Monthly Archives: August 2010

Can You Make Budget Black Tie Work? OK, Sort Of Budget?


There, on your hall table. The envelope. It’s thick, uniquely-shaped, of lustrous paper. Inside, an invitation. And there, somewhere near the R.S.V.P. sit the words, dreaded or welcome. Black Tie Requested. Now what? For movie stars, high-level socialites, and other red carpet denizens, time to call the stylist, buy a new outfit, or maybe remix […]

When Brands Miss By A Quotation Mark


In this version of the famous commercial, Lowenbrau buddies go fishing. Then they eat steak Do you ever find yourself painfully aware that a brand has had you in its sights, fired, and missed? I remember, back in the late 1970′s, Lowenbrau beer ran a campaign featuring groups of young adult friends. They were usually […]

Thistles With Hollandaise, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:05am


It’s August. In Northern California, by this time, everything looks a little frayed. Our rainless summers start to tell. Even though blue skies will last well into October, late summer is, to me, a time when when if we turned our heads a little bit faster we’d see the shadow of sad escaping. What was […]

The Low-Down On High WASP Sunglasses


The Sturdy Gal, sporting Ray-Bans, on a boat in the Stockholm Archipelago. High WASPs do have their favorite sunglasses. Like IBM in the 1970s, no High WASP was ever fired for buying Ray-Ban. That’s me, up above. And yes, I did Photoshop out a wee bit of my frown lines. I have not yet achieved […]

What Makes A Lady?


When you hear someone called a “lady,” what comes to mind? A dignified woman? A prissy one? Does she wear pearls? Cross her legs? Is she someone you want as a friend? Someone you want to emulate? To avoid? “Lady” is a charged term. I know. Do We Care About “Ladies” Any More? Back when […]

Would You Like To Plant Betty Draper’s Garden?


We know how Betty, Don and the gang dress. We’ve seen Betty’s interior design, her knotty-pine kitchen cabinets, console television, and hard-edged sofa. But how, we might wonder, did her garden grow? Little Sally Draper and I share a birthday, more or less. I remember what gardens looked like in her day, at least here […]