Category Archives: General

A Tale of Two Scarves

Because sometimes a single scarf is too lonely.

Because sometimes a solitary color needs company.

Because sometimes silk wants for a bit of velvet.

For all these reasons and more, this is a two-scarf day.

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Hunk of the Day Reprise: Joey McIntyre

It’s been almost four years since Joey McIntyre was last named Hunk of the Day. For that first crowning, there was a smattering of shirtless shots. For his second Hunk of the Day honor, here are a few more. As can be seen, Mr. McIntyre is aging more than gracefully. He gives me hope. 

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Stirrings in Winter’s Night

It’s been brewing for a while now, and in my head it’s slowly been assembling itself. It’s different, though, when you finally put it into words and begin the process. A new project is in the works, and for the next few months my creative output will be focused on that. As is often the state of things at this stage, it’s all hush-hush and top-secret. The only thing I can tell you is that it was inspired by a recent trip to the art museum in Chicago, which basically tells you nothing.

Being that it is the earliest stage, I’m not sure how this one will play out. It may be entirely online, or it may manifest itself physically. That’s the best part of this moment – I just don’t know which way it will take me. I do know that it will be darker than some of my usual fare, and as such I’ve been prepping by making our home a little warmer and more peaceful, with the sounds of Japanese Zen meditation flute music, a few sticks of Japanese incense, and a couple of books (and upcoming experiments in) inekana. If there is peace by the hearth, my creative demons can freely roam and no one will get hurt.

Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride…

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Truest of Blues

Most people equate blue skies with summer days, but the truest blue may be found on a clear winter afternoon, when the sheer frigidity of the air lends a crystalline clarity to the sky, and the sun and the atmosphere are free to work whatever scientific alchemy is required to bring out the deepest and most glorious shades of blue known to the eye. Echoed by the fallen snow seen here, the effect can be a double dose of blue sky, where it bounces off the shadows, saturating and challenging the spaces where the ease of gray usually resides.

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Winter Thruway

Jeremy James wrote a great song about traveling the New York State Thruway for his ‘Landlocked’ album, and if you get a chance you should give it a listen. (You should also check out ‘Waiting’ – probably my favorite songs of his from the same album.) Here’s a view of that vaunted road on a typical mid-winter day. Nothing too profound, nothing too exceptional. Just a simple moment unremarkable for anything, but no less beautiful for it. Winter makes hunters of us all – whether it’s a hunt for warmth or beauty or the return of spring.

When the snow is new, when the sky is blue, when rhyming is all I can do, we pause for the slow trudge of winter and nudge it along as best we can. Considering the calendar, we are more than halfway through the wretched season. I detected the slightest scent of a thaw last week, but it was quickly withdrawn by the next morning. It won’t go that quickly or easily.

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A Mid-Olympic Recap

The Winter Olympics are in full-figure-skating swing, and every year I promise not to get so obsessed with the thing. I failed miserably, and I am once again enthralled with the quads and the triples and the spins and the falls. This site is a bit obsessed with the Olympics, as you will see in this recap. If you’re not, there’s still some fun posts in between the athletes. Watch and see. 

We began with a little Hanky Panky – cause there’s nothing like a good spanky. 

A cleaning frenzy brought about a bout of nostalgia

The list of Winter Olympic Hunks was long, and it included a naked Matteo Guarise, a naked Apolo Ohno, a shirtless Chris Mazdzer, a shirtless Andrew Kurka, and a spandexed Tucker West.

A drag queen named Milk

My nostalgia kick continued in earnest with this post and that post

Hunks of the Day were also mostly made of Olympic athletes, including Patrick Chan, Steven Langton, John Daly, Michael Lucas and Asa Stackel (proving that one of these guys is not like the others). It’s time to play our game. 

 

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The Light in God’s House

Mesmerizing.

Transfixing.

Magnificent. 

Words pale in comparison to the enchanting way light passes through the stained glass windows of Washington National Cathedral. It must be seen to be believed and appreciated. 

Stained glass time lapse, Washington National Cathedral from Colin Winterbottom on Vimeo.

Here’s the write-up that explains some of the beauty:

This time lapse video — part of the exhibition “Scaling Washington” at the National Building Museum — highlights the movement of stained glass light at the Washington National Cathedral. Photographer Colin Winterbottom was making fine art and documentary photographs of earthquake repairs at the Cathedral when he noticed the beautiful spray of colored light moving through scaffolded work spaces. He had little experience making time lapse, but thought the phenomenon had to be captured, especially as it moved over surfaces across time.

The final video shows movement of light through areas of the Cathedral familiar to visitors as well as through temporary work spaces with limited access. Most of these vantages could only be accessed while scaffold was in place. The opening and closing images, for example — with the west rose window centered straight ahead within the nave — cannot be recreated now that scaffold is down.

 

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Indulging In Nostalgia 2: I Don’t Wanna Wait

So open up your morning light
And say a little prayer for I
You know that if we are to stay alive
Then see the peace in every eye…

The class of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ was a year or two younger than us, if I recall correctly, but we’ll use this winsome theme song nonetheless. (We were actually the same age as the fictional class of the original ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and practically went through the exact same things. (I almost cut a chunk out of my eyebrows to be more like Dylan. NOT.)

By 1995, I had grown into myself a little bit more. It was pretty much the year I finally began to acknowledge that I was possibly, shock of shocks, the slightest bit gay. (A couple of dicks in my mouth would soon confirm it, as would these lace sleeves.)

I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over,
I want to know right now, what will it be?
I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over,
Will it be yes or will it be…sorry?

Not quite twenty years of age, Suzie and I didn’t do much in the way of drinking or drugging, choosing to get our kicks off Route 66 and in a matching pair of velvet shirts from Bonwit Teller. I distinctly remember this day – it was a sad gray one in March, the kind that personify Ithaca and its litany of suicides over the years. Suzie and I had gone to visit one of the bridges from which students occasionally jumped, and it set a pall over the already-depressive proceedings. March is always a difficult month for some of us, and this day in particular was trying, so we did what we often do: found a shopping excursion, bought a stupid clothing item, and laughed our way away from the crying ledge. Only Suzie could do that (with a little help from Bonwit Teller).

You look at me from across the room
You’re wearing your anguish again
Believe me I know the feeling
It sucks you into the jaws of anger(oooooooh)
So breathe a little more deeply my love
All we have is this very moment
And I don’t want to do what his father,
And his father, and his father did,
I want to be here now.

Sometimes I marvel at how we made it through that time in our lives. Everyone marvels at the past at some point, and all that they’ve been through. We all go through patches where it feels too forlorn and hopeless for there to be much sense in life. Somehow, if we’re strong enough, if we’ve found enough love in the world, we keep going. 

I was lucky enough to have the right friends and family to see me through the dark stretches. 


So open up your morning light,
And say a little prayer for I
You know that if we are to stay alive,
And see the peace in every eye…
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Apolo: Naked Olympic Champion

Olympic champion and current commentator for the Winter Olympics, this is Apolo Ohno, and it looks like he skated so fast all his clothes fell off. (Not an easy feat, given those extra-meaty thighs.) Naked Olympians are nothing new in these parts, as witnessed by the clothing-free shenanigans of Gus Kenworthy, Matteo Guarise, Greg Louganis, Evan Lysacek and Michael Phelps.

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Milk: It Does A Body Good

[POSSIBLE DRAG RACE SPOILER!]

Polarizing Drag Race contestant Milk was eliminated last night from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and though the general consensus was one of relief, many didn’t believe he as the weakest queen. (Personally, I thought he was fabulous, nervy, dramatic and fun.) This post is not about to engage in that divisive convo, however, but rather to celebrate the kind of body that Milk results in. (Well, his history of figure skating doesn’t hurt either.) Best of all, this post sets up Dan Donigan as a future Hunk of the Day – all it will take is a sexy photoshoot or two. Big & Milky indeed.

 

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A Skin-of-the-Pig Recap

We don’t yet know, as of this writing, who the hell is going to win this year’s Super Bowl, but as my friend Skip put it, who cares? I’m right there. I stayed with the nonsense to see what, if anything, Justin Timberlake was going to do to challenge Madonna for an epic halftime performance. Again, this was written before it all went down, so who knows, and who really cares? Nobody beats the Queen. On with the recap of the last week before a brief break.

We began with the beginning of February

Silver and shine.

Satin robe, feathers so fine

A gratuitous Tom Brady Super Bowl post

A naked Justin Timberlake post

Super Bowl spotlight on Rex Burkhead

A super cocktail

Hunks of the Day included Jordan Bruno, Kem Cetinay, Oliver Cheshire, Malcolm Butler, and Allan Kayser, a.k.a. Bubba

 

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Satin Robe, Feathered Flight

The stage has already been set for this silly bit of glamorous make-believe. You know, satin sheets and luxuries so fine… As the wind howls and the sun goes to sleep, it’s the perfect time to hunker down beside a fireplace, pull on a blanket, watch some TV and lazily thumb through the new White Flower Farm catalog. Dreaming of verdant gardens with bountiful blooms, warm breezes perfumed with rose and lavender, I drape first my robe then myself over the sofa and tufted table.

A contented sigh signals the weekend at hand.

When the world reveals its darker side, and everything seems to be falling apart, I snuggle in closer to the home life Andy and I have crafted together. And just because it’s only the two of us doesn’t mean one of us can’t be decked out in the ruffled finery of a satin robe.

These silly comforts, these sources of coziness in the winter – they conspire to warm the heart and the home. 

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Silver & Shine, Winter & Wonder

Winter Water.

L’Eau d’Hiver.

Shades of gray.

Pools of light.

Silken snow and snowy silk.

This room, with a corner fireplace, a new sofa, and soothingly cool color scheme is where we shall spend much of the winter. It’s below-ground, for the most part, and though some basements are dark and dank, ours is filled with light and warmth. Many years ago a tree fell through the roof of our house, knocking out electricity and leaving a hole in the attic, where cold and ice and squirrels could enter. The basement was the only source of heat, thanks to the fireplace. To this day, it remains a refuge from the winter.

For the past few months I’ve been working on a superficial renovation of sorts. A new color palette of aqua and turquoise has replaced the outdated golden yellow of the walls. A new couch in a subtle sea color, with a chaise extension, adds a modern mid-century focal point to the area, and a tufted coffee-table lends a bit of classical richness. (It’s probably my favorite part of the room right now.)

The book-heavy and tchotchke-laden shelves have been revamped with a collection of silver and mirrored items, giving an added dimension of sparkle and light, as does a circular wall mirror surrounded in mosaic mother-of-pearl accents. The flaming red elephant curtains have been replaced by a silvery damask velvet in a soft shade of seafoam. Accent pillows in white Mongolian fur and scalloped cream provide more whimsical lightness, as does a modern white chair for the office area.

A softer fragrance is needed for such a soft room, where refined yet simple elegance reigns. I’ve chosen the quiet ‘L’Eau d’Hiver’ – an exquisite offering from Jean Claude Ellena. It whispers and stays close to the skin; an extremely intimate affair that delicately mirrors the way the space draws one in, demanding a closer examination, begging to be touched. If scents had physical textures, this would be silk and velvet and gossamer wings.

I wanted it to feel like a cross between Auntie Mame’s first entrance-room make-over – the one with the blue velvet couch, brilliant chandelier, and silvers and gray – incorporating some 20’s art deco mirrors, a bit of 50’s simplicity and elegance, and her next-to-last room makeover in which she serves her ‘Flaming Mame’ cocktail and hat pickled rattlesnake hors d’oeuvre. Both are airy and a little eccentric, with baubles that sparkle, and a color scheme that is big on light blues and turquoise and silvers and grays.

It is the perfect backdrop to a scene of elegant cocktail gatherings, fasten-your-seatbelts party intrigue, and lounging in feathery robes and flowing silken garments, where glamorous movie stars languidly recline while serving bon-bons of wit on shiny silver-tongued platters.

That’s what I’m telling myself anyway, and we’re all entitled to a little delusional vanity in the winter months. Flights of fancy, even if they’re only in your head, were never more welcome than now.

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February in a Flash

Welcome to the shortest month of the year, and may it feel as much too. Hot (or cold) on the heels of a Super Blue Blood Moon, we enter the final full month of winter. We’re on the track, baby, but we’ve got a way to go. Before getting started, however, let’s take a quick look-see back at the shortest months that came before. 

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After-the-Grammy Recap

This was my utterly ridiculous Grammys-watching outfit, inspired by a little Madonna lace and rosaries, and Tom Ford shades. I’m too old to know half the performers these days, but it’s fun to watch the red carpet. On with the last week before I start planning my Oscars ensemble…

The week started by saying goodbye: the loss of a dear family friend.

Comfort is a cardinal.

A family project

The moon brings out a little madness in all of us.

A new fragrance to revive the winter

A Valentine kiss from the Beekman Boys. 

A hunk that spans the Winter and Summer Olympics: Pita Taufatofua

Cocktail hour with Lawrence Welk.

My hints on mastering your own social media

Hints of spring found at the market. 

Hunks of the Day included Eric Radford, Tim Chase, John Coughlin, and Nick Cunningham

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