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All content copyright 2009 by Holly Gleason. Web design by Lauren Carelli.

November 2003

December 2003: Cracks In Heaven, Light Shines Through Edition

Truths That Hurt

Sometimes you just gotta pretend it’s the bulls in Pamplona and let it come charging right straight at you. Feel the pain. Embrace the fear. Let it take your breath, make you vomit, buckle your knees. No matter how bad or awful it is, once you’ve embraced it, it can find its place in your truth. It can give you room to let the pain come up and recede. Be brutal. Let it happen.
Until it does, it’s just cancer—and we know what that does.


L.L. Beene

You gotta love and affordably priced, good goods kinda place. Kennebunkport, Maine’s greatest accomplishment. Camping gear. Awesome sweaters. Book bags made from duck cloth. Thermal underwear that’s nice. Flannel. Cashmere. Italian wool. The world famous rubberbottom/leather upper Beene boot that laces as high as you order it. 24/7 at the home office—and online for those shoppers who want to let their fingers do the work.
This is stuff for the whole family—dog included. And it’s timeless.



“Bad Santa”


Billy Bob Thornton as the reprobate mall Santa. Exactly the guy you don’t want your kids hanging around…and in spite of his worst intentions, he’s managed to find a young person dying to be inspired by him. A comedy of errors where Santa’s a con man waiting to knock over the mall, in addition to flaunting every notion we have about this icon of holiday cheer. For the cynic or ironic grappling with crass consumerism.


Origins Ginger Souffle Body Creme

Whipped cream for the alligator skin, smelling of instant comfort and a pick-me-up. If you’re feeling a little rundown, sluggish, not quite right, slather this on and instant smile. Leather, paper, scales and things—vanquished with something that is luxurious without wiping out the piggy bank. And it’s part of a whole wonderful line of products for the body.

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
—Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

Canada’s stoic poet finds the silver lining on something a little brutal. Hope amongst the fading and the worn… It imbues grace and beauty to something that might make the most superficial amongst us cast away something of depth and meaning.


Magic Mushroom Pizza

They bring water in from New York City for their crust. Whether that’s the magic secret or not, it’s pretty awesome stuff. Lots of body without being heavy, defying the way pizza crust turns into a landmine in your stomach. Their disco pizzas are creative - jherk chicken, a good pesto - and their red 
sauce is garlic and oregano and tomato!


www.wrottentomatoes.com

Wanna know JUST how bad it is before you invest a couple of the few free hours you have walking up to Christmas? Well, not only do they shoot straight - and their analysis ranges from a coterie of this country’s best critics, but acerbic fans with a gift for the language - this is some of the most entertaining stuff around. Read it and swerve (away from the stuff where the hype makes the film unrecognizable) - or weep, if you’re just checking in for the sheer entertainment value.

Shocking: The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli—Dilys E. Blum

Perhaps the only designer who Salvadore Dali would inspire or be inspired by. The pair—a beyond 3-dimensional painter with no commitment to the world as it’s inhabited and a designer for whom whimsy was like gray flannel suits—created hats with lobsters, harlequin swirls on luxe ballgowns. It was grand and joyous, smile-inducing for the sake of the moment and clothes that broke all the rules in the name of shocking pink. Christian LaCroix seems tame today. And given his and John Galliano’s far-flung way of flaunting the rules, these clothes—from the epicenter of shutdown, tight, repressed 50s and 60s dressing—truly are a revolution at the seams. Celebrate with abandon in the pages of Blum’s acclaimed book.


No Plans

As the rush-rush descends, what could be better. Nothing to do—and all day to do it. Whatever the whim is, just chase it to its logical conclusion. Window-shopping, a long ride, a deep sleep, a dumb movie, a massage or a big fat cheese danish. Whatever it is, let it happen—and love every last drop, moment or laugh.


Speakerboxx—Outkast

Phohn-keeee. Big Boi and Andre 3000 work separate but organically undulating tips. This is that kinda old school r&b stuff filtered through the right now with enough southern roots to take it to a place that is retro without being throwback, now without being a fashion victim and progressive without losing perspective. “Hey Ya!” is the hit single of the year. It’s all about the 
booyliciousness of it all… and “The Way You Move” checks that mate. These guys know about gittin’ bizzy, ain’t afraid to beg or git it done - and they have the musical chops to whet the moment. Content may not be for the young’uns, but then again, they’re probably the ones blazing this trail. And as a feel good hit of the season, well, “Hey Ya!”


Miu Miu Knock-Off Bright Tubber High Heel Rain Boots, Banana Republic

These were all the rage last year. Now the price is a little more than a third for the nosebleed inducing Italian original. They look darling, maybe even more so this year ‘cause we’re used to the notion of bright orange, red and yellow rain boots. To brighten a sunny day, pull ‘em on and start jumping in puddles!


Homemade macaroons

Nothing—NOTHING—is easier. 2 1/2 cups coconut, 1/2 cup flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add 2/3 cup evaporated/condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Bake for 20 minutes at 350—and look like God’s gift to baking. And they’re way more heavenly and delightful than storebought… Promise.


Kiehl’s Tawny Gold Lip Gloss

The most glamorous “natural” looking cosmetic on the market. It’s almost clear with just a bit of shimmer, about a shade darker than most people’s lips. Put it on over lipstick to look a little plumper or else slid it on on its own and have that just romped in the cold bee stung quality that’s so alluring.

Victoria’s Secret Mid-Thigh Silk Kimono

Victoria’s Secret knows how to bring sensuous to the masses - and sometimes they hit one out of the ballpark. This bad boy comes in black or light pink, with fuchsia hydrangeas embroidered all over it. The sleeves mimic a real Japanese kimono with the draping butterfly effect. And if you don’t wanna wear it as a housecoat, then put it over a camisole, throw it on over jeans and you’re instantly a Bohemian rhapsody that is both funky and soignée. 


Snowflakes

In the air. Falling weightlessly. Drifting down. Like little drops of God’s best intentions. The cold reminds you how good it is to be alive. The cleanness is renewal in the midst of the winter. And in that fairy-dusted moment, it’s as if anything’s possible, purity is inevitable—and every carol can come true.



Target Chandelier Earrings


We’re talking the fashion item of the season. Big production number earrings that sweep and fall and glisten against your hair and your neck. But where they run somewhere near $100 in most places, these don’t even break the second decimal place—and they look every bit as good. As something that’s as ephemeral as this sort of fashion high jinks, why make the big investment? Cynthia Rowley’s Swell collection is pretty awesome—and the regular exhilaration line gets the job done to. The hardest part will be to give as gifts or keep for oneself, though at these sorts of prices, you could probably do both without sullying your conscience one little bit.



Ito En New York 212-988-7111


For people who are serious about tea. 80 some different kinds from Japan. The staff is knowledgeable - and they can make suggestions that’re as intoxicating in terms of taste and scent as the best sommelier. This is where the hype about antioxidants meets the road. And given the compact nature of tea, it’s also the kind of thoughtful gift that shows attention to the details and a care for the recipient.