Dec 29, 2006

Ring in the New Year!

Happy New Year! Be safe and happy!
I will be spending two days at the beach before rushing for home and our movie marathon.

What a fabulous holiday so far. Hope yours is just as fantastic!

Dec 28, 2006

Project Runway One: Going Postal

I still have Christmas on my brain, especially White Christmas as described by Project Gay. I couldn't help but notice in episode eight of PR One how much our 21st century gay boys, Jay and Austin, resembled that quintessential 1950's gay couple, Danny and Bing. Well, perhaps not so much in looks as in flavor.

And have you noticed how much Danny Kaye enjoyed his more unique movie roles? Here's a photo that, well, er, illustrates my point.

Doesn't Austin make a divine model? I'm so jealous. His waist is much thinner than mine.

And how cute is the photo below?

While I thought Kara Saun's outfit was superb, my heart voted for Jay's. He showed grace under pressure and immense creativity by asking Austin to stand in for his absentee model. And wasn't it cool for Austin to volunteer to do double duty during this challenge? It goes to show how superior Project Runway One was over seasons two and three. At this point in the series I rooted for Austin and Jay to finish all the way through to the end.

Oh, how I love this dynamic duo.

Dec 26, 2006

Christmas Transfixed

Christmas Transfixed by Manet Régrette
Acrylic on recycled cardboard

"Régrette’s work represents the surrealistic side of the Depressionist movement. Despite his Frenchified nom de brosse, he was actually a bartender from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, who longed to break away from his pedestrian surroundings (his driver’s license was revoked in 1914, forcing him to walk everywhere). Régrette originally did clowns on velvet, but he failed to find an audience among the tourists who visited Perth Amboy (usually when they took the wrong turn to Atlantic City)..."

For more about this painter and painting, click here to enter The Museum of Depressionist Art.

Dec 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Well, I'm off to visit kith and kin. The good news is that it's warm. The bad news is that it's raining. Before reaching my destination, I will have to negotiate the infamous Springfield mixing bowl and I-95 corridor traffic. Yikes!

Be safe, happy, & warm!

Dec 24, 2006

White Christmas

Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, & Vera Allen sing White Christmas in this YouTube clip. What a "gay" and bright way to spend Christmas day! Click on Project Gay for a fun synopsis about the movie!

Here's the clip for White Christmas.

Here are Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye singing "Sisters," one of my favorite scenes from the movie! Merry Christmas, y'all!

Making Tim Gunn's Wish Come True

Here's Tim Gunn's comment in an article in instict: "When asked about whom he would choose as a Leading Man, Gunn responds with another of the small screen’s most debonair personalities in recent years. “Anderson Cooper,” he says.

Well, here's how they look together. Scrumptious!

(This post in no way means to imply that Mr. Cooper is gay: It simply means to say that both men are equally glorious in their own way.)

Eye Candy for Christmas

For Christmas I present the incomparable, the sartorial, the articulate, and the handsomest of men, be he gay, straight, young, or old ...

Parson School's Chair of Fashion Design and Project Runway's voice of reason, the inestimable Tim Gunn!

Crave to read more about Tim? Here are some links:

In addition to the Bravo Project Runway and Fashion Forward websites, find regularly updated Tim items on the Queen of Project Runway Blogs: Blogging Project Runway.

Hysterical PR updates are found on Project Rungay.

In addition, find more interviews and insights:

Dec 23, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Hear a great version of Santa singing White Christmas with his reindeer. I moved this post up to the top of my blog, as it seems to be popular. This version is sung by the Drifters, with Clyde McPhatter singing tenor and Bill Pickney singing bass.

">Click here

My Dear Friend Leslie

I lost my best friend Leslie to breast cancer in June and I miss her so very, very much. Leslie loved the holidays. After Thanksgiving she used to get all dolled up in Christmas sweaters, holiday jewelry, and those crazy socks that just rocked her world. My wonderful friend was a walking Christmas cliche, but on her those Christmas doodads looked absolutely right.

This will be my first Christmas Eve in almost two decades without her cheery, comforting, and beautiful presence. Leslie was so beloved by all that over 400 people attended her funeral. There was not a dry eye in the house, but there were also a lot of lovely smiles as we recalled her humor and laughter.

I will be gone during the next few days, so I will leave you with these thoughts:

Hold your family close to you.

Tell your close friends you love them.

Give an abandoned pet a second chance.

Wish for peace in Darfur where the genocide is ongoing. Contact one of the many Lost Boys in your region and give them a phone card that can reach Africa. (So they can call and support those that are left behind.)

Don't put something off for tomorrow that you can do today.

Take one minute every day to live purely in the moment. (Touch, sight, scent, intuitive self.)

Cherish life.

Cherish our environment and all the creatures in it.

Be a loving, caring person to all, even those people you can barely stand.

Be your own best friend.

Here's a cartoon Leslie would have loved. (She was one of those friends who forwarded scads of email funnies every day.)

Best wishes for a beautiful holiday season and New Year!

Opening Presents

Every present is special. Every gesture at Christmas is important. Dahlings, Ms. Place has already received scads of awful or redundant gifts. (And she's probably given a few herself with her regifts.)

It doesn't matter. My friends and family thought of me and that's all that counts. I love the consumables, of course: wine, cheese, fancy napkins, cookies, etc. I even love kitschy stuff like salt and pepper shakers in the form of cows.

Here's a typical Ms. Place reaction to a super present on YouTube. I just LOVE this video because these kids ... well, this describes my family.

Dec 22, 2006

Seen in the Personals ...

30, curvy, French, with own floating shack, wondering why she's not mobbed by suitors, WTLM devastatingly handsome but self-deprecating 30-45 man who likes to dress up as a priest and use chocolate mousse.

Ball-breaking irrational F (52). Very probably just like your mother.

I cannot guarantee you’ll fall in love with me, but I can promise you the best home-brewed beetroot wine you’ll have ever tasted. Now if that doesn’t sound like a fermentor bucket of yummy syphoned lustness I just don’t know what does. Man, 41. Stupid like wow! Box no. 24/04

In laboratory tests, this ad made seven mice blind. The remaining three, however, developed extra-sensory powers and the ability to levitate. You could too, by replying to ex-communicated biologist and psychic-mouse groomer (M, 39) at box number. 24/01 Or you may just go blind. It’s a 70-30 shot but you can’t halt progress.

Loaded tax exile Channel Islands resident seeks attractive well preserved soul mate. No objection to modest gold digger age around 25 below 40 a definite advantage. If you smoke it’s the garage.

Bright Midlands F, 50s, seeks kind, sorted, literate, funny gent for occasional domestic bliss. No smokers, husbands or beer-bellies, please.

Personals, London Review of Books

Time Out

Baby Hedgehogs

All together now, Ahwww!

Baby hedgehogs are born with quills that lie below the surface of their skin. They travel safely through the birth canal without injuring their mama. After only a few hours, the quills pop through the skin!

It's been a horrible fall for baby hedgehogs in England. Prolonged warm weather this fall spurred their mommies and daddies to procreate one more time. These late litters had scant time to acquire the layers of fat needed to survive the winter, so they are facing a harsh time. Country folks have been asked to help out the tiny hoglets by taking them in when they find them and feeding them.

Click here to see photos of African pygmy hedgehogs.

T'is the Season for . . . Regifting

I just received my first regift candidate - a blue glass urn thingie 8" long and 3" in diameter covered in wire netting. It's supposed to hang from something (not the ceiling, because it's too small) and light up, but with what? The base is convex, so it can't hold a candle straight, and the bottom is too small for a tealight. The votive in this photo sort of resembles the gift, but I didn't receive the pewter holder (thank God!)

Last night's NBC newscast said that regifting is done more frequently in the northeast and midwest. Well, I'm from the mid-Atlantic and I regift all the time. I suspect my friends regift as well, and that this gift is a regift. Will it become a re-regift when I regift it?
I received another gift from this same person last year that was simply too horrible to pass on. Frankly I dreaded opening this year's package and faking a genuine smile of surprise and delight. The origin of this word is traced to a 1995 Jerry Seinfeld show titled The Labelmaker. The dialogue between George and Jerry came from the Word Spy website:

Here's the script snippet where regift was used in that Seinfeld episode (regifter was used earlier in the show; note, as well, yet another neologism: degift):

George: The wedding is off. Now you can go to the Super Bowl.

Jerry: I can't call Tim Whatley and ask for the tickets back.

George: You just gave them to him two days ago, he's gotta give you a grace period.

Jerry: Are you even vaguely familiar with the concept of giving? There's no grace period.

George: Well, didn't he regift the label maker?

Jerry: Possibly.

George: Well, if he can regift, why can't you degift?

Jerry: You may have a point.

George: I have a point, I have a point

Dec 21, 2006

Eye Candy

I slaver, I slobber over Channing Tatum, even though he might be a tad too young for me. But then, those who know Ms. Place are aware that she always keeps an appreciative eye out for young, hip, studly men. Goodness, life's too short not to.

Channing Tatum, 26, is a model turned actor. As far as I'm concerned he never needs to say a word to get his point across. His body movements as a dancer say it all (he was a dancer on Ricky Martin's She Bangs.) He also acted in CSI Miami, Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson, and She's the Man.

Can't get enough of perfection? Here's three more minutes of his gorgeous abs and bulging muscles on YouTube. By the way, you can watch his yummilicious Mountain Dew commercial on YouTube as well.

Enjoy, chiclets. And wipe that drool off your keyboards.

Diva Wreath

Can't say I love the ribbon, but those feathers made a divine statement on a stodgy, traditional Virginian street.

Recipe for Weight Maintenance During the Holidays


One lovely setting
One energetic, impatient, silly looking, snaggle toothed mutt
One alarm clock
One good pair of walking shoes
One Ipod


Stumble out of bed at the crack of dawn when the alarm goes off. Fix a strong cup of coffee and gulp it down for an energy boost. Dress warmly. Put on good shoes.

Catch impatient dog at doorway and beg him to sit still as you click his leash on his collar. Grab Ipod loaded with new audio podcasts.

Dash out the door as dog pulls you to his first stopping station. Repeat jerky motions for 1 1/2 miles along the river. Be sure to alternate hands when holding the leash. Dog pulling works wonders on one's biceps!
Repeat with shorter walks after work, after dinner, and before bed. Total human miles walked per day: 3 (dog zig zags 6-7 miles during the same period.)

So far, seven parties down, four to go. Pounds gained? None. Pounds lost? One.

Dec 20, 2006

Our New Year's Eve Movie Marathon

Everyone we invited to our one-day movie marathon on New Year's Eve day will bring a lovely bottle of wine or champagne and crudites or hors d'oeuvres. We've created a schedule of pre-selected movies. (See below)

Folks can drop in or out when they like, depending on which movie they want to see. Our nonstop marathon begins at 10 AM and ends at 3 AM the following morning. Ten or twelve people are expected (some couples, some single) too see up to eight movies. Why so few people? Because the idea of our party is to watch the movie with a like-minded soul, and not spend a lot of time chatting or in the kitchen. I haven't compiled the menu and wine list yet, but here are the DVD's we've chosen:

10:00 AM - Marx Brothers: A Night at the Opera

12:00 PM - Harold and Maude

2:00 PM - Raise the Red Lantern

4:00 PM - Antonia's Line

6:00 PM - Memento

8:00 PM - Run Lola Run

10:00 PM - Cinema Paradiso

Midnight - Ring in the New Year

12:10 PM Continue with Cinema Paradiso

1:30 AM - Ran

3:00 AM - End of Marathon

Why did we choose these movies? No rhyme or reason, really. We've seen them before. We like them. We thought they presented an interesting, sometimes funny, and thought-provoking combination. The line up is determined by who is arriving when. There were many other choices, obviously, but the person bringing the movie had the final say.
If you were coming to my marathon, which movie would you bring? It's never too early to plan for the next one!

Last Minute Gift Idea

Anyone who knows Ms. Place understands that nothing comes between me and my medicinal glass of wine. And so I've learned a thing or two about wine accessories. Handblown Murano Venetian glass wine stoppers are such a fabulous last minute hostess gift for those friends who have everything and need nothing. And these are simply divine.

Cherry Mistmas and a Bottle of Rum

Holiday Rum Cake
(Recipe sent by friend)

Sample the Rum to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Rum again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.


1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle Rum
2 cups of dried fruit

At this point it's best to make sure the Rum is still OK. Drink another cup... just in case.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Rum to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the Rum. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you canind. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the Rum and wipe counter with the cat.


Eye Candy

For Eric . . . Simon Woods

I had a request from Eric Three Thousand for photos of Simon Woods, best known as Mr. Bingley in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. Boy, were some of them hard to find. But they were worth the effort. So, Merry Christmas, Eric!

This flame haired actor was perfect in the role of Mr. Darcy's good looking and affable friend. Simon's new movies, still in production, are: The Real Life of Angel Deverell and I Want Candy.

Until then, you'll just have to feast your eyes on these yummy shots.