Category: Uncategorized

Gay Marriage Proposal at the White House

This weekend, active duty U.S. Marine Corps captain Matthew Phelps proposed to his partner, Ben Schock, in what might be a historical firstat the White House. Matthew Phelps (who maintains a WordPress blog here) wrote on his Facebook: “Such a special night surrounded by wonderful people in an amazing place, and the best is still yet to come with Ben Schock.”

The The American Military Partner Association congratulated the couple, sharing a photo of the proposal, which spread instantly. A Redditor shared the photo, remarking that they’d witnessed the first gay marriage proposal, and a clever commenter wondered if Daniel Craig and Jack McBrayer just got engaged. Handsome indeed.

“Ben and I are blown away by the amazing love and support we have received,” Phelps wrote in a later Facebook post. Best of luck to the happy couple. Engagement is an exciting time. Then you realize: there’s a wedding to plan. Summer vows? Better book now, fellas.

Museum Review: Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris

A few months ago, I visited the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Museum of Hunting and Nature). The museum is located in two 18th century private mansions  in the 3rd arrondissement, which is part of the Marais neighborhood. I’d never heard of it before, but happened upon it quite randomly one day while walking around the Marais. Compelled in equal parts by the beautiful buildings and a sign promising something related to nature, my interest was piqued. I had little idea of what to expect but once we paid the admission and walked in, I was fascinated. Each room of the museum is dedicated in some way to a different species of animal — including plenty of taxidermy, as well as mysterious, beautiful, weird representations. There are unicorns, lap dogs, beasts, and butterflies galore—it’s completely bizarre and wonderful. The museum was started by a wealthy couple, François and Jacqueline Sommer, who advocated for respectful hunting practices and wildlife awareness—and amassed a wide collection of animal-related art, all of which is on display in the museum. Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is  located at 62, Rue des Archives. Absolutely worth a visit.


Bear at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.

Bear greets visitors at the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature.



In the Trophy Room, the talking taxidermy boar, lower right,  animatedly reenacted its death.

Lions, alligators, basketballs, oh my.

Lions, alligators, basketballs, oh my.

America’s Own Kate Middleton?

This morning, Jenna Bush Hager announced her pregnancy on the Today Show, where she’s a regular contributor. In what is kind of a hilariously awkward, clip, a discussion about holiday tradition becomes her official public statement. Moments after the announcement, Bush Hager teared up while explaining that she “loves kids,” and is a “teacher.” The hormones are flying!  Her husband, Henry Hager, surprised her with flowers on the show and after handing them to her, Jenna remarked that they were kind of like “Miss America” and asked him to hold them. Matt Lauer asked Hager what kind of mom he thinks she’ll be, since he knows her better than anyone, and he responded: “Well, you see her everyday. She’s a teacher.” LOL. Ok, we get it. Then, former President George and Laura Bush called in to join in on the congratulations. Bush is “fired up,” and has been waiting for a grandchild. Lauer joked that they hired someone to play Frank Sinatra outside the Hager’s window but it “didn’t work.” Which is bizzarre, because everyone knows that nothing says romance like Ol’ Blue Eyes. Then they discussed nicknames for grandpa: Jenna likes “popsicle” or “poncho” and George  likes “sir” or hefe.” Jenna explains that’s “espanol” for boss. The bump-watch is sure to be as compelling as Kate Middleton’s. BB Hager for Prez in 2048?

Holiday Catalog Boyfriend

This holiday, menswear lifestyle brands  are stepping up their game and providing some serious boyfriend material—no more eye candy, these dudes are legitimate. They’ll take you sailing, fix your car, and make snow angels with your kids. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about, anyway? So much better than your idiot boyfriend. Here’s a rundown of the different fake boyfriends you can have this season:

Carhartt Boyfriend

This Dearborn, Mich.-based clothing company, known for its work and construction clothes, is really pulling out the stops this season. Their catalog, shot on location in Alaska, features real men, working outside, posing in form-fitting, fashionable outfits. Your Carhartt boyfriend is rugged; he probably kills his own meat (like Zuckerberg!) and can start a fire from a pile of twigs. He’s a little rough around the edges, and his hands are probably calloused—but he’s not too manly to use your fancy hand lotion. Get to know him over at Jezebel, where the full spread is available for perusal.

LL Bean Boyfriend

Your LL Bean boyfriend might hail from the wilds of Maine, but he’s nowhere near as rugged as your Carhartt boyfriend. He will, however, take you kayaking, lobstering, and know where all the good places to pick blueberries are so that you can then bake a pie. He’s a little more polished, but he still wears old jeans. But his shirts are usually monogrammed. He loves the great outdoors but also cares about making sure his leather boots stay fresh. He is, of course, guaranteed to last.

J. Crew Boyfriend

This guy is a class act. Your J. Crew boyfriend always wears nice suits. He might look rugged, but he’s more comfortable drinking cocktails at brunch than shooting deer in the woods. He does enjoy athletic pursuits, but is just as likely to take you to an art museum than invite you on a hike. He loves to color coordinate, has a keen sense of style, and his hair always looks great (he uses Kiehl’s religiously). Don’t step on his shoes.

Brooks Brothers Boyfriend 

This is the rarest form of the fake holiday catalog beau, and by far the fanciest: The Brooks Brothers Boyfriend. If you join an Ivy League Alumni association, you might be able to spot him. He works crazy long hours, but he will take you to the ballet. He loves to go skiing, horseback riding, and unlike the other fake boyfriends, loves golf. His cufflinks are monogrammed, and he’s probably a Jr. or III.

Jew-ish Things to do on Hanukkah

1. Get a menorah! This one is pretty.

2. Go to Grand Army Plaza to watch a giant menorah lighting.

3. Make gourmet latkes, or just go buy some.

4. Go have dinner at Mile End.

5. Rewatch the Rugrat’s Chanukah episode. Because you watched it the first time.

6. Listen to NPR’s Hanukkah Lights; stories from authors.

7. Attend a Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic culinary face-off.

8. Learn about the true meaning of the holiday.

9. Instead of gelt, treat yourself to some Vosges chocolate.

10. Get in the festive spirit. Buy a christmas tree, then decorate it! Or just get a Hanukkah bush.

Daily LOL

In your video for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” you are wearing big, heavy glasses and there are a bunch of guys in animal costumes. What is that about? 

You know when you watch an indie video and you’re like: “Why are they underwater in upside- down chairs with a random projection of a butterfly interspersed? Why is this happening?” We were trying to think of ways that we could tip our hat to the randomness of some indie music videos. Why are there woodland creatures? Nobody knows. Why am I wearing floral-print pajamas? Nobody knows. Why am I randomly wearing glasses? Nobody knows.

Taylor Swift, on her video for the song “We Are Never Getting Back Together” in The New York Times. Nobody knows!


Venice, Flooded; Espresso Still Flows

Following rain and high tide, Venice, Italy, has received the worst flooding, or acqua alta (high water) in many years, reaching up to almost 5 feet on Sunday. But the people are still out there, swimming, kayaking and trekking around Piazza San Marco. Apparently, two-thirds of Venice was left under water.

The Piazza San Marco, though flooded, still serves as a meeting place. (Credit: AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)