Get Out And VOTE, Dahlings! And Then Have Cake.


Today I did the unthinkable. I mingled with the huddled masses, the general public, the (ugh) common people. It is the sort of action which I avoid at all costs.

The reason I overcame my loathing? To VOTE, of course!

We cannot allow the maniacs and the Tea Partiers to gain even a significant foothold in our government. Just because they scream the loudest does not mean they have a right to override the progress of the last few years. As most of my dear readers know, I strive to stay apolitical on my blog-thing, but this is simply too important. It does not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, you owe it to the process of participatory democracy. (A dear friend taught me that phrase; it took me half an hour to pronounce it properly.)

So do not sit upon your derrieres and decide that this election is “not worth it” or “already settled” or that it is “too much trouble.”

If I can force myself to vote, anyone can. So do your civic duty, put on your smartest outerwear, and get yourself to your nearest polling place. And then reward yourself with the pastry of your choice.

Because what is a democracy without cake?


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sarah Palin, As Only William Shatner Can Do Her!


Once again, get your minds out of the gutter! (Besides, the mental image is…um, how do I say this politely…disturbing.)

Sarah Palin in happier days

The speech Sarah Palin gave the other day was widely considered (rightly) to be incoherent, so the wonderful Conan O’Brien asked the immortal thespian and spokesman William Shatner to read it as a poem:

It is just under two minutes of sheer brilliance, mon cher lecteurs. Bask in the magnificence that is all things Shatner.

William Shatner on “Match Game,” 1970s

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Bringing Beauty to Washington, DC!


With the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Obama, the media has begun squawking away about the impending “return to glamour” and “re-emergence of Camelot” and similar nonsense. Female politicos are panicking. Suddenly there is tremendous pressure about not appearing their best in the new administration. During the Bush administration one could look like a billy goat and it did not hurt one’s credibility. In fact, it helped.

But with the elegant Michelle Obama becoming First Lady, suddenly all of the Capitol Hill femmes, particularly those of high profile and dumpy blue suits, are terrified that they will be scrutinized as closely as celebrities. That could mean appearing in the pages of “US” magazine in the “Why Did She Wear That??” section. And then how could you get your appropropriations bill passed?

So, your faithful correspondent and an entourage of assistants were whisked off to Washington this past weekend with a truckload of designer fashions! We were booked into several suites in the fabulous Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, a mere block or two away from the White House. My hand still aches from signing all of those confidentiality agreements!

Our floor had to be “Secret Service Cleared” so that all of the luminaries could be fitted in comfort and safety. Several lady Secret Service agents requested their uniforms be tailored in a more shapely cut. My seamstresses had their work cut out for them (pardon the pun), particularly because of the body armor and holsters.

The biggest obstacle to my work was not the figures of the women–I believe there is beauty in every shape and size, as you well know. It was the mindset: rigid conformity to outdated fashion norms, fear of change, fear of appearing “weak” if wearing anything too feminine. Since you, my faithful readers, know that I do not appear “weak” in the least, even wearing a wisp of chiffon and stiletto heels, you also know that these fears were simply too maddening! Several times I had to retire to the hotel’s Round Robin Bar for a quick mojito to quell my rising temper.

Difficult clients are one thing; but difficult clients with immense legislative power must be handled with tact and delicacy, something I could only manage with some alcohol sloshing through my system.

If I may opine for a moment, I believe that suits are detrimental to women in politics. For one thing, female politicians have to wave all of the time. And we know that suits bunch up and pull over to one side when a woman waves–particularly if there are shoulder pads. Now, we are used to men looking that awkward, but women should be spared. Hillary Clinton, if you are reading this, please do stop wearing suits! You have such lovely curves, why not a dress now and then?

Oh, and the Inaugural Ball gowns…MTV is hosting the Inaugural Ball, which also wreaked emotional (and public relations) havoc amongst the women. High-neck? Low-neck? Contemporary look? Conservative? (You try getting a Republican who isn’t Sarah Palin to wear a fitted, low-cut gown…a recipe for blinding migraines, mon chers.)

However, I was flown back from Washington, the trunks empty, my coffers bulging, and my wrist aching. If I have just a tiny bit of impact on how women in Washington look, that is all I ask.

That, and a hefty fee.

God Bless America.


Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

Barack Obama Elected President!


I held a gathering of selected friends, both Democrat and Republican, to watch the election results. As the evening went on (and the cocktail consumption increased), the Democrats grew louder and happier and the Republicans grew quieter. Finally they went into the corner of the room and started muttering amongst themselves. Ever the gracious hostess, I adjured them to return to the party, but “party” was definitely the wrong choice of words. “We did, and look where it got us!” one of my guests snapped at me.

I chose to overlook his rudeness and return to the center of the room. When Obama was announced the winner, there was an eruption of cheers both in my living room and out on the street. His speech was quite stirring (even if the occasional cutaways to Oprah Winfrey and her strangely drooping false eyelashes were a distraction). Even your faithful correspondent found herself smiling and brushing away a tear or two.

The only questions I have after last night are:
What was Michelle Obama thinking with that dress??

Here is a graciously stylish woman, wearing a black and red fright that made her look like she had what the tabloids love to call a huge “baby bump”. Had she been temporarily possessed by Sharon Osbourne?

What will Sarah Palin do with those clothes? My guess is that they will be donated to the Palin Foundation For Empty Closets, located in Wasilla. Call it intuition.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Remember to VOTE, Dahlings!


They are warning here in New York City that the lines will be long at the polling places. I did my level best to convince the local officials to allow me to vote from the privacy of my own home, or at the very least provide a chair for me to sit in comfortably while I waited, but no. I refuse to wear flats, even for my country. There is a limit to patriotism.

Of course, I could try to be there at 6 AM, when my local polls open, but really…! It’s all I can do to arise before noon, how can they expect a woman to be there at such an ungodly hour? How bourgeois. Be that as it may, Bucky and I will be there tomorrow, ready to cast my/our vote. If I have to mill around with the great unwashed, so be it.

People who proudly proclaim they don’t vote are beneath contempt, in my unhumble opinion. Perhaps nothing profoundly different will come of this election, but that does not allow one to remove oneself entirely from the democratic process that America was founded upon. (Having to think all of the Deep Thoughts I have had to in recent days has given me such a long-lasting, pounding headache I simply cannot wait for this all to be over.)

When it is, I can give myself over to the truly important thing in life: Fashion In The True Sense.

Unless, God help us, Sarah Palin gets into office. Imagine: one malignant carcinoma away from the presidency.

I shall see you at the polls…but please do not approach me.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Sarah Palin’s $150K Makeover: The Common Touch


So, is this what would happen if a hockey mom won the lottery?

The newspapers have been buzzing with the news that the Republican National Committee decided to play Rachel Zoe with Sarah Palin to the tune of $150,000. Although your faithful correspondent feels that the RNC did a better job than Zoe would—one shudders to think of Palin giving her acceptance speech, hair parted in the middle, in a swirling tiered oversized chiffon maxi dress. (But on the other hand, the question of Palin’s credibility would have been instantly moot.)

Despite her beauty queen past, Palin was perilously close to frumpy in the months before destiny descended on her vastly unprepared shoulders. She favored a frizzy upswept hairdo with highlights that seemed meant to blind oncoming moose at night. (Those Alaska roads can be so treacherous.) The woman wore fleece, for pity’s sake; need one say more?

Over John McCain’s squeaky objections, Palin was selected to be the Vice Presidential nominee, and instantly the image machine went to work. In September and October make-up artist Amy Strozzi earned about $36,000 and her hair stylist Angela Lew earned $19,000. There are moments when one thinks they are trying to remake her into a younger, sexier Elizabeth Dole. (Who, by the way, now has blinding blonde highlights of her own.) Department stores were looted for designer labels: St. John, my darling Oscar de la Renta, and Escada. Palin’s hair was darkened, smoothed, and she was even convinced to wear it down around her shoulders. (Cf. my earlier entry: “Sarah Palin – A Man Made Woman?”)

Her clothing is carefully chosen to show off her trim figure, which GOP consultants feel “appeals to white male voters.” We already know she does not need to actually wear glasses, but without them she would look so generic one could not tell which politician’s fashionable wife she was.

For her acceptance speech she wore a beautiful silk shantung Valentino outfit. Many of her outfits feature belts around the waist or an hourglass cut, and she is often seen striding about in boots. Perhaps that appeals to “white male voters who long to be spanked.” Stranger things have happened in politics.

However, it does dent Palin’s image as a hard-working middle class mom (toting around her tot helps…personally, I think it is either kept heavily drugged or she is carrying a large doll. What sort of child never cries or throws up on the person carrying it? That is why I never handle children, myself).

She claims she will give the clothes to charity after she is elected. That’s a bit like saying vous donner la cher de vol de steak après avoir mangé, for lack of a better metaphor. The woman has even been reduced, in interviews, to cataloging what does and does not belong to her whenever she steps out fully dressed. (At least that way she doesn’t have to answer any hard questions about foreign policy or who Henry Paulson is and why she should care.

Now, a confession. I think the RNC does have quite good taste in clothes, if a touch bland. Certainly better than poor Cindy McCain, who always looks like she just put her finger in a light socket when she’s on the public stage.

Michelle Obama has beautiful taste in clothes as well and always has. For that she has been called “elitist.” Apparently it’s “elitist” to buy your own designer clothes, and “common” to allow rich white men to buy them for you.

Which, upon reflection, seems oddly appropriate, don’t you think? One supposes that appeals to “white male voters who wish they could afford a trophy Vice President.”

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Iron-Jawed Angels In Lovely Hats and Dresses


I am certain that there are those of you out there who are convinced that I have been turned into a shrieking harpy by this election season–



Now, where was I? Oh, politics. Mon bien-aimé lectrices (you gentlemen are included, too), please do take a moment to read this piece, which was sent to me this morning by a dear friend. It concerns Women And the Vote.



This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago. Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

Lucy Burns
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’ They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

Dora Lewis
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead, and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.

Alice Paul
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized.

And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy. The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

What would those women think of the way I use, or don’t use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and a little shock therapy is in order.

Please, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

History is being made.


Well! That was certainly a strong brew, wasn’t it? I confess that I did not read it in its entirety, but I did admire the pretty dresses many of the women were wearing. Mon dieu, that makes me sound like an intelligent Sarah Palin. Pardonnez moi!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog