Newsletter #164

December 7, 2001

Greetings Accumulators!

Today is my brother, Arnie's birthday. Funny thing, he used to be my kid brother, but now he's older than I am. Hey, if Gateway Computers can convince the American public that cows are male, anything is possible.

Thanks to my good friend, Ron McCoy for this one. Here's a link to the Oscar Mayer site, where you can learn all about the Weinermobile, see the interior of one, and even virtually drive it around town, learn the history of the Wienermobile Whistle, and take part in a census. I confess I love the Wienermobile. Always have. I'd actually rather own one than a Lexus. It's been an unrealized dream of mine to ride in one. A few months ago I was standing on a street corner in midtown Manhattan, waiting for the light to turn green. It was an enormous intersection, the one in front of Macy's and, as I waited, suddenly traveling up the street, going east on 34th Street were not one, not two, but three Wienermobiles in a row. I was thrilled! However, I was the only one who seemed to notice that the Wienermobiles were even there. It is not easy to impress New Yorkers. One morning John Kennedy Jr. and I literally collided on the corner of Park Avenue and 86th Street. I said, "Oh, excuse me". He said, "Oh, excuse me." Then he got on his bicycle and pedaled away. It was the height of the morning rush hour. I looked around me and not a single person had even noticed he was there. I don't think it's because New Yorkers are bored or disinterested. It's just - well, you know the crazy guy that hangs out down by the 7-11 store in your town? The one with the purple Mohawk haircut and the ten facial piercings? In New York there are millions of guys like that. In some neighborhoods, EVERYONE is like that. We are a magnet for weirdoes here. Add that to the fact that there's so much traffic in New York that everyone is always late for everything, so they're always in a hurry, and you can see why New Yorkers don't notice a lot of things. But, I digress. Here's the URL for that site. Go, have a good time. <OSCAR MAYER.

In the aftermath of September 11, all kinds of dismal numbers are coming in, some more disturbing than others. For example, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that professional baseball teams lost 500 million dollars. That's about equal to one player's annual salary, isn't it? But now for something that actually matters: the Bush administration has announced that, in an effort to reduce spending to pay for the war on terrorism, it is proposing cuts in the budget of The Smithsonian Institution. The White House Office of Management and Budget informed the Smithsonian last week that it wanted to hold the Institution's budget next year to $470.2 million, a reduction of $27 million, or 5.4 percent. This is not a good thing. It will make a big dent in the Smithsonian's ability to do research, and will almost certainly reduce services and hours for vistors to the Institution's exhibit halls. Maybe the administration should drop its plans to refund back taxes to all those corporate giants instead.

I'll tell you what it is: the idea that we're not okay the way we are. My Mom has always told me that a woman, now matter how wonderful her body is, thinks there's something wrong with the way she looks, but a man, no matter how awful his body is, thinks he looks just fine. A new exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not to be missed, if you come to New York between now, and March 17, 2002. The title of the show is "Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed". It is a display of body altering devices like corsets, bustles, billowing sleeves, enormous skirts, high collars. It includes devices that truly alter the body, like Chinese foot binding, and those neck coils that are visited upon Burmese girls from the age of 6 years, to stretch their necks (actually, they lower the shoulders). Some of the items were designed solely for the runway, never meant to be worn in the real world. An example: A Christian Dior kimono made of silk trimmed with pink fur, pompoms and hair clips, and topped with a fur and bead headdress. Doesn't appeal to you? Well, then there's a 1995 Thierry Mugler cyborg suit made of chrome-plated Fiberglas with clear plastic panels strategically placed to violate the model's privacy. Or the Givenchy silver bustier - with nipples - that extends up to the jawline. See, comfort has nothing to do with it. To learn more about the exhibit, visit the Museum's web-site at METROPOLITAN MUSEUM.

Okay, Accumulators, I've gone on long enough. Time to let He Who Is The Light Of My Life have the computer. Tomorrow, it's off to the country house to continue working, working, working. Everyone get out there and shop! It will, of course, all be gone if you don't (not!). Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

RIP George Harrison. Thank you for the many gifts you've given us through the years.

2001 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #164
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1996-2001 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.