The wolf

His name is Orion, at Mission Wolf. You can help sponsor him, which is a mere but necessary drop in the karma bucket if you ask me. Read more here.


what i've been up to (caffeine edition)

1940s stove top coffee maker, in the shop.

1950s restaurant ware, in the shop.





From September, 1970 ad for Shagmoor coats

I happened across this Shagmoor coat recently.

Purple plaid wool coat with fox fur lining by Shagmoor
It has so much going on that it's like a vintage happening in itself, including a giant silver fox fur collar, deep purple and green plaid, textured, molded, tricolor acrylic buttons, banded hip pockets, swing shape and yet something a bit modified about it, vivid purple lining, and three separate labels. There's a Woolmark label that was introduced in the mid 60s, a Shagmoor sewn in label that looked like the 50s, and then, to really baffle the cook, a red, white and blue IGLWU label that placed it smack dab in the 70s.

So. A 50s swing coat with a fur collar that had been updated for the 1970s? They did that? Clearly.

I can spend hours researching. I started digging up Shagmoor.  It was owed by the Linder Brothers, and started in 1921. The name was developed to convey something luxurious, something high class, slightly British, slightly Wallis Simpson. And so it did. Shagmoor was a kind of wool that, according to the manufacturers, nearly floated off the body. The Linder Brothers original Shagmoor logo:

There's an obituary online from just a couple of months ago for a man who worked in the Linder Bros. cutting room for decades, and was on the company bowling team. He was a decorated WWII veteran who was awarded the Bronze star.

From 1922, this marvelous announcement:

There are 26 different listings when you search "Shagmoor" on etsy. Some, to be frank, have got their eras wrong. But it's not hard. This company, like many — you can practically hear them in a design meeting, hopeful that their new and improved versions will retain their faithful clients and yet attract those new girls. What would they think now.


Been away writing
PEI Lighthouse by Raceytay
3-ring binders, Make Your Nest
Kodak Brownie camera, luncheonettevintage
rotary dial phone, Calloocallay
1950s shot glasses, luncheonettevintage
College diner sneakers, luncheonettevintage
Rosehip soap by Rockytop
jadite plate
Crescent Beach postcard, Oregon, the old barn door
Truth is, I've been writing right here. At the kitchen table. Truth is, that's where it works the best. But my brain's been at the beach. That's the only way. At night, dogs milling around me, we all take a walk and watch the evening pushing the field grass towards the fence that divides us from the old meadow. The sun starts going down. I hear water.


another great pencil case

pencil case, everyeskimo

really love pencil cases. found this one in everyeskimo's shop. it's a dandy.


am too older

still from Brooklyn Rider tiny desk concert
Been listening to a lot of string quartet music. Even writing that phrase — string quartet music — means I am able to sit still more, at least for enough time as it takes to write it. The Brooklyn Rider boys, some with beards and all, slot into the whole artisanal hombres with brains movement, aka Mast Chocolates: serious, able to spend nights alone in a cabin somewhere, pondering how to best rehab the Strad found at a barn sale.

Lee on a hike stops to kill a stick again
My dog, Lee, the original number two dog, meaning after Sophie, she's getting older too. Still trying to grind her teeth into nubs on sticks. Before the one above, she pulled a leg-thick birch trunk out of a wind-shot tangle. Massive shoulders, this one. None of the other dogs do this. She would be in the front of the pack, pulling down the moose.

Ergo the antler collection, coming soon to the shop.


Hot Dog Champion shirt featured on Etsy Vintage Tumblr
Today's etsy vintage tumblr was like the 1940s meets the 1970s meets 2011 meets a whole herd of terrific vintage with a coltish western theme. Did I know, to be honest, that there was a vintage tumblr run by Etsy? Not so much. Like I didn't know until yesterday that you can make a kick-ass ice cream soda using mint chocolate chip ice cream and espresso ice cream, so long as you add a bunch of chocolate syrup.

The sweetheart who runs the tumblr thing got in touch with me, and of course I got all grinning palomino about it. The shirt is one of a small band of plaid button-ups and pearl snaps at luncheonette vintage. Lately I've really been into Western shirts. Mostly hanging them up on a 1940s hanger and taking their pictures.

And I'd say button down shirt, but Mom always said that button down referred not to the entire shirt, but merely the collar. Pearl snap I am sure you get, I mean git, the idea. I'm still not sure if she was right. But she would say, Of course I am. Translation: noone knows how to speak anymore.

Some of the other shirts in the barn, I mean shop:
Corn Dog shirt
Breakfast cook shirt


by yesterday's reading, the first real Rock City Readings event. Teresa turned to me, somewhere between all the brilliance popping throughout the Kleinert, and said, I think we made the right decision.

We wanted to bring writers to town, but not just bring them. Fete them. Have people hear them. And yesterday was just. Yes, bowls of fruit and bottles of wine (bottles, not boxes) gleamed in the back while the writers read. Yes, all the chairs were full and we were discreetly tiptoeing other chairs off the sideroom stacks. Yes, I nearly handled assembling all parts of the P.A. myself. Nearly.

Yes, Samantha Hunt. Yes Paul LaFarge. Yes Anna Moschovakis. Yes the marvelous Nelly Reifler. What a way to kick it all off.
new old and old new

bake-a-cake sugar jar, 1930s Hall China (radiance yellow)
A few Hall canisters have come into my life over the years. This is the latest. It's so bright it's unsettling, some kind of timewarp, the 1930s suddenly in your face.

1980s hand thrown kitchen window stoneware crock
This crock, though, this one's so open-ended, like a prose poem.  For a moment, it held all the wooden spoons. Then I put the spoons back in the drawer and brought the crock over the luncheonette. Put it on the menu.

K's cookie jar, which Carla the amazing baker returned to him, and therefore us, after years of keeping it safe.

Inside the horizontally laid old wood paneling in the kitchen were these very proper, sturdy beams.

And the thing about a new kitchen: you can lay out an old tablecloth until the wrinkles calm down and not want to apologize to it for the mess. More on that soon.


the necessaries

iphone, krispy creme mug with iced coffee in it, antique spool of twine. sure about the necessity of the first two. but there are days, aren't there, where you just have to have some old twine around.


Swimming Lessons in the form of four writers, the official broadleaf

Readings from Up Saugerties Way presents
Speak, Memory
Memoir + Fiction
     Julia Scully    
(Outside Passage: A Memoir of an Alaskan Childhood)
Martha Frankel
(Hats and Eyeglasses)
Charles Salzberg
(Swann's Last Song)
Mark Goldblatt
Sunday  May 29th    
3:30 – 5:30 pm
Inquiring Mind 
Coffee Shop & Bookstore
65 Partition St, Saugerties,  NY
Sparrow at Inquiring Minds, April
I'd like to call us TJMax but she's not so keen on it but on we'll walk through the shallow waters

Since Christmastime or so I've been helping my friend Teresa Giordano with the reading series she started here a few years ago. Teresa is like an unwitting Gordon Lish, a great editor without even thinking about it, and one of those beacons of truth and direction who can recognize the difference between good fish and good fiction. And she's not even in this business. At her day job she makes television, big real sweeping global television, and she's tireless and she's probably can be scary to work for, sometimes. For three years she brought writers to the Inquiring Minds bookstore in Saugerties, a giant marvelous old Victorian town building with tin ceilings and creaky floors and rows and rows and stacks of books. She brought:

Gail Godwin. 
Tony Fletcher. 
Helen Benedict. 
Maggie Estep. 
Peter Aaron. 
Phillip Levine. 
Holly George Warren and Robert Burke Warren and Cornelius Eady and
Abigail Thomas and Martha Frankel and Alison Gaylin
and Me.
Nina Shengold, who once shattered the room with an amazing monologue.
Sparrow, who kept everyone laughing, laughing, not even necessarily saying anything, the anti-schtick, the silent, negative-space Henny Youngman of radical hippie minimalist poetry.
And so many others.

And bringing that many brainy presents into the fray can be wearing, and I sensed Teresa was getting worn out. So I raised my hand, since I didn't want it to stop. I am one of those writers who not only needs to read, I need to read to other people, and if I don't I kind of stop swimming quite so fast. Your ears are my water, I might say. And other writers say that kind of thing, perhaps not quite so tweaked or spliced into the whole clanging associative ether, but they say that. So we swim.

And I found this out: the act of helping to make these little oceans of words happen is another kind of swimming, and it's great.


Waking up with the friend

A little embarassingly the first place I heard this band was on television, on a commercial, in between heady skinny high school gorgeous tortuous want/love/blood/eat/don't segments from Vampire Diaries. K is addicted to it and I've noticed that Somerhalder guy since Lost, so, we watch. Natch it was that annoying car commercial. But then, admiring threepotatofour again, found this vid of Home, a better song, on their blog and realized who they were. A good thing, a not reprehensible thing, and kind of boho-playground-honky-tonk-parade-pop that, if let loose upon the throngs, might indeed be able to save the world a little. And of course the fact that there is great hair, and drama and all that stuff makes it even worthier, car commercial or not.

Home. Edwarde Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes.

Sleeping with the enemy

We all do things that are wrong. I don't text while driving, only because I can barely text while I'm just texting. I recently texted someone's name into a message to myself so badly that only K, who is somehow wired to solve the scrabble game of how I speak at least half the time (after a long stint of writing or editing, usually, when the word circuitry has overheated), could figure out who it was. But I do write while I'm driving. I dictate entire scenes and pages of my book into the voice memo on the iphone, and I've taken to calling it iwrite. If it were that easy, I'd be done.

Other wrong things include kicking the wall of my studio in frustration because the studio is too small, and, despite my most fervent ethics and belief in the green of recy and re-buy and vintage, I am, occasionally, swayed into the groove of UO. They are reprehensible, I know. But we all wear American Apparel T's, right?

Super groovy summery stripey platform wedge shoes I can't stop lusting over

So these shoes. Can someone tell me: are they Prada meets Missoni meets Target knockoffs? By Deena & Ozzy? Who are Deena and Ozzy? Are they mythical boho young designer personas in the UO machine? Do they put on hats and wigs and glasses to become older versions of themselves for Anthro? And who cares? These are shoes I could really scare my father's doormen with. 5 quaint mason jars and a costume necklace, and they're mine. Well, in theory anyway.


19th century bird prints

Find them here.