Thursday, 29 May 2008

Drowning Not Waving

I'm not been feeling the love for my job this week, I feel like I’ve been spending far too much time following up with certain more senior people who should be responsible enough to meet client deadlines when they promise they will and not call me at the last minute and bother me with questions they should have asked days ago. Grrrrr!!!

Do they think I don’t have enough work of my own to do? Are they labouring under some freakish misapprehension that I sit at my desk twiddling my thumbs waiting for their call?

The only good thing to happen this week was the arrival of a dozen bottles of sparkling rosé from Domaine Carneros vineyards in Napa. Not all twelve were mine; I’m not that much of a lush. No, five were for Emma, three for Debs and four for me. "This is the best thing that's happened to me all week" said Emma "we need to find a BYOB where we can drink them. Are you around next Thursday?"

To be honest I almost didn't make it as far as that evening, never mind next Thursday, my day became so much more stressful that by 4pm I was ready to pop a cork and drink one, lukewarm and straight from the bottle. Classy!! I resisted and instead coerced Emma into accompanying me to Starbucks for tea and cinnamon coffee cake as a diversion.

It’s funny; I took on a larger share of the workload on a particular client a couple of months ago as my boss needed to put someone in charge of coordinating the work we are doing. I agreed to take on the role only on the condition that my boss would hire someone to cover all the smaller clients I was taking care of, but yesterday - as I was suddenly bombarded with requests from all angles - it hit me...we haven't hired anyone yet and muggins here is now stuck working for seven clients.


This Fish is not happy!!

Anyway at least this weekend I get to relax. I’m blowing this coconut stand to head down to Charleston for a dirty weekend with Catweazle :-) Fun fun fun. I’m also extremely happy to escape all the Sex & the City movie mania that’s everywhere in New York at the moment: hotels are even offering
Sex and the City weekend packages for the hoards of single women expected in town for the movie release. I’ll be glad when it’s all over. It’s not that I disliked the show, but that film is wayyyy too overhyped, still, I’ll probably catch it on cable when it comes out in a few months.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Summer's on its way

It was a beautiful Memorial weekend here in New York and when I walked through Central Park on Sunday afternoon the place was chocka with people. Sheep’s Meadow was a sea of scantily clad bodies tanning it up. I hope they were wearing lashings of suntan lotion.

Photo above courtesy of Darrell Godliman on Flickr.

The city was much busier than I expected, I’d been hoping it would feel a little quieter what with Memorial weekend marking the start of all the summer rentals out in The Hamptons, Fire Island and the Jersey shore and people heading off to the beach, but it felt busier than ever with the exception of the Bar Veloce on Cleveland Place on Saturday night which Debs, Emma and myself had all to ourselves for a good couple of hours.

I spent much of Sunday regretting the amount of wine I drank at Bar Veloce and, feeling a need for some healthy living, I later whipped up a pea and mint soup from my Canyon Ranch Spa cookbook. Delicious, I can highly recommend it. It was also a soup attempt more successful than my last since at least this time I didn't suffer burns due to the misuse of a hand blender, thanks to B’s gift of a smoothie maker to my kitchen arsenal, a thank you present for having him and Miles to stay back in April

Much of Monday was spent at the office trying to finish off a presentation that’s been hanging over my head, followed by drinking too much with a friend who needed the support of friends and sparkling wine after spending the holiday weekend possibly breaking up – it’s all up in the air at the moment - with her boyfriend of 2½ years, a boyfriend she'd moved in with not two months ago. Yikes, emotional trauma, not much fun for a holiday weekend.

Anyway that’s about it for my weekend, so here’s a belated posting about a gallery tour I did last weekend that I never quite got around to completing until now. The current season of weekend gallery tours comes to an end soon as many of the galleries close on weekends during July and August and, according to Rafael, the ones that do open on weekends in summer don’t exhibit any art worth seeing, so I don’t have many more opportunities to go. The last best exhibits tour is scheduled for June 28th and I am not sure I’ll be able to make that one as my parents arrive in town for 2weeks that evening and I might be busy doing some last minute cleaning, so the tour this past weekend could well have been my last one until the new season of tours starts again in September.

First up was Yinka Shonibare, a London based artist of Nigerian heritage whose work explores issues of race and class, exhibiting at the James Cohan Gallery.

According to Rafael, this particular exhibit, Prospero’s Monsters, which includes in the main
space headless mannequins representing key figures from the 18th Century Age of Enlightenment: : Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Gabrielle Emile Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Immanuel Kant, Antoine Lavoisier and Adam Smith, ‘Enlightenment thinkers who caused civilization to flourish also burdened its members with the desire to conquer.’

The mannequins are dressed in period costume, but the clothing is made from traditional African fabrics instead of….well whatever it is clothing was made out of in the 18th Century. I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess polyester wasn’t big in those days and that maybe wool was more common, but who knows. According to the gallery press release the exhibit ‘revisits the collision between irrational mysticism and logical reason that occurred in society during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment period.”

The figures are apparently headless because the artist doesn’t want to give them an ethnicity that’s obviously either African or European. The skin colour is a blend of the two ethnicities.

To be honest I didn’t know what to make of it, I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it; the only response it generated from me was “hmmm.”

Next up, the Vietnamese born artist, Dinh Q Lê, exhibiting at the
PPOW Gallery who created a technique of ‘photo weaving’ two – or maybe more, I’m not sure, but it was two in this exhibit – different photos to create a new piece. I remembered this artist from the very first gallery tour I went on back in 2006 where he had an exhibit called Tapestries, where he sliced and wove different photos of flowers together with striking effect. This particular exhibit, Penal Colony, was of a much more sombre subject matter, weaving archive photographs of prisoners - I believe they were sourced from the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Phen, Cambodia, a former high school which became Security Prison 21 under the Khmer Rouge – with the prison’s current day orange exterior to ‘to create haunting images of Cambodia’s history and the secrets of war’ (Gallery Press Release).

The disturbing thing about these images is that many of the prisoners are clearly children. Rafael mentioned that the prison was one of the most notorious and that of approx. 20,000 people sent there only 12 are known to have survived. Ugh!!! The prints are available for $50,000 each.

Ok, onto much lighter fare, Mutant Mythos, at the
Gana Art Gallery a first NYC show for 30year old South Korean artist, Yong Ho Ji who makes sculptures of animals using recycled tires. The artist uses steel, foam or resin as the support and glues the pieces of tire onto the frame. I love the way the thin tire strips give the animals a realistic sinewy look.
Next up was an exhibit by Robert Therrien at the
Gagosian; apparently Chelsea’s largest and wealthiest gallery. Apparently Mr Therrien’s oversized sculptures of everyday objects are ‘intended to invoke wonder and anxiety of childhood’.

If you walk around these stacked bowls, which are created out of industrial plastic with a central rod anchoring them together, they appear to move, which is quite disconcerting.

Fifth on the tour was Anish Kapoor at the
Barbara Gladstone Gallery. According to Rafael Mr. Kapoor is India's most famous artist outside of India. He’s well known in India too, but apparently there are other more famous artists. He moved to London when he was 19 is known for his large scale abstract sculptures, like the one titled ‘Blood Stick’ below.

Apparently blood stick’s rough exterior is a departure from his usual style of creating pieces with smooth surfaces.

Rafael commented that the corner piece above seemed “highly sexualised”, “almost unbearably so”, “as if the hole in the pieces represented a bodily orifice, a mouth, vagina or an anus”, an observation that gained him a few titters of agreement from more than a few members of the crowd on the tour.

The sixth exhibit was David Altmedj at the Andrea Rosen Gallery, a Canadian born artist who lives and works in New York whose art apparently explores themes of decay and transformation and who “is known for creating works which set up a duality between a geometric architectural space and more figurative material, manifest in his well known platform-like sculptures housing a glittering cabinet of curiosities. In the giants, the figure also becomes the structure, melding the two formal facets ets of hard-edged and amorphic. The body itself is pictured as a contingent form, a psychic container, and a field of unending transformation and renewal governed by social and environmental forces. Like a biological organism, Altmejd's sculptures are always in a state of becoming. Mirrored, spiraling staircases are a visual metaphor of infinity and the seemingly growing clusters of crystals and mirrored cubes, hair, and stalactite epoxy clay all work to picture a sculpture in a constant state of change.” (Gallery press release).

Rafael loved these giant figures, or werewolves as he referred to them, I’m not sure if the artist intended them to be werewolves or whether that’s Rafael’s interpretation, but one of them, which was very hairy, did kind of remind me of Oddbod and his brother from
Carry On Screaming.

For a $125,000 you too can have a werewolf in your living room.

Lastly, Blessings by Zhang Huan at the
Pace Wildenstein Gallery who creates images using incense ash, some of which is glued, some of which is loose. The ash is loose in this recreation below of a photo from the 1950s depicting Chinese workers building a canal.

Just think; one big sneeze and this piece would all be over the gallery. You have to climb up onto a platform to view it from above and it really is extraordinary taking approx 3weeks to create, working with 2assistants. Once the exhibit is over the gallery will just sweep it away. Photo’s of Blessings courtesy of
C-Monster on Flickr.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Quite reminiscent of Amy Winehouse...

...but I'm really enjoying this song, Sweet About Me by Gabriella Cilmi. It's relaxing me and making me think of summer on an otherwise rainy, chilly and hectic workday in New York :-)

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

And now a word from Grgich Hills Estate...

So...I was surprised and delighted to receive a blog comment from Ken of Grgich Hills Winery in the Napa Valley today. Ken wrote to me concerned we'd been misinformed about the availability of their delicious 2006 Fume Blanc on our recent trip to California and readers, though you may be few in number, I wouldn't want you to go away with the wrong impression of Grgich Hills either, so here to set the record straight is Mr. Ken Morris....

I'm sorry you were told that the Fume Blanc is only available at the tasting room—we’ve always sold it nationally, although it can be hard to find, especially in the summer whenever seems to want a crisp, cold wine. If you remember who served you at the tasting room, that would be helpful in correcting misinformation. I’ve also passed along your blog to the tasting room manager to make sure he knows about your problem.

As for the price, we (as do all wineries) sell wholesale to a distributor, who then sells it to the restaurant/wine shop. We cannot legally tell them what to price the wines at but most sell the wine for around what we sell it at the winery. In fact, restaurants/wine shops become upset if we undersell them.I was surprised at the general comment from one of your readers that California wines are pricy—California, just like France, Italy and Spain, has a wide variety of wines from different regions and prices so its not really fair to dismiss all California wines as pricey. I enjoy your blog and hope you’ll visit us again. We do offer a few wines that are only sold in the tasting room, but that list has never included the Fume Blanc.

Ken Morris, Grgich Hills Estate

How's that for customer service!! Ken, consider me impressed!!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

There's nothing like a bug in your salad to put you off your lunch

It's true. There I was in a conference room with my client in Philadelphia yesterday – I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve travelled on business so often in the last 2weeks I had started to miss my cube – about to tuck in to a mixed green salad with ginger and garlic marinated tofu, the first thing I'd eaten all day, beyond the large coffee I’d grabbed at Penn Station, when I thought "eh up!! My lettuce is moving." And there it was; a half inch long green and red bug - blending in with the spinach and radicchio - loitering among the leaves. Ugh, it was disgusting. I've never seen a bug like it before. David Attenborough would have been transfixed.

I closed the lid and nonchalantly pushed my salad to one side.

"Not hungry?" asked my client

"Saving it for later" I smiled


Not wanting to offend my client in front of his colleagues by not eating the lunch he’d bought for me I seized my chance to surreptitiously dispose of it later in the afternoon when everyone but me stepped out for a conference call. I was off my food after my insect encounter and couldn’t bring myself to eat a thing until I got to 30th St Station to catch the 4.35pm train back to NYC when I grabbed a Balance Bar and a skim latte, I wasn’t taking my chances on any more salads.

I stopped by the office when I got back into New York to drop off my laptop only to find out that the client I visited in Florida last week had resigned that afternoon. She hadn't given any indication of the decision when I was down there. I was gobsmacked!!


Not good news for us. Not good news at all.

If there was ever a day I deserved a glass of wine it was yesterday so on the walk home I stopped by a liquor store a few blocks from my apartment to see what whites they had in the fridge - now that summer is coming I’m all about the white wines.

What did I see chilling in the fridges??? Only the 2006 Fume Blanc Grgich Hills Estate straight from the Napa Valley. The very same bottle we had carted all the way back to NYC.

'Oh we only sell this wine at the vineyard' they said. My arse they do.


Napa pulled the wool over our eyes readers. We were had, they saw us coming. To add insult to injury the bottle was $35.98 - an odd price I'll grant you, but nevertheless it was still 2cents cheaper than it was at the vineyard and that's without having to lug it across country. Grrrrrr!!! Disgruntled I bought a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc instead ($12). Take that Napa!!

To be honest, at over $30 I'd have never bought the Grgich Hills wine if I hadn’t tasted it in Napa. As a rule I’m not the type of woman that pays $36 for a bottle of wine. I only bought it because I was swept up in the experience of the trip and as a result didn’t think too much about the prices; however the wine from Napa is on the pricey side. I don’t quite understand why. I'd be in a vineyard tasting a wine and they'd be describing it as ‘a chardonnay, in the burgundy style’, for $36 and it would occur to me later that I can buy a burgundy wine all over in New York that's travelled all the way from France for half the price they were charging in California.

The plus side of not eating as much as I usually would – I did of course have a good meal when I got home - was that I felt lovely and skinny all day. I know; that's terrible, I shouldn't even think such things when so many impressionable women have eating disorders, but believe you me not eating is not my problem. In fact I could stand to lose a few pounds. Not many, maybe five. Losing 5lbs would make me more swimming cossie confident for the upcoming summer months. Not that I’m much of a beach person, so chances of my having to pull on a swimsuit are remote, still, should the situation arise, it would be good to feel bikini ready. I was reading the advice of David Kirsch – personal trainer to the stars - in some magazine of Emma's on the way back from California who stated that two of the biggest problems for women trying to lose weight are alcohol and carbs.

I pondered this while raising a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to my lips.

Hmmm, Perhaps I'll give up bread for a bit I thought. Um...I’m sorry what was that you said, give up wine??? Ha ha ha!! Good one!! I would find that harder than giving up bread, and I love bread, although recently I have been putting ice cubes in my white wine to make it go further without packing on the alcohol calories, however I only do that in the comfort of my own home, never in public, so don’t let on okay? My French ancestors would turn in their graves if they knew ;-)

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Buyer's remorse, drinker's pleasure

Phew, it’s nice to be home even with rain lashing down on New York. I’m happy to have left behind the 87F heat of Florida in favour of sleeping in my own bed. I’ve done a lot of sleeping this weekend. Usually I’m very much a morning person and I’m up around 8.30am on weekends, but the past couple of days it’s been close to 11am. I think my recent travels have caught up with me. I didn’t sleep so well when I was in Florida, despite the delightfully comfortable king sized bed in my hotel room. I think it was too quiet for me. Living in New York I’m used to a certain level of background rumbling as I try to sleep and in Florida the silence was deafening. I had to resort to switching on the ambient noise machine in the hotel room. It only has one setting, which is supposed to be waves lapping gently at the shore with the occasional squawk of a seagull overhead, although it sounds a bit too much like a heavy breather for my liking. Housekeeping switch it on after they’ve cleaned the rooms, I can only assume they must think it has a calming effect on guests, but the first time I stayed there and walked into my room I was alarmed there might be a pervert lurking around the corner.

Anyway the waves were an improvement over the deathly Florida silence, but even then it was still a bit too calm for my liking. I think I might write to the manufacturer and suggest a new ambient noise setting for travelling New Yorkers; the gentle hum of heavy traffic, punctuated by the occasional siren or aggravated cab horn, and a garbage truck clattering through at 4am. I'd probably sleep much better ;-)

Anyway here's a brief photo tour of my recent trip to Napa, with Debs and Emma, which was great fun, especially once the conference was done with. All photos courtesy of Debs and Emma.

First stop, Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, where an aerial tram takes you up to the hilltop winery with beautiful views of the Napa valley.

Anyone who read my posts on my trip to Chile may recall I'm not the biggest fan of heights or gondola rides. I can't help but worry the flimsy looking cables are going to snap, sending me plummeting to my death, but I gritted my teeth, threatened Emma and Debs with violence if they dared to shake the gondola as we were heading up to the winery, took a deep breath and stepped into the cable car. Gulp....

...but ooooh!!! Pretty!!

But I was relieved when I got to terra firma. Here's the view south from the patio at Sterling. Gorgeous!!

For $20 - $15 if you print the coupon from the website - your visit to Sterling includes 'aerial tram ride, self-paced, self guided tour and five wine tasting', mostly of wines exclusively sold at the vineyard. We particularly enjoyed 2007 Pinot Gris. Catweazle's a fan of Sterling wines so I picked us up a bottle of Pinot Gris to enjoy on our weekend in Charleston :-)

Next stop, V. Sattui. This was probably our least favourite winery as the place was mobbed, it was like Marks and Spencer Food Hall on the last shopping day before Christmas. Emma dubbed it the Costco vineyard. It was absolutely chocka with gaggles of young women in strapless dresses and high heels, like Sex And The City Wannabes: The Winery Tour and appeared to be a top pick for coach tours judging by the number of buses in the car park, so if you're after a more sedate wine tasting experience, as we were, then this vineyard is NOT for you. The deli was good though and we sat on a bench in the winery grounds and cobbled together delicious sandwiches with crusty Acme French bread, sliced turkey, Italian salami and mustard. Mmmmmmm!!

Stomachs sufficiently full of absorbent carbohydrates, we headed over to Grgich Hills Estate, a smaller, family owned winery, specialising in wines made from organically and biodynamically grown grapes.
Gotta love that...healthy wine!!! It's practically a fruit portion :-) :-) :-)

If memory serves it was $10 for a tasting of 3 wines, and a complimentary wine glass stamped with the vineyard logo. We were rather partial to the 2006 Fume Blanc and bought a bottle each to bring back to New York. I love this photo Debs took of the vineyard. She was fascinated with the way the vines are planted in straight lines.

Grgich was quite small, so this was quite a brief stop. Next and final stop for the day was Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, the winery owned by movie director, Francis Ford Coppola.

They've got the marketing down pat at this vineyard. When you turn into the property you're directed to 'Please proceed to red carpet' and complimentary valet parking.

The Rubicon Estate is fancy!! ;-)

There's a $25 'guest fee' to visit the estate which includes 5 wines, a historical tour, access to the Chateau, the Centennial Museum and complimentary valet parking. On payment of the $25 entrance fee you are given a 'passport' to 'America's Grand Wine Estate', which is then stamped when you enjoy your tastings. It's a little gimmicky, but it's a cute touch. Here's Emma posing in front of the chateau.

We were lucky enough to be in time to squeeze in our 5 wine tastings - although since our favourite was the delicious $125 Rubicon, a Cabernet Sauvignan blend, we weren't so inclined to buy any bottles - and the free 3.30pm tour of the chateau, formerly the home of the Inglenook Winery, established in 1879 by Captain Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish Sea Captain who made his fortune in the fur trade. His Inglenook wínes became world renowned, winning gold medals in the World's Fair in Paris in 1889. The winery was acquired by Francis Ford Coppola in 1975.
It's amazing how tiring wine tasting can be and after 4 vineyards we were utterly exhausted and decided to pass on visiting Cakebread Wine Cellars in favour of heading back to the hotel to relax before going out for dinner at Cuvee restaurant in Napa town.

The next morning we checked out of the hotel to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco where we were staying one night before flying back to New York on the Monday morning. On the way we stopped in at Taittanger's Domaine Carneros winery and sampled their delicious sparkling wines.

The Domaine Carneros chateau was completed in 1989 which, although beautiful, caused Debs and I some amusement being European. We're not used to Chateaus which are only 19years old. Actually I mis-spoke there and must take something back. Debs is not European, she's British. She absolutely refuses to acknowledge any association with Europe and should in no way, shape or form to be referred to as European. I, on the other hand, am perfectly content to be associated with our friends across the channel, so while we're both British, she's not European and I am. Got that? Good, because God forbid you should make the mistake of calling her European. Eyeroll!! In turn, our amusement at the age of the chateau caused Emma to roll her eyes at the two of us a fair bit, however regardless of it's age the chateau is beautiful and their sparkling wines are divine. It's well worth a visit.

We chose a tasting of 3 sparkling wines: the vintage brut ($26), le reve blanc de blancs ($80) and the brut rose ($36). The former being widely available, but the latter 2 wines are only sold at the vineyard.

Our hostess, Candice, also brought us complimentary tastings of the vintage brut topped off with an edible hibiscus flower and also their pinot noir and between us we ended up buying a mixed case of rose brut and pinot noir which we're anticipating delivery of any day now. I felt a bit guilty about spending so much on wine after we'd left, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it when it arrives ;-)

Afterwards Domaine Carneros we headed for San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway. Absolutely breath taking and well worth the drive, however I'll admit, with my fear of heights, I won't be hurrying to repeat the experience anytime soon. All those winding little roads with a sheer drop to the Pacific on our right was quite nausea inducing for me and I was relieved when we finally stopped at Point Reyes for lunch.

Next stop, Muir Woods, a US National Monument I've wanted to visit ever since my first trip to San Francisco in the late 90s. It didn't disappoint, espcially once you get off the shorter trail which is cluttered with tourists and day trippers. The pic below is taken from park's service website. Below that is Debs giving you an indication of the girth of some of the giant redwoods.

And finally...San Francisco!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Well I WAS in Napa....

....but now I'm in Florida. Can you believe it!!!


I'm here on biz!! No sooner was I off the plane from San Francisco then I was repacking my suitcase and catching another flight to Fort Lauderdale which is where I am now. I'm down here for a couple of days to schmooze my new client. Well, I say new, she's not new as such, but she's now large and in charge following the resignation of her boss - our former head client - a few weeks ago, so she's gathering her new team for one of those 'let's develop a roadmap for 2008' type meetings. All very sensible and useful, but I could have done without it this week when I'm still adjusting to being back on the East Coast and having to getup 3hours earlier than I did in Napa.

Poor poor me, get the violins out eh.

Can you tell I'm in a whiny and overtired mood? It didn't help that my flight down to Florida was delayed out of LaGuardia this afternoon, which is without a doubt the worst airport I've ever been to. Seriously I'm sticking to JFK and Newark from now on. I couldn't believe it when I got there and found no screens or boards to tell you where my flight was leaving from. At least there aren't in Terminal B, and it doesn't help that once you've discovered that your flight is leaving from terminal B, gate 6, the aforementioned gate is positioned between gates 3 and 4 and not between gates 5 and 7. I kid you not the order of the gates is 3,6,4. What the f**k is that about? As a mathematician by training that messed with my head a bit I have to say. I mean why would you do that? Why would you not put gate 6 between gate 5 and 7 and next door, but one to gate 8? Why oh why oh why?????

Being a non-numerically challenged sort I was halfway down the concourse confidently striding towards gates 7 and 8, which I could see at the end, before I realised gate 6 was not where it was meant to be and numeric bewilderment set in. I had to seek assistance from a helpful airport employee who directed me the gate which was not only numerically in the wrong order, but secreted behind a Dunkin Donuts.

Anyway I'm here now and delay-wise it wasn't too bad. I passed the time with some steamy sexting with Catweazle. He's really very good at it. I think he has a rosy future ahead of him writing Mills & Boon bodice rippers. Two weeks to our filthy weekend in South Carolina and counting ;-) Anyway, Napa was great, a good time was had by all, especially once the conference was over and we were free to hit the vineyards, but I am absolutely knackered now and have to get up early for a full on day of client meetings so I shall have to tell you about it later. I will let on that Emma, Debs and I fully acclimatized ourselves to California Wine Country on the plane out there. Well, it would have been rude not to ;-)

Monday, 5 May 2008

On a cost per wear basis they’re really not that expensive

So this weekend, I was an all 'round busy bee preparing for the conference in California. I did my laundry, picked up my dry cleaning, had my shoes heeled, got a manicure pedicure – it’s a tough life I lead – and, oh yeah, on Sunday I spent the day working on my presentation.

There’s nothing like leaving it to the last minute is there? Not that it was my intention to leave it until the eleventh hour, but I’ve been too busy at work this week to give it much attention until now, although truth be told I could have spent some time on it on Saturday instead of going shopping and dropping a heap of cash on
fancy jeans, but quite frankly the US economy needed me, it’s not that I need fancy jeans I just felt it was my duty to do my bit for my adopted country in it’s hour of financial distress. Ahem!!

The jeans were a total impulse purchase. I’d headed down to SoHo first thing on Saturday to return a cardigan to
J Crew that I’d bought online and was contemplating popping over to Christoper and Bleeker in the village to see if there was anything left at the Satya Jewellery sample sale. However, I was sufficiently seduced by the relative peace of the SoHo streets – usually I can’t stand weekend shopping in SoHo as the area is chocka with people and the crowds make me impatient…well, more impatient than usual, but at 11.30am it’s still fairly quiet – to stick around a bit longer, so instead of heading west to check out gems I got sidetracked and before I knew it I was browsing around the Anthropologie store on West Broadway.

Now until this past weekend I’d completely shunned the extortionately-priced denim trend that's taken hold of New York in the last 5years or so. Not to say that I haven't given it pause for thought on occasion, but as a woman of a thrifty Northern working class heritage I’ve always been put off by the price; the way the pockets don’t generally tend to flatter the wearer’s arse - extending way below the cheek and giving the posterior a pancake like appearance - and the abrupt way the wash often changes from dark to light in the leg, which may well be fashionable, but looks to me like a bad dye job, but what do I know? Prior to my trip to Anthropologie this weekend, I’d been perfectly content with my $50 Gap jeans and before I bought those I was more than happy to wander the streets in a pair from Urban Outfitters, which I loved to bits and which cost me a whopping $14. Admittedly the arse did almost fall out of this pair when I sat down quite suddenly one day. However this was all before I happened upon the Socialite Gigi jean by Joe, nonchalantly lying on a table in Anthropologie and looking divine. “Try me on” the jeans whispered as I walked by the table and trailed my fingertips across the ohhh so very soft and perfectly faded denim. I walked away, circled the store and returned and before I knew it I was flipping manically through the pile looking for my size while simultaneously balking at the $158 price tag.

“Its okay” I reassured myself, “there’s no way you’ll succumb to pricey denim. You’ve tried Joe’s Jeans on before, they didn’t look good. The pockets were half way down the back of your thighs and they made your arse look flat, these will be the same, you’ll see.”


Yup, pricey jeans finally proved me wrong. Not only did this pair make my behind look pertly fantastic, they also made my legs look thinner and longer. Yes...thinner and longer!! How could any woman resist that? I was smitten. Wild horses could not have prevented me from making this purchase and before I knew it I was at the counter handing over my credit card.

Yikes, $158 for JEANS!!!!!

Ah well, on a cost per wear basis they're much cheaper than some of the things I have in my wardrobe, the $200 dress I bought for Val's wedding for example, which I love, but have worn once!!! Besides, if I hadn’t have bought the jeans I’d have blown the money at the Satya Jewellery sample sale and I stayed in Saturday night so financially my weekend probably balanced out. Hmmmm!! I can talk myself into anything I really can.

Sunday, I spent a good part of the day working on my presentation for the conference and at the rate I’m going I'll be writing it on the plane out to California tomorrow. It’s not that I lack material, not at all; no, my biggest problem is making it vibrant and entertaining enough that I don’t lose my audience, a real issue since I’m the second to last person to present on the final day of the conference you see, a time when any sane person, after 2 days holed up in a conference room in wine country, is going to be either itching to get to the airport for their flight home, or itching to get out to a vineyard to quaff a few cases of cabernet.

Would you like to know what my mother’s suggestion was for making my presentation sparkle? That I should do it in the form of a rap!!

Eye-roll!! A rap!! A rap!!! Good grief woman I’m a serious marketing professional. Can you imagine….

Yo, I’m here today
In Cal-i-for-ni-aaaaa
To talk to y’all about

Um…yeah, okay, I think I’ve proved unequivocally that I’m not cut out for rapping through my presentation. Sigh, I’ll just have to rely heavily on the power of humorous Clipart to keep the attention of my audience ;-)