Archive - November, 2011

Four New Books Suitable for the Gifting

Manolo says, the holidays, they are upon us like the hungry red-and-green colored lion! Quick, you must make it happy by purchasing gifts of merit!

Thus, here are four books published in the past year that are worth giving to the people about whom you care.

1.
The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden

The duchess of smart Mediterranean cooking books, Claudia Roden, is back with this worthy entry, The Food of Spain.

2.
The Sisters Brothers

It is no secret that the Manolo is intensely fond of the comic novel, and this book about the pair of sibling hired killers, The Sisters Brothers, is the best comic novel of the past year.

3.
The Founding Gardeners

For the gardening gnome in your life, what better gift than The Founding Gardeners: How the Revolutionary Generation Created an American Eden, where they were learn that Thomas Jefferson proclaimed the flowering acacia to be “the most delicious flowering shrub in the world.” (And who knew those things were even edible!)

Fashion

The Manolo loves this comprehensive book, FASHION: 150 Years of Couturiers, Designers, Labels by the Charlotte Seeling. It is encyclopedic without being dull and dry, and has pretty pictures by the score. This would be the perfect thing for the young person who has the deep interest in the fashion, but little knowledge of its history.

Gift Suggestions for the Cyber Monday

Manolo says, it is Monday and you are back at your desk frantically trying to find the gifts for your beloved ones. Yes, you had the big plans to go out on the Black Friday and fist-fight with the crowds to find things worthy of putting under the trees of Christmas, but then a) you decided that getting up at three in morning to go to the Wal-Mart was ridiculous, and b) in the mid-morning, as you were getting ready to leave, you heard on the radio that there was the 14-mile traffic jam on all the roads leading to the mall, which convinced you to stay at home, eating turkey sandwiches and reading the hospital-themed romance novels.

Happily, today is the Cyber Monday, when the machines do the shopping for us!

Or, perhaps not.

Sadly, until the scientific panjandrums perfect the robotic you, you will still have to do your own holiday shopping, although, thanks to the ancient and hallowed traditions of the Cyber Monday, you can do it on company time!

Allow the Manolo to suggest a few things that might make your life better:

For the hunky man in your life…

Victorinox Mahale Zip Cardigan

The Victorinox Mahale Zip Cardigan available in the three colors (charcoal, black, and navy) is the sort of practical cotton sweater that even the most manly of man would be happy to don.

For the country lady…

Eugenia Kim Asymmetrical Cloche Hat

There is something about this Eugenia Kim asymmetrical cloche. that makes the Manolo very happy. Perhaps it is because the Manolo has recently been thinking how jolly it would be to visit the year 1927.

For anyone else who wishes to visit the year 1927…

The Best of Wodehouse

The Manolo just purchased The Best of Wodehouse for himself. He did not technically need it, as he owns several other Wodehouse anthologies and individual volumes, but the Manolo was traveling, and the vicissitudes of that overwhelmed the Manolo’s sensitive constitution.

Hence…Wodehouse, specifically the single funniest work in the English language, Uncle Fred in the Springtime. The Manolo asks you, what better gift to give the person of delicate and antique sensibilities?

For everyone who does not wish to live in 1927….


Kindle DX

Paper is dead, long live the book!

Or, at the least, long live the The Kindle DX the e-reader of choice for the Manolo because it has the screen that is 50% larger than the regular Kindle, meaning the Manolo can enlarge the font to maximum size, thus allowing him to pretend that he does not need the reading glasses.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Day of Turkey!

Manolo says, may you enjoy this day the most happiest of Thanksgivings!

Manolo the Columnist: Svelt from Stuart Weitzman

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’ve got Thanksgiving duties this year, which means I’ll be feeding the whole extended family, twenty-five people at least, maybe more. We like to dress up for the actual meal, and although I’ll be able to change at the last minute, I’ll still want comfortable (and traditional) shoes to wear during the feast. What do you recommend?

Marilyn

Manolo says, Ayyyyy! The Thanksgiving, it is barreling toward us like the runaway trainload of free-range, heirloom turkeys! And while many of us, like the Manolo, will fling ourselves from the track of tradition by planning the low-key events, involving Swanson turkey potpies and velveteen track suits, here is the inspirational woman who meets the challenge head on!

Our friend Marilyn is not content to whip up the massive festival of domestic poultry and cornbread stuffing, she is also determined to appear at the table as the fully-fledged adult.

Manolo says, this is how life is to be lived! With food and friends and family, joyous celebrations and homey traditions of great meaning. Too often, in our desire for comfortable casualness, we have forgotten that we show respect for ourselves and others and the occasion when we dress properly.

It is Thanksgiving, the day when we give thanks to Divine Providence that we live in the age of abundance. Thus, it is only fitting that we should dress and behave in the manner that honors our good fortune.

Here is the Svelt from Stuart Weitzman, the simple mid-heel pump in the lusciously autumnal color called “Fire Quasar”.

Svelt from Stuart Weitzman

Whose Shoes Wednesday… The Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Kelly Clarkson Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Kelly Clarkson!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friends Klee and Cat! Klee because she was the first to answer, and Cat who was the second to answer, but because Klee’s correct early answer was held in the spam filter until late last night, Cat appeared to be the first for most of the day. And, if you are confused by the logic behind this, do not fret, so is the Manolo.

P.S. Ayyyyyyy! The Manolo has erred! The actually it was the Marjorie who was the first to spot the Clarkson in the shoes!

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

Ferruccia Suede Boots from the Brian Atwood for the Tuesday

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, only the second week of November, and already you feel as if you have been sucked into the annual holiday season whirlpool; swirling, swirling, swirling around the giant vortex of seasonal merriment and angst. Any second, you will be dragged down below the surface of normality by the combined forces of heirloom turkeys, two kinds of stuffing, homemade pies, Black Friday shopping, nativity pageants at the church, and the Santy Claus.

You will struggle valiantly against it, but it is inevitable. Your holiday fate is sealed.

One minute all will be normal, and the next, as sanity leaves your body, you will be frantically searching for the silver nonpareils to adorn the twenty dozen Xmas-tree-shaped cookies you have vowed to bake for the firemen who extinguished Gary’s Camero last year.

No, you do not need to bake these cookies. Undoubtedly, the fireman at the station are still enjoying some of the 20 dozen cookies you delivered last year.

“But, it’s now a tradition,” you say to no one in particular, “every year since 2010 we’ve baked cookies for the firemen.”

And, this is the strongest evidence that you are in the center of the holiday vortex, when time and space warp. Things that appear insane to those standing outside the vortex, seem perfectly normal to those aswirl in the center.

“I think I’ll volunteer to make all the costumes for the Nativity pageant,” you announce to the candy novelties in the baking aisle as the supermarket, “I know where to find real goose feathers for the angel wings.”

No. You do not know where to find real goose feathers for the angel wings. And it is utter madness to think that you do.

“Wouldn’t it be great if the whole family dressed in the same pajamas on Christmas morning,” you say to the steering wheel, “I bet I can find something on sale at the Big Lots.”

Ayyyyy!

Look, in your final moments of sanity… gorgeous boots!

Ferruccia Suede Knee High Boots from Brian Atwood

The Ferruccia Suede Knee High Boots from the B. Brian Atwood. Gorgeous and not at all insane.

Manolo the Columnist: Case from Kate Spade

Manolo says, here is the Manolo’s latest column for the Express of the Washington Post.

Dear Manolo,

I’m just about to turn the Big Five-O, 50 years old. I keep myself in good shape, and I think I still look great, but I am nonetheless somewhat depressed by passing the half-century mark, so I and need a pair of shoes to cheer me up. Can you recommend something youthful and sexy, but not inappropriate?

Carla

Manolo says, Fifty? Do not despair, for fifty is the new forty-seven-and-the-half!

Actually, thanks to the modern medicine, ubiquitous gym memberships, and the superior make-up technology, the women of today generally look much younger than did the ladies of the previous generations.

Indeed, the Manolo had just recently seen the 1971 Geritol advertisement, which showed the group of prematurely aged 46-year-old womens. Sadly, it was all grey hair, wrinkly faces, and bags under the eyes, as nearly all of the women looked at least the full decade older then their actual age.

But, then, what else could be expected if one grew into middle-age in the society that regarded liquid iron supplements and smoking cigarettes as sensible parts of any beauty regimen?

Of the course, it goes without the saying that in the forty years time, the future peoples will be mocking us for looking prematurely old, and following strange advice such as injecting botulism into our foreheads to eliminate the wrinkles

Here is the Case from the Kate Spade New York, the sexy but appropriate sandal to wear to wear to your birthday party.

Case from Kate Spade New York

Christian Louboutin at One Dollar Per The Week

Manolo says, here is the article to be filed under the heading, Super Models Say the Darnedest Things.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Beautiful but Dim

“They make me feel like a woman. I feel they make you look very sexy, the cuts are beautiful, the lines, the colors the embellishments,” Huntington-Whiteley gushed to FOX411’s Pop Tarts column at the Christian Louboutin’s book launch at Barney’s in Beverly Hills last week. “I think he managed to capture something so special for women, every girl should be lucky enough to have them.”

Yet amid this cash-strapped economy, the British supermodel has some words of wisdom for women pining for a pair – which retail at around $700.

“If you can save up for a pair put away a dollar a week,” she advised. “It’s worth it girls. It is really worth it!”

It just like buying on layaway at the K-Mart!

Only, at one dollar per the week, it will take fourteen years, in which case, allow the Manolo to suggest something that might still be in style in the year 2025…the Wallis Mary Jane Pumps

Christian Louboutin Wallis Mary Jane Pumps

Also available in the black, and the camel, this is the sort of shoe that can be worn well into your dotage, which in the case of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley may already have arrived.

P.S. The tip of the Manolo’s hat to his friend Erik.

Whose Shoes Wednesday…the Answer!

Manolo asked, whose shoes?

Carrie Underwood Shoes

Manolo answers, it is the Carrie Underwood!

Congratulations to the Manolo’s internet friend, the Lara, for being the first to identify this week’s super-fantastically well-shod young celebrity of note. To which the Manolo must add, who would have suspected that one of the best celebrity shoe collections ever should belong to the country music star?

Whose Shoes Wednesday

Manolo asks, whose shoes?

Bette Slingback Platforms from Gucci For the Tuesday

It is Tuesday, and you are back at your place of employment, being gainfully employed, and for that you are thankful.

Thankful….ayyy! Look at the calendar! It is already the second week of November!

There is so much to do in the next two weeks. First you will have to order your free-range, humanely-dispatched, heirloom turkey from the butchers shop, you know, the shop with the hipster butchers who have the tattoos and the ironic handlebar mustaches.

Yes, these young butchers, who ride home each night on their fixed-gear bicycles, are generally well-intentioned, knowledgeable about the meats, and friendly, but still, you miss Stan, the old Polish butcher with the big belly and the twinkling eyes.

Things have not been the same since Stan sold out to these jackanapes and retired. Stan always had time for to flirt with the old ladies, and tell the little jokes, or to give you some beef neck bones for the dog. And the fresh kielbasa he made every Tuesday in the back of the shop was sublime.

These new people, they stock fancy Italian sausages, which they refer to by the pretentious term salume. But… the meat is still good, if more expensive, and you’ve developed the appreciation for the heritage breed animals.

So, you get out the phone and dial up shop to place your order, 15 pounds should be big enough, yes?

“Stanislaw’s Meats,” says the familiar voice on the other end.

“Stan? Stan is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me, Mrs. G.”

“I thought you retired, Stan.”

“Nah. I got bored sitting around the house. The missus yelling at me all the time. So, I come back to work.”

“Didn’t you sell the shop?”

“I did. I’m just here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, helping out. These boys, they’re good butchers, Mrs. G., but they don’t know the first thing about sausage, so I’m making some kielbasa today.”

Ayyyy!

Let us give thanks for the small but vital pleasures of life, for good food and good people.

Speaking of the sublime things for which we should give thanks, shoes!

Gucci Bette Slingback Platform Sandals

Such as these Bette Suede and Mesh Slingback Platform Sandals from Gucci. And look, they are also available in the black, for evening wear.

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