Wednesday, August 31, 2005

don't hate them because they ARE beautiful

ann and dabney are not make-up people. ann wears the stuff occasionally. dabney, once a year. tops. but they needed the stuff for- what else- crazy bride's wedding in a few short weeks. so, with ashbloem (makeup consultant in the making) leading the way, they trooped down to saks fifth avenue and sephora for makeovers. they walked out with over $200 worth of mac products between the two of them. here are the results. you decide.

that's ann trying out her beauty pageant wave: wrist, wrist, elbow, elbow with
a little "screw in the lightbulb" thrown in for good measure.

they tried bobbi brown first (ashbloem had a particular lipstick shade she was after), but were given the shake-off by a self-important cosmetician who proclaimed herself too busy to help them without an appointment. after their subsequent purchases from the competitor, ann and dabney felt a pretty woman moment coming on. they came thisclose to walking back up to that same self-important cosmetician and saying "you work on commission don't you? big mistake. HUGE mistake."

update: ann and dabney went to target wednesday afternoon in order to replace a good majority of dabney's mac make-up with revlon, sonia kashuk, and maybelline. they are feeling much better now, and will return a good chunk of the other stuff to saks tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

epic friday

since lucy and the tall guy (they sound like an 80s tv show, don't they? akin to the scarecrow and mrs. king) are moving to The Land That Time Forgot in october, ann and dabney won't let them out of their sight easily. whenever the foursome make plans these days, their get-togethers become marathon affairs that last long into the night.

ann and dabney capped off their boston restaurant week extravaganza by making reservations at no. 9 park with the lovely couple. they should have known something spectacular and epic was awaiting them that day when they came upon this. it's not everyday that you see a hot air balloon floating over the public gardens.


lunch was as delightful as the walk. both the presentation of the food, and the service at the restaurant, was phenomenal. first course was a cauliflower chaud froid - a cauliflower gelatin with a wellfleet oyster, a dollop of caviar, and a celery emulsion surrounding it. on the right, a mushroom pizzette - crispy and herby.

gorgeous, no? (try not to let the image of ann and dabney geekily whipping out their camera before each course ruin the illusion of the meal.)
IMG_6345.JPG IMG_6346.JPG

again, ann and dabney chose the same entree and dessert. (ashbloem, before you ask, they got the same entree because the other options were: duck, neither of which ann and dabney will eat for their own particular reasons; and pasta, which violates the cardinal rule of always, ALWAYS choosing the most expensive item off of the prix fixe menu.) this time, they went with the haddock tempura on a bed of roasted potatoes.


and to finish it all off, a cocoa meringue with kumquat coulis.


after lunch, they forced lucy to come "work" at their apartment while the tall guy headed back to the office. on the way home, ann and lucy couldn't resist the wading pool in boston common.


then ann and dabney demanded that lucy remain, and the tall guy return, for dinner.

then dinner became drinks with ashbloem, becca, and liza. the drinks flowed, and then, and THEN, ann and dabney's recently recovered polaroid camera* came out.

the two finally escaped sometime past midnight, wide-eyed, but safe.


* now that it's back in their hands, you can expect to see many many more of these polaroid shots in the future.

Friday, August 26, 2005

the muscles in the face that make you smile

last night, ann and dabney, with ashbloem and carrrmen, ate at les zygomates. the evening was pretty uneventful. the food was good, the wine was better. mika's ex-girlfriend greta sent us a round of champagne after ashbloem introduced herself. on the walk home, we passed by the filming of scorcese's new movie, the departed. everyone looked around for leo, matt or jack, but it mostly seemed like a pile of extras filing out of restaurants. they paused just long enough to get a couple of pics with some neon signs that were there for the shoot.



Thursday, August 25, 2005

9 courses for 90

dabney and ann are surrounded by fancy-schmancy restaurants. their neighborhood is known for its eating establishments, with such well-heeled places such as icarus, aquitaine, and the mack-daddy of fine dining, otherwise known as hammersley's. hammersley's was supposedly one of julia child's favorite places to eat in town. for years, ann and dabney have passed it on their walks with feidler. each day they stare longingly at the diners inside, basking vicariously in the warm light cast by its butter yellow interior. every once in awhile, if the door opens at just the right time, they can even smell bread baking.

the steep prices have always tainted the potential experience - no special occasion has ever been quite special enough to pay $30+ for an entree. instead, ann and dabney will choose dumplings and noodles in nearby chinatown any day of the week. but this year, they finally got their act together and booked two months ago for boston restaurant week. for five days every august, some of the nicest restaurants in the city offer prix fixe menus for reasonable prices ($20.05 for lunch and $30.05 for dinner). ann and dabney have been to the official website at some point, although, arguably, the unofficial site is way better.

all this to say that ann and dabney made not one, not two, but three reservations this week. on tuesday, ann and dabney finally bridged the moat and entered hammersley's for lunch. one would think that years of high expectations would spell disaster for the experience but, dagnabbit, the food was good. everything was deceptively simple and fresh. ann and dabney each had the same appetizer and entree, then shared two different desserts.


tonight is dinner at les zygomates with ashbloem and carrrrrmen, and tomorrow is no. 9 park for lunch with lucy and the tall guy.

if you hurry, cross your fingers, and wish real real hard, you might just be able to get reservations at the armani cafe.

Monday, August 22, 2005

the triplets of hairville


ann as pancho villa

dabney as shaggy

ashbloem as doug henning

the bachelorette

get out your hankies, ladies and gentlemen, because this one is going off the market.

over the weekend, ann and dabney helped nikki ring in her last few nights of singledom, before she screws on the ball and chain for good over labor day weekend. it was a tough call about what to do that night, but drinks, drag queens, and boobs all made it on the agenda.

the evening started in a not-so-unusual way, with shots. can't tell you precisely what they were but let's just say they were pink and sugary.

here a few folks (ann included) pretend they are cruising down the strip in a supersonic lesbian mobile. whose car WAS that?

dot, with the foresight of the oracle at delphi, came packing a wad of dollar bills. as a result, the bachelorette made a few friends through the evening. check out the size of those... lashes!


even ann and dabney got in on the dollar bill action.

at this point, the programming must end. ann and dabney will not talk about what happened at centerfolds. not even if you string them up by their toe nails, AND threaten to take their away their glue guns and sewing machine, would they reveal a single detail.

Friday, August 19, 2005

new haircut


meat night

between dabney's dietary preferences and this summer's farm cooperative, the superette household is 99% vegetarian. whenever dabney goes out for the evening (as she did last night), ann jumps at the chance to indulge in her meat-based gustatory proclivities. since it's no fun to eat a big old steak on your own, she invited one of her favorite foodie friends, ashbloem. together ann and ashbloem share the same palette; they like anything that is salty, fishy, or bloody. which meant that last night was "meat night."


feidler was on hand, too. however, he let it be known that he was displeased that there were only two steaks on the grill.


instead, he had to settle for ashbloem's tasty toes.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

where darth vader goes to rest


because even evil-doers need to sleep sometime.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

that's a lot of candles

it appears that lots of moms and dads were gettin' busy during the month of november in the 70s and 60s. because birthday girls are popping up all over...and ann and dabney have been more than happy to celebrate with all of them.

at tapeo and solas last saturday, for ms. becca, a.k.a. sweetness and light, who turned the big 3-oh. fyi - herbert hoover, angie harmon and rosanna arquette were also born on august 10th.


becca, lucy, and dabney (laughing despite the fact that solas' bartender wouldn't serve her, even though she stood at the bar for what felt like an hour, even after he acknowledged her existence twice, then went on to serve all of his friends, which consisted of half the bar)

last night at local haunt, the red fez, to toast ms. dot, a.k.a. hlb. dot shares a birthday with madonna, angela bassett, kathie lee gifford and her twin brother danny, of course.

jeannie and dot


a special long distance dedication goes out to michelle (debra messing, ben affleck), who doesn't look a day past one.

and to francesca and diego (alfred hitchcock, ben hogan).
peas on beach

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

craft manifesto, superette style

despite what their blog says, ann and dabney HAVE been making things when they are not drinking or playing poker. in addition to the never-ending kyoto sweater (will it ever ever be done?) they've been busily sewing their wares. hopefully, a whole new batch of their cell phone cleaners, a.k.a. the phone binkies, will soon be done.

ever since they started this little venture called superette, ann and dabney have tried to articulate to others what it is about craft and the DIY culture that appeals so much to them. which brings them to the following craft manifesto, courtesy of hobbyprincess. there is some interesting and smart discussion about the whole crafting phenomenon, mostly in response to the manifesto. in italics are ann and dabney's equally clever responses:

1. People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.

this is true. ann and dabney are nothing if not small, functional and japanese-inspired.

2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.

little do they know it, but these two young women will live long and happy lives because of their handmade superette purchases.


3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.

the things ann and dabney make will apparently stay around until they die, because dabney has a hard time getting rid of anything. have you seen her workspace? this is it, clean.

craft room

4. People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.

ann and dabney do nothing but seek recognition. that pretty much sums up superette and its shameless attempts to court attention for ann and dabney's activities, crafty or non. that pretty much sums up their blog readership too.

5. People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.

ann and dabney do genuinely believe they produce genuinely cool things. and those genuinely cool things can be found on etsy. please buy them. now.

6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.

work mostly inspires ann and dabney to drink. when they do work based on others' designs, ann and dabney like it call it "creative modification" or "craft evolution."

7. Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.

essential for sewing is a decent sewing machine. ann and dabney are still mourning the loss of lucy's sewing machine, which got returned to its owner a week ago when she wanted to make some curtains. if anyone has thoughts on what they should get as a replacement, please comment. in the meantime, see here and here for some of their other tools.

8. Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.

ann and dabney are material whores and buy fabric, zippers, and beads whenever and wherever they are for sale. they also try to justify their around-the-world trips by labeling them as opportunities to find new supplies. here's a photo of some of the materials they bought during their last excursion to manila.
beads more zippers straps

9. Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.

ann and dabney still haven't mastered this one, unless the recipe calls for zucchini.

10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.

ann and dabney always try to get friends to take classes with them. there is a beginners quilting class starting on november 10 and ending right before christmas that dabney has her eye on. it's through the boston center for adult education. no seriously, sign up.

11. Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.

the renegade craft fair in june was ann and dabney's "coming out" to the crafting community. they loved meeting crafty folks. next up on the superette itinerary are the handmade arcade and the bazaar bizarre.

12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.

enough said.

Monday, August 15, 2005

no contest

for those of you who haven't made the switch yet, it is indeed time. dump that clunker of a browser, better known as internet explorer or "ie" (i.e. the inferior product), and move on to firefox. it's more stable, more forgiving, cheap (that is, free) and you can't beat the tabbed browsing feature.

plus, superette looks a lot cooler on it.

there is just no contest. if it were a prizefight, it would be ali versus wacko jacko. if it were a beer, it would guiness versus pabst blue ribbon. if it were a golf tournament, it would be tiger versus captain hook. you get the drift...

Friday, August 12, 2005

the inevitable

if anyone needed further proof that ann is becoming her mother, tessie, here it is.

ann purchased these shoes for herself while visiting st. louis last month. later that day, dabney caught tessie trying them on by the back door to the garage.


then, this appeared in ann and dabney's house last week:


it's a yankee candle (ocean water scent) with its own individual warmer. yes, that's a replacement candle (lily of the valley) in the background, waiting in the wings for its chance to serve.

soon, ann will be wearing a skirted bathing suit, and this bonnet:



Thursday, August 11, 2005

running with tunes

after years of sweaty earlobes and chafing, ann and dabney have finally come up with it... the runner's perfect musical gadgetry.

in the beginning it was a turquoise deck-of-card-sized rio mp3 player clipped onto dabney's shorts with a pair of regular foam-covered earphones. not only could the world hear her music as she ran by, the rio ate through batteries like tom cruise on vitamins.

then dawned the age of the ipod... the ability to run with their entire music collection - surely the answer to ann's prayers. but with the ever-popular gadget strapped around her waist in a special belt and a pair of sony headphones, ann found the belt's chafing unbearable and the occasional "spinning down" from the constant jostling of the ipod's hard drive too annoying. add to that, the headphones fell apart at the seams. it was back to the drawing board...

the arrival of the ipod shuffle was life-altering. as soon as it came on the market, ann and dabney hopped on-line faster than you could say "free katie." and for the most part, it did not disappoint.

as small as a pack of gum, and about as light, it is an exerciser's dream. there was just one hitch in the plan; with only a lanyard attachment, it bobbed around wildly while they ran. ann and dabney experimented with tucking them in their sportsbras and shorts, next to their sweaty bodies, which caused ann's shuffle to short out (thankfully apple swapped hers out asap for a new one). so warning, don't get 'em wet. otherwise, shuffles are splendidly simple. who cares about seeing the title of what you're listening to while jogging about the neighborhood or on the "dreadmill?" it's one-button technology that even ann's mom gets (note: she doesn't even touch tv remotes).

enter the imojo shuffle sweats. last month, as reported earlier, ann and dabney attended the macworld expo. they were hoping to find some new accessories for their apple lifestyle and the event did not disappoint. freebies, freebies everywhere! lo and behold, this man shows up, arms outstretched, with schwag in hand:


swinging lanyard, begone! the imojo is a sweatband worn around the wrist with a small piece of elastic that holds a ipod shuffle and a useful rubber “cleat” for winding excess earphone wires. it’s light, secure, and best of all, machine-washable. the imojo is indeed a runner's best friend.


to solve the earphone dilemma, the etymotic research 6i earbuds did the trick.
these little guys go deep into the ear canal, which seems more akin to earplugs rather than earphones. they take a little getting used to, but they don't budge and sound great. they do block ALL sounds though - handy while vacuuming, ignoring fellow passengers, or even blocking out offers for free scientology personality tests. but, runners, beware: look before you cross!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

5 malts in an hour


one of the best things about st. louis is crown candy kitchen, a true-to-life old fashioned soda fountain experience nestled in the northern part of the city. sadly, this area of town is worse for wear with its dilapidated townhouses and neglected gardens, but through its ninety-two year history, crown has hung in there in its original location, authentic booths with individual coat hooks, genuine wurlitzer and all.



when ann was in high school her beloved french teacher, cindy, shared this gem of a place with her. she likes to think it was a reward for her outstanding linguistic prowess, but most likely, it was cindy's immediate ice cream craving. nonetheless, ann will be forever grateful.

as much as she loves crown's chocolate malts, ann has never dared to complete their malt challenge. the feat is to consume five 24 oz. malts in under an hour. the reward? a t-shirt and one's name on a sparse (and surely dusty) plaque in the restaurant. if there was only a gin & tonic contest....