Category Archives: General

Best New Yorker Cover Ever?

Trump Treason

Donald Trump is going to have his usual 6 AM Twitter tantrum when this gets released, as he’s done with the New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN, Meryl Streep, and every other reasonable and intelligent entity the world has known. This perfectly encapsulates the multi-chinned cheeto-orange tiny-handed baby that’s about to take office. See, when you unleash a torrent of insults on everyone else you better have your own saggy ass covered. Get your diapers ready, Donald. Release your taxes. Fess up to your treason.  But keep your golden showers, because we don’t sex-shame anyone here, not for all the pee-pecadilloes in the world.

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Enough Tea for Two


But this cup is just for me.

It’s my twofer, the big-ass cup I keep at my work desk so I don’t have to make a second trip to the kitchen for green tea. Whenever I feel a bit stressed out, I pause and realign my concerns. Swirling the teabag, I watch as the water turns a beautiful shade of rust. It is a meditative moment, brief but integral to the happiness of a day. These little things matter.

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The Golden Hour Continues


This will be a light day, pun-intended, as I may be away for the weekend. In the meantime, more photos taken in the golden hour, from my hometown of Amsterdam, NY. I like the fire hydrant, a small but potent focal point.

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Backyard Beauty Illuminated


It’s not always apparent how much beauty is in your own backyard. Sometimes, though, the sun comes out in the late afternoon, and reminds us that there is indeed something special to be found there. I braved the cold for these shots in the golden hour, and it was worth the minor discomfort.

This is one of our hydrangeas, which came into its own this year thanks to the chopping-down of a cherry tree that had been sapping its water and light. It rewarded us with blooms that lasted well beyond summer, and it’s still supplying beauty to this winter scene.

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At Long Last, Mercury moves out of Retrograde

The Mercury from space showing all they beauty. Extremely detailed image, including elements furnished by NASA. Other orientations and planets available.

It’s been going on since December 19, 2016, but this latest period of Mercury in Retrograde has finally finished, and none too soon. I don’t place enormous faith in such astrological phenomena, but whether it’s a psychosomatic issue or something more definite, things have definitely been slightly out of whack of late, and I look forward to a return to calmer waters.

Give me the moon over Mercury’s madness any day, or night.


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A Snowflake By Any Other name


A snowflake is a wonder of nature.

Each one is unique and different – a singular work of art.

While some snowflakes are delicate, many are formidable, having traversed countless miles in wind and icy temperatures. That’s what snowflakes like best: a challenge.

For anyone who’s ever doubted the power of a snowflake, witness the rage of a snowstorm, the weight of a snow-covered roof, the way everything stills when enough of them gather.

When snowflakes band together, they can stop the world.

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Bone-Chilling Recap

joss briefs 01

Hello winter, we hear you loud and coldly. Message received. What to do when you can’t bear the thought of going out? Make a beef stew and a banana trifle and invite the people in. While I’m busy preparing those two things, be my guest, make yourself at home, and peruse the postings of the past week.

It began, as it often does, and ever should, with my naked ass. Follow that thing.

The return of ‘Downton Abbey’ – at least to our living room.

The return of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ to Broadway.

The return of Tom Daley in his underwear.

New Year’s Eve shenanigans

Family fun.

Moist, with nuts.

Oud Safir by Atelier.

A gratuitous Nyle DiMarco post.

A rainbow of eggs.

Wave it like you just don’t care.

Tablescape at morning.

Hunks on parade.

Tablescape at night.

The aptly-named Joss Mooney bared his bottom as the Hunk of the Day, followed by Daniel Lukakis, Patrick Henning, Dan Bevan and Daniel Newman.

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Tablescape at Night


It looks only slightly altered from how it looks during the day, but though subtle the differences matter. There is a warmer glow to the scene, a cozier aspect with the windows so dark.

Everything burns differently in the night, and in the winter.

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Waving in the Wind


The gardens went to sleep a long time ago, but some plants are still putting on a show. This sort of thing is too often discounted when most people plan their gardens. The winter scenery doesn’t disappear outside the window when you’re doing your dishes or sipping your morning coffee. On the contrary, winter reveals things that spring and summer and fall tend to hide.

Mostly it illuminates the structure of the place. The way that the branches of a dogwood cross and hold themselves in almost horizontal form, or the stalwart reeds of the fountain grass. The latter has held onto its fluffy seed plumes, and even in the roughest of storms it will hold onto such prettiness, usually all the way through to spring.

At first glance, it may look like just a stand of dead grass, but as seen here in the afternoon sunlight, it has the potential to turn into something majestic and wonderful. When given the proper lighting, a glorious azure background, and the unifying motion of the wind, it produces a spectacular show – one of the many secrets of a Northeastern winter.

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Egg Spectrum


They arrived on our front porch like some perfectly-hatched surprise Christmas gift – a dozen gorgeous eggs in a rainbow of shades. Our friend Scott recently posted a photo of his chickens on FaceBook, and I was so entranced I’m afraid I may have demanded delivery of their eggs, not expecting anyone to so graciously abide. Well, Scott’s a good egg, and oblige he did.

I brought them in out of the cold and promptly nestled them into a cloth-lined bowl for their portrait. Beautiful hues of brown and ivory and the palest blue played gorgeously against one another and with their earthenware vessel.

Newly-hatched farm-fresh eggs, he advised, didn’t always work best for hard boiling, so I’ve only been frying these up – and they have been heaven. I leave the yolk in decadently runny form, ready for that fork-piercing moment just before I run a piece of toast or kimchi fried rice through it. It’s a natural, sunny sauce that rivals any Hollandaise or Bearnaise. Many thanks to Scott for brightening our winter days.

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Brother & Faux Sister


This photo takes me back. Not just to the first day of 2017, but way back to my childhood, when my brother and I would play with Suzie and our cousins on New Year’s Day. Relegated to the family room and later the basement, we were also sentenced to the kid’s table in the kitchen for our dining enjoyment, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Times have changed, and there are new kids at the table and in the family room, but every once in a great while I see a glimmer of the mischievous fun we had in our childhood. I see that in this photo, and it makes me smile. (In an effort to pretend that we have in fact grown up, I have omitted the next shot that showed Suzie flipping me the bird. Maybe things haven’t changed that much.)

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It Was New Year’s Eve…


And it was my fault for asking Suzie to bring the hats and party favors. Luckily she brought some fun boys too, and somewhere between the fondue and pistachio cake a good time was had by all. Our traditionally-eclectic New Year’s Eve menu consisted of the aforementioned Savoyarde fondue, and then a joint-main course of kimchi fried rice (topped by a perfectly-fried egg, courtesy of Suzie’s special pan) and a bowl of home-made pho (courtesy of eight hours of simmering).

This is the third year in a row that we’ve spent in such quiet, pre-midnight fashion, and I find myself enjoying this sort of evening much more than a wild and crazy party that would have us out until 1 AM. Old(er) age does that I guess, and I’m not sorry that it’s so.

Besides, I can’t wear this hat out in public. The balloon makes it too unwieldly.

Plus I’d be afraid a strong gust would blow me away Mary Poppins-style.

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So Many Dreams to Tease the Heart

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Though the first post of the year is traditionally a quiet one, this one goes big on bombast. When the world never seems to be living up to your dreams, that’s when you’ve got to be more yourself than ever before. And that I can do. I’m pulling on my big-boy sequin boots and shining for all the world to see. My delusions remain grand, my vision remains forward, and I’m inviting you to come along for this joyride through 2017. No matter what may happen, we’re in this together.

The first big news of the year: The Delusional Grandeur Tour has been extended! Originally I planned to end the thing in the fall of 2016, but there always seemed to be somewhere new to go. Then the news came that ‘Sunset Boulevard’ was returning to Broadway, and since that informed this recent tour it was only right that seeing the revival, with the original star who started it all, was part of it.

There are also some exciting new locations on the agenda – including my first jaunt to the Southwest, as well as Detroit (Rock City!) to see some newly-relocated friends. It will culminate with our annual Broadway visit, including the aforementioned ‘Sunset Boulevard’ stop and the dynamic-diva-duel between Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole that is ‘War Paint’.

Merrily we roll along…

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Cuteness in Motion


I’m a sucker for panda videos. I don’t know why I haven’t posted more of them. It all started with that sneeze surprise, and I’ve been hooked ever since. How can you fight such cuteness? You can’t. You let it wash over you and make everything a little bit better.

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The Resurrection of the Abbey

downton abbey 1701

In the aftermath of the holiday season and all of its accompanying madness and mayhem, I resort to quieter practices and habits. There is no better way to do that than to indulge in a binge of ‘Downtown Abbey’ DVDs, courtesy of a fancy Collector’s Edition of the entire series, a Christmas gift from Andy. We’ve made it through the first two seasons already, and despite the World War that runs through its timeframe, it’s still so much more peaceful than whats on the news today. There is a meditative quality to the period aspect of the production, with its tranquil soundtrack and focus on manners and tradition over coarse realism.

Everyone has their favorite ‘Abbey’ character, and it should come as no surprise that the Dowager Countess, cunningly portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith, is mine. That said, I find myself relating more to Lady Mary, for other obvious reasons. As the oldest child of the Crawley family, she has a love-hate relationship with herself that is mirrored in all her interactions. Some love her unreservedly (Carson and Anna) – others think she is the devil incarnate (Edith and Mrs. Hughes). The truth is she’s a little of both. We all are.

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