Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
This is one of the ads screened at the British Television Advertising Awards 2007: Award-Winning British Commercials at MOMA. Remember The Spaghetti Harvest from 1957?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I was interviewed by USA Today and they are running an article about children's storybook Bibles. The Jesus Storybook Bible caught the attention of several of their sources (including Ted Olsen of Christianity Today, seen above reading from non other!) who liked it because of "its unique theological approach" and because it doesn't "hammer down the meaning of the Bible to one long lesson in obedience." Cathy Grossman spoke to me about the challenges of writing children's Bibles. It's an interesting article and you can read it here.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
OK so I went to the British Television Advertising Awards 2007: Award-Winning British Commercials at MOMA yesterday and saw really cool stuff. (Confession: one of the biggest culture shocks of coming to the States from the UK is the dire quality of adverts here.) More on that later this week... but before I show you one particularly silly ad from that, I need to show you this. In this b&w clip, first broadcast on BBC Panorama (a serious documentary program) on 1st April 1957, a very young Richard Dimbleby revealed the wonderful world of Swiss spaghetti production to millions of deprived and hungry post-war Brits. (To be fair, back then Spaghetti was not eaten much and was rather exotic.) Most of Britain were taken in. Even my dad (who is usually dreadfully brilliant and smart) even the likes of he, totally fell for this giant April Fool's joke! Which just goes to show, if you have a serious and very important enough voice, you can hoodwink anyone. What an inspiration to us all.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Sensibly he is trying to eat it because it looks so terribly delicious. What a very good idea.
Or is he perhaps imitating Clasp's famous, scarifying line from the book: "I'm going to eat you... with my mouth!"
Find out more by visiting his mom's blog. She is giving away a signed copy of Handbag Friends.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
The King of All Kings
The Light of the Whole World
Haven are graciously offering the book free with a donation! Here's a link to their site where you can get your copy and support these great guys.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
as you know, there is a strike right now by stagehands on Broadway. Sadly, it's threatening the livelihoods of the many performers involved in these shows (many shows are unlikely to survive this a friend in the business tells me). The cast from The Color Purple gathered on Broadway last week rallying to show their support and say, "let's try and work this out together". Remember, these are people facing no checks into next year, no job, the end of their shows potentially... take a look at what happened (Fantasia is the one leading "worship") doesn't it make you wish you'd been there? Here's to Thanking and Praising God ... this side of the miracle! Happy Thanksgiving
Monday, November 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
and why am I wearing such a horrible white wig with fake braids on? who put it on me? no one else is wearing one.
take it off
let me go
(it's a shame for babies. it really is. pictured, screaming, Baby Annabel and, smiling, the quadruplets. All of whom, of course, star in the authorative scholarly document on the subject HOW TO BE A BABY).
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
(we first met the unfortunate Mr Griffin in unhappier times, if you recall: in the first of our firsts — first peas, followed, just as unpleasantly, by first teeth. we are pleased to hear that things seem to be looking up for Mr Griffin. and we certainly hope it lasts — the eds.)
Friday, November 9, 2007
10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow
9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour
8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing
7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen
6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet
5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter
4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day (this law dates back to the seventeenth century and was enacted to outlaw gluttony during the rule of Cromwell) (at least half of those surveyed admitted to breaking this law)
3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store
2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down
And coming in a glorious first...
1.It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
to find out more about these absurd and utterly foolish laws click here: Die and you’re under arrest!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Here's who this is: "Snowball is a Medium Sulphur Crested Eleanora Cockatoo that dances to the Back Street Boys. He came to the Bird Lovers Only Recue in August 2007 and is a joy." Only, I think the thing is they got his name wrong. It is Sir Eleanora Snowball Cockatoo, Esq. But no matter. His dance speaks for itself. Happy Tuesday!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
here's what it says about itself on the site: "The National Parenting Publications Awards guide you to the best gift ideas for children all year round!" and "Now in its 17th year, NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards) is a well-known name in industries focused on children’s learning and entertainment. Full results were announced Nov. 1, 2007, in 40 regional parenting magazines across the country and online at Parenthood.com. This distinction recognizes the above titles as a standout among toys, books, DVDs, software & video games, music and spoken-word recordings available for children today." NAPPA website
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
happy end of october, happy all saints day, happy central park that is getting ready for the marathon, happy leaves that are all harvesty and festivalish
And what about the bag?
I want one. The bag, the costume, her inside it. (Yes, she's The Baby who belongs to the quadruplets we met on Friday in all their fabulous furryness and the quadruplets, of course, belong to Baby Annabelle, who we met previously doing a very good imitation of being a baby.
Monday, October 29, 2007
(Continuing our "Latest Must Have Dressing Up Fashion Trends" series, here is a stunning outfit in orange.)
This is quite the most wonderous lobster I've ever met in my whole entire life (and I've met a few). I could just gobble her all up right this instant--or have her on toast for my tea.
(And she's not really scary. she's only pretending.)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Seen in this photo are the quadruplets: Daniel, Andrew, Thomas and Sarah. I don't know which outfit is my favorite. They're all so good. So I'll just say what children say when they're asked that question: "They're all my favorites!"
The quadruplets, of course, star in HOW TO BE A BABY (appearing on the pink sofa as the Big Sisters' "Real Friends" in contrast to the poor Baby who doesn't have any real ones, just pretend ones like stuffed bears, etc.).
The only one missing here is The Baby Herself... but stay tuned... she's coming up in this series and in a quite stunning outfit...
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
“The Moonbeam Awards are designed to honor the year's best children’s books, authors and illustrators, and to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators. Our ambition is to support children's book publishing and to promote childhood literacy and life-long reading.”
Does this mean me and Jago get to wear a crown now with sparkles on? And give speeches? And cry?
(nah, just kidding)
it's thrilling news and a great honor — and there's no question of Who is getting all the glory here...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Oscar (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills) Wilde (that really is his whole name I didn't make it up) was just voted UK's Greatest Wit. He said awfully witty things like: "I can resist everything except temptation" and other clever stuff like that.
He beat Spike MIlligan who came in second (one of the "goons" and a brilliant comedian, who had engraved on his tombstone the epitaph, "I told you I was ill"), Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson (third and fourth), Noel Coward, Sir Winston Churchill and Shakespeare.
Margaret Thatcher was the highest ranked woman coming in at 12 (she once quipped: "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.")
So there you have it. Or, as we say in the UK, Bob's Your Uncle. And more on that later. For now, a great quote from the UK's Greatest Wit...
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Made by Wonton Food in Queens (who apparently were just trying to be "more contemporary") these gloom cookies have been spreading their poison far and wide, showing up in restaurants all over the country.
Couldn't they think of something nicer to say to you, before you eat them?
I like your hair. nice shoes. something. anything.
Reminds me of the joke about the complementary peanuts. They're the peanuts that say to you stuff like, "I like your sweater" or "you look pretty tonight" or "you are such a cool person". Maybe these naughty cookies could learn a thing or two from peanuts.
Read more about these disturbing misfortune cookies here
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Some have stayed (like well-being), others have been given the boot (like ice cream).
Shakespeare was the biggest hyphenator ever. But that's mostly because he just kept making up words as he went along. And joined lots of them together. (Even his name—Shak-speare—was sometimes hyphenated, apparently.)
Donne did it too. He "loved compounds like 'death-bed' and 'passing-bell' where the hyphen carries almost metaphorical weight, a reminder of what Eliot called his singular talent for yoking unlike ideas," says Charles McGrath in The New York Times.
read more of this alarming news about hyphens here .
Meanwhile, I'm going to do what I can.
First, I'm going to start trying to get as many hyphens as possible into my name
you might want to try it, too
and then I'm going to become a member of The Royal Society for the Protection of Endangered-Hyphens (the RSPEH)
which you might also want to consider
Monday, October 8, 2007
JUST BACK from extinction, the New York Times reports that Dinosaurs, after 65 million years, are now appearing (for a limited engagement) in New Jersey. Here's one brave little guy who went to see them stomping around.
Much more scarier than Barney. (And I find Barney pretty scary.)
Read more here. (It's a tour—so you, too, may be able to catch them live.)
Saturday, October 6, 2007
she is DEFINITELY very completely related to another certain Hippo of my acquaintance. (Seen above with pink blanket, and the Handbag Friends.)
How many Hippos you know have a pink blanket?
Or a good friend who is a dog?
Or can sing?
(Which I'm sure she can)
Speaking of singing, shouldn't we?
I do think it's time, don't you?
Really. Wouldn't it be rather rude not to?
For Jessica's sake?
Sing along now!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Gebrselassie won four world titles over 10,000m and set numerous world records on the track before turning to road racing late in his career. (Yes, he's the one who ran the Nike Manhattan Half "with me" and broke the course record in August.)
“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
— Steve Prefontaine (1951-1975)
"All it takes is all you got."
— Marc Davis (b.1969)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
(photo: The plaza on it's opening year, 1907.)
And tonight she's having a huge 100 year birthday party in her front yard (central park and 5th Avenue) with fireworks and everything. People will be singing "My Way" to her. And then hanging a huge, gigantic sign in lights around her neck — "100" — announcing her age to the whole wide world.
They have even made her a special birthday cake.
Guests will eat a meticulous scale model replica cake of herself (who else at 100 would ever want such a thing? And what guest would eat it? Even if you have had so much work done on you.)
The cake will have a façade flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger and windows of crystallized sugar.
The Plaza's first ever guest was Alfred Gywnne Vanderbilt. Back then a room went for $2.50 a day ($4 with bath).
Other famous guests were Truman Capote (1924-1984) (who threw his black and white ball there in 1966 to celebrate the success of In Cold Blood) and, of course, Eloise. And Kay Thompson (1908-1998).
Saturday, September 29, 2007
it's fitting too. as you may or may not know, it was in fact "National Punctuation Day" (September 24th)—I steered well clear of it myself—(who can begin to imagine what manner of torture might be involved in such a day?)
punctuation, it seems to me, is one of those tricksy things that the more you think about it the more you can't do it (except if you're brilliant and J R R Tolkien and then you know everything anyway so you don't count).
i once found myself lost in the middle of a huge manuscript, two days before the final deadline, re-punctuating everything because i'd convinced myself I needed to get more semi-colons in. don't ask me why. i don't know—it's insane (and i don't even like semi-colons)—it had a lot to do with thinking semi-colons are what clever people use. And because a critic who lives inside my head says horrid things, like "ah yes, what a shame. and it would have been such a lovely book if only she'd... (fill in the blank)."
if you find yourself in a Punctuation Bog like this, all i can say is, you need to GET OUT of there right this instant, run into the fresh air and the sunlight and talk to a sensible friend and only come back to your manuscript when you're fully in the real world and back in your right mind and have just stopped it.
and once you've done that, read something like this—a very helpful old typsetting saying:
"Set type as long as you can hold your breath without getting blue in the face. Then put in a comma.
When you yawn, put in a semicolon.
When you clear your throat, put in a period.
When you want to sneeze, that's time for a paragraph"
and here is a completely beautiful piece of typesetting to close this punctuation posting with.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
now for something insane, silly and very irreverent. What can I say? It's the goons. The masters of silly--before Monty Python even. if you're a dreadfully serious person sitting in your office doing frightfully important things you may not like this. or you might. particularly if you open your doors and put the sound up too loud...
Monday, September 17, 2007
Reminds me of something else someone said: that writing is magical but it isn't magic. I love this because it gets rid of the preciousness and the idea that you must feel inspired to write. Writing only requires sitting down in front of the computer (or piece of paper) and showing up. Whether you feel like it, or not.
It also keeps you with a correct perspective — and reminds you you have a job to do — just as a plumber has a job to do. Nine to five. Five days a week. And the best thing about that? Well, as Phillip Pullman points out, no one's ever heard of a thing called plumber's block, have they?
Peter De Vries (1910–93), by the way, was the one who came up with such clever stuff as, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be" and "Deep down, he's shallow," and was, according to Kingsley Amis, "the funniest serious writer to be found on either side of the Atlantic."
"But," Amazon tells me, "De Vries's life and work was informed as much by sorrow as by wit."
His classics are Slouching Towards Kalamazoo and The Blood of the Lamb. First published in 1982 and 1965 respectively.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom." — Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
It's also the birthday of J B Priestley, born in Bradford, England (1894). He wrote more than a hundred books of fiction, essays, and drama.
"We plan, we toil, we suffer — in the hope of what? ... The title deeds of Radio City? ... A trip to the moon? No, no, no, no. Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs." — J B Priestly (1894-1984)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
" 'Why does anybody tell a story?' Ms. L’Engle once asked, even though she knew the answer.
" 'It does indeed have something to do with faith,' she said, 'faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.' " — Madeleine L'Engle (1918 - 2007)
Monday, September 10, 2007
It's a brilliant documentary narrated by the astronauts themselves, filmed in tight close-up, and it is nail-biting, funny, deeply moving and on the edge of your seat stuff. "I called the moon my home for three days of my life. And I'm here to tell you about it!" says one of the astronauts. "That's science fiction."
In the Shadow of the Moon leaves you with renewed awe at the bravery of these men, the vastness of our universe and in particular with your eyes wide open to the wonder and beauty of this beautiful world we've been given to be our home.
You can watch the trailer here.