Sunday, December 30, 2007


For Christmas, I got all the boys in my family a "Weehawken Indians" hoodie. (And those cool Spiderman mittens on Townes are also courtesy of me!)

BTW: Townes still liked me best, after 10 months! My brother and Townes picked me up at the San Antonio airport on Monday the 24th. Townes was cool at first, "Do I know you?" Hell yeah ya do, Mister! ;p By dinner time, he was asking to sit by "Aunt Steffie" just like in the old days! And when my brother and family had to leave for the other grandma's house on Christmas day, Townes asked, "Is Aunt Steffie going with us?" My mom also told me later: When I was off in her bedroom suite taking a shower, Townes stood outside the door, asking "Where's Aunt Steffie?" "She's taking a shower, honey." "Oh...When is she coming out?" "In just a second. Don't bug her,now." "OK." [continued vigil by door] : )

My littler nephew, Tavo, is only 2 and can't speak in complete sentences yet, but he loved the sound of the word "Weehawken"! Whenever all the boys had their sweatshirts on, everyone around was saying "Weehawken" and he picked up on it... He had a roll-y ball and he started throwing himself on it, yelling out "WEEHAWKEN!" each time! : ) (That's the thing about some of these Jersey town names---they're cute as hell!) :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas at Tiffany's

A week ago it was raining and slushing like mad in Manhattan, but for some reason I just had to complete my Christmas shopping THAT day. (I'd done the shopping for everybody else in my fambly, and all I had left was the Mom.)

The woman has given me thousands of dollars to help me out since I moved here, and I wanted to get her something expensive and nice AND evocative of NYC (per my whole "NYC" theme for all of my family members this year). Tiffany's!

The day was a rainy mess, and I had no idea what to expect when I got to Tiffany's. (Will the doorman and salespeople be snobbish?) As it turned out, both NYC and the Tiffany's doormen were prepared for both tourists and neophytes and bad weather. When I arrived at the entrance, the doorman took my umbrella and encased it in plastic for me as he welcomed me to the store.

Once inside the store, I first started looking at the jewelry and asking about what I liked... Turned out that most of what I liked was about $2900 or $5100!...After a bit of this, I finally decided to be real and ask about items within my price range. The neat thing was that the salesperson didn't mock me at all--Once I stated my lowly top price range, my salesperson very professionally started taking me around to various counters to view what I wanted to afford. Asking me to try things on, etc. She spent a good half-hour with me, though I'd told her outright that I had under $500 to spend!

In short, I felt wet and slushy and crappy coming in to Tiffany's, but despite my decrepitude, everyone there was phenomenally nice to me and made me feel like a high-roller. And I got my mom something beautiful that she'll like---with the iconic Tiffany's box to encase it in.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Coming from the South, the buying of snow-boots in preparation for a Northeast winter is for some reason interesting to me. As is the interaction between the first two pair that I've bought as they sit around my room.

(1) Boots Detente.
(2) Boots In Step.
(3) Boots At Odds.
(4) Bad Boots Time Out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Big in Norway

On Tuesday December 11, the stats for this blog showed that one particular IP number in Norway had visited this site 8 times in one day! ;p (Sorry, honey, but I'm not that prolific...Merry Christmas to you. And what a cute hat!) :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Manhattan MadHatters

I never thought of myself as a hat person at all. I'd always liked how women looked wearing them (though I mostly saw these in magazines and on TV), but I always felt self-conscious when I tried them on in stores every few years: "Oh, my head's too big!" "Oh, people will just think I'm being pretentious if I wear one."

Part of that discomfort stems from living in Texas for so long. In winter, it only rarely gets cold enough to even need a hat, so there's not a huge market for them. You can find 'em in malls and in boutiques, but that always involved a special trip and paying 50 bucks or more if you wanted something beyond your basic knit cap to keep the wind out of your ears. Aside from pure utilitarianism, women in Austin, where I'd lived from 1983 to early 2007, just usually didn't wear hats, unless they were college funksters. In fact, the whole time I was in Austin, the only hat I ever owned was a brown fedora that I'd bought at a costume shop back in the mid-'80s when I was trying to dress up like Garbo for Halloween.

New York City, though, is a whole other story! Forget my laziness about shopping and my unwillingness to spend much: Once October hit, the street vendors and cheapo shops were stocking hats en masse---just walking from the subway stop to work in the Union Square area, I'd pass at least 15 different venues with hundreds of different hats to choose from: berets, fedoras, cloches, charming Himalayan pom-pon hats, and hats I don't even know the names of! In every sort of fabric and color, and the most expensive I found seemed to be $20, though most were $10 or less. These hats really were in my face all the time (figuratively, not literally, at this point), so I couldn't help but notice them.

And then as the weather turned cooler here, the women (and men, too) started decking themselves out, and I couldn't help but notice THEM! Little old rich ladies in their cool-looking cloches with jeweled pins (and their corresponding little old rich men in their dapper felt fedoras); funky girls in their Himalayan and Oliver Twist caps (and their corresponding funky boys in their Sinatra/Tom Landry/Pete Doherty plaid hats tilted cockily back on their heads); "regular" gals and guys in their knit caps and hats with furry flaps to pull down over their ears just because it was COLD; not to mention the big tall furry Russian-looking things that I've seen on a few heads!

It's a darn CIRCUS OF HATS, I thought to myself. And that's the cool thing about a circus---there's no need to feel self-conscious since everyone around you is quite in their own world, doin' their own thing, with absolutely no inclination or desire to stop and figure out if what everyone around them is doing is the "proper" thing...You just DO it.

So, inspired by the streets o' NYC, and after years of being "bunged up" about hats, I finally stopped being paranoid and started buying some damn hats for myself! (The first two I do wear weekly; that cowboy thang I bought for Halloween---my coworker was "Bret Michaels" as seen on VH1's "Rock of Love" and I tagged along with him that night as "Rodeo"! ;p)

Monday, December 03, 2007

"People actually live here!"

I went shopping around midtown this Saturday. While amid the chaos of the 5th Avenue-tourists, heard from a passerby, "People actually live here!" : )