May 6th, 2007


"There flies a dead duck"

From the Washington Post article "Queen Elizabeth Graces Colorful Scene at Churchill" by John Scheinman:

Back in the paddock, Cynthia Lundeen, a milliner from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, drifted through the crowd with her husband, James, like apparitions from a seance. At an event renowned for its women's hats, few rivaled Lundeen's.

She had won an all-expense-paid trip to the Derby in a national hat contest and had made a top hat for her husband, who looked very 19th century in a cutaway suit, waistcoat and vest, while she wore an Edwardian-style hat with triple ostrich plume and silk veil.

"I hear she's never been here before," Lundeen said, speaking of the queen, "and I put two and two together and figured she was here to see my hat."

Confidence. I like that in a hat designer.


And the toaster's been laughing at me

I get the feeling the Washington Post crossword puzzle is out to get me. Yesterday's puzzle featured the clue "Cornell for whom the college was named." How exciting, I thought, my alma mater appearing (somewhat obliquely) in a crossword puzzle. But when I went to enter William Wesley Cornell's name in the grid, I found a mere four spaces. It seems they were actually looking for the Cornell for whom the university was named, William Wesley Cornell's cousin, Ezra. Curses!

Then this morning I sat down with pen in hand to solve the puzzle in the Post Sunday magazine. As always, I started with the upper left corner. The name of the star of I, Claudius escaped me momentarily, but I knew that 19-Across, "Ashe event," was the USOPEN. (Arthur Ashe Stadium is the center court of the U. S. Open tennis tournament.) Turning to the down clues, my eyes landed on 3-Down: "Iowa college." Three letters, second letter O. I threw down my pen and said, "No!" (Really, I did!) But alas, it was true: I had to fill in the name of Cornell College's hated rival, Coe College, which sucks. Talk about adding insult to injury.
  • Current Music
    Case, Neko - Ghost Wiring

Art on Sunday: Great Britons

I wanted to feature a work from Great Britons: Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, London, an exhibition that opened recently at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, and I found a couple of works I particularly liked, but I couldn't decide which one I should post. So I'm posting them both.

Hill & Saunders (active 1850 to 1900)
Queen Victoria and Karin Abdul, 1893
Carbon print
Queen Victoria and Karin Abdul
National Portrait Gallery, London
Currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

George Frederic Watts (1817-1904)
Dame Ellen Terry (Choosing), c. 1864
Oil on strawboard mounted on Gatorfoam
Dame Ellen Terry (Choosing)
National Portrait Gallery, London
Currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
  • Current Music
    N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton