles. I’ve been researching westerns to prepare for writing my own.

I’ve got a great mirrored magenta and blue caftan from Pakistan that I bought eons ago at the Salvy in Rochester and I’m going to wear it for Halloween as Talitha Getty. Also good because it is floor-length and hides the ugly boot I have to don as my sprained foot heals. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that? Nothing exciting, I promise. But I am happy to report that GW is a fantastic emergency room.

life is tragic

What can I tell you about Talitha Getty? Born in 1940 to Dutch parents in Indonesia, she was a sometime model and London It Girl that Rudolf Nureyev wanted to marry but J. Paul Getty II actually did. The couple moved to Marrakech, hosted the Stones and the Beatles for weeks of hallucinogenic debauchery, famously influenced the designs of Yves Saint Laurent, and had a son Tara who now is a premier conservationist and lives in a gorgeous game lodge in South Africa.  In Rome, at the age of 30, Talitha died of a heroin overdose.

I’ll post a photo if the costume goes well and I’m not feeling too shy.

Other things to come (I promise!): my year-long book list, photos of the shoes my best friend is buying me at the YSL sale en Paree, life musings, secret recipes, heady perfumes, and maybe something about humpback whales battling a-sea…

Happy Halloween!

Digest 10/16/09

17 October 2009
Love Story

Love Story. It's snowing in Ithaca, you know. Not in DC unfortunately.

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1. Into oblivion. Wild.

2. This was from the Times magazine out last week, but I missed this gem the first time around. Maybe you did too.

3.  Safe + legal = rare. For additional reading, I highly recommend Michelle Goldberg‘s Means of Reproduction.

4. This is a great Silicon Valley comeback story. I found it on the Facebook page of a friend who knows the man.

5. Mimic the best looks from Paris with this rundown from Net-a-Porter.  My gorgeous best friend, the designer Ashley Ashoff, is featured top right.

Pumpkin carving this weekend…toodaloo! Court

Pandas on the East Coast

14 October 2009


Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad kicks off an East Coast tour in DC tomorrow.  They are sublime. Rochester. The bassist is an old friend.  Rock and Roll Hotel, with Lionize. See you there.

Digest 10/9/09

9 October 2009
Cataract Canyon, Utah

Cataract Canyon, Utah

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1. Photoshopping mishaps never fail to entertain. From Time, this photoessay of deliberate photo doctoring packs in some cool history, too.

2.  This Happy Days column pulls at your heart and soul. Read it, then go here and here, and then get the book, “the most important and beautiful book to come out of the West in a decade.”

3. This is absolutely hilarious. Sent in by, as Dave Barry calls them, an alert reader. Also, Old Night Parrots of New Zealand would be a great name for a band.

4.  Shout out to my brilliant college roomie Freya and her star-studded adventures in ice cream. Courtesy of none other than that little Time magazine.

5. This article couldn’t be more perfect. About nature and being nice, and it hails from my hometown.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone. C

Country Couture

6 October 2009
Ricky Lauren, nee Low-Beer

Ricky Lauren, center. No one does the look better. Photo credit:

Ah, fall fashion. Every year, about this time, people start to dust off their collegiate finest, their musty tweeds, the rich greens, golds, russets, heathers, and chestnuts that color autumnal couture. But this year is truly exceptional. I don’t know if it goes hand-in-hand with the explosive interest in farming and farm culture, but country chic is decidedly in the collective air. British Vogue this month features the look, harking it back to the Sloane Ranger pack led by pre-Charles Diana. Garance Dore first hinted at the trend when it was still practically summer.*  American Vogue picked up on it as well, showing herringbone wool shorts with piles of sweaters and scarves. (The shorts and tights look, incidentally, is one of my favorite transition looks.)  I always likened the trend to an obsession with New England fall; New England fall, after all, translates to lots of outdoors time, apple picking, raking leaves, football games (thus the co-ed theme) and of course New England fall necessitates bundling up. This blend of form and function is one of the rare trends that is perfectly sensible, echoing the theme of practicality that is reverberating through fashion weeks from New York to Paris (just refer to the Style section).
oh, weird

Speaking of Prince Charles, you must know that he has been at the forefront of the organic movement since the latter part of the twentieth century, but have you checked out the website for his farm and its products? Duchy Originals has its own cookbook and blog and farmer resources. It’s oh-so-lovely. And the photos from the English countryside will inspire you to don your Barbour and Wellies as you maneuver fall fashion.
*plus, she mentions Chasse, Peche, Nature, Tradition, c’est genial, oui!?
Some good places to start:
Amira Casar, #7 on Vogue’s Best Dressed this week (more on them later)

Billy Baroo

5 October 2009

Tucked away on MacArthur Blvd in Potomac, MD is the super enjoyable Billy Goat Trail. It’s a much-loved potent little hike—short but physically fun and visually rewarding.  I had been once last foliage-splendored fall, and this past weekend, with the leaves on their last breath of summer verdure, was just as marvelous.  Only a few minutes out of town, but surrounded once again by non-city trees and non-city birds, I was revived. The sun at its apex in a fiercely blue sky diamond’d the river, luring us as we climbed the ramparts for the best views from the top.  What fun it is to spring from boulder to boulder, and oh the agony of misjudging! Wildlife sightings included a Great Blue Heron roosting atop a green-leafy tree and a fat water snake, who surfed his way down a cascading lock to pop up camouflaged by froth downstream and then slither into a crack in the lock wall, causing a scampering of skittish amphibians along the way. 

2 003

2 019

2 017

Next up…Old Rag…Happy Hiking, Courtney.

Digest 10/02/09 edition

2 October 2009


Little Foot

Taung Child

Mrs Ples

Mrs Ples



Photos from visits to the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria and the fossil vault at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

No need to reinvent the wheel. During the week, I collect my five favorite articles and then post them Friday. Look for a wide spectrum, and I welcome you to send suggestions.

1.  Are you in dire need of some free-spiritedness? Take Julia’s Gypset quiz.

2. Smart slacking = efficiency 

3. Predator Appreciation Month Olivia Judson’s The Wild Side

4. A readable collection of thoughts on investing.  From Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog.

5. A decade and a half in the making. The debut of Ardi

(Why not, a not-so-recent 6th: update on the Taung Child, the first picture I posted above, from 2006. This was major paleoanthropological news, and I remember being a bit enthralled at the time.  Oh, and once I drank Lee Berger under the table at a pub in Midrand.)

Prost! Courtney