Kind Yvonne of La Petite Gallery has nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger award. Now, if I understand this correctly, I have to tell seven things about myself that others may not know., and nominate seven favorite bloggers  Reserved Down Easters don’t let out personal information easily.  See Taciturn.  Heavens, I’m not sure that I even know seven things about myself:

 1.  In my 20’s, I headed a board that funded Head Start centers.  Most people who know me would have trouble associating me with anything that doesn’t advocate mandatory foreign boarding school with no parole I mean,  vacation,  for all children from the ages of 4 to 24.  Head Start is a fine program, and seriously needed in a  world where not everyone has the opportunities that many of us have.


 2.  In that same fuzzy bearded liberal youth (I still have the fuzzy liberal ideals, just not the beard or the youth), I had a ponytail, briefly.  I also had a mirror, so that’s why it’s something many might not know about.

3.  The tragedy of my life is that I can’t dance.  Not even a simple box step.  I took ballet for a year and a half, in one of my many desperate attempts to discipline and train my body to dance.  It was very sad.   A lithe lesbian acquaintance, who had absolutely no sense of humor, was also in the class, and would keep hissing at me at the barre—“What are you doing here?”  In her world of earnest pursuit, nothing was ever done for fun.  I treasure the memory of seeing myself in the mirror, 6’2″, awkward, hulking over my shorter, more graceful classmates. The classes were better workouts than I ever get at the gym, though I still can’t dance (many brave kind souls have tried to help, all have failed), but it did give me excellent posture and very shapely calves.
The Dilettante practicing at the barre

4.  In my Walter Mitty moments, I win the lottery, and use some of the money to start a foundation to eradicate the menace of dinky plastic fake shutters on fine old New England houses, a problem which threatens to destroy the very landscape of America.  I also give a gazillion dollars  to AIDS research in memory of all the good friends lost, and another gazillion to the local library so they can buy more  design books. ( I know you’re reading this, Rich.  Just kidding.  I’ll give the library a gazillion anyway.  When I win the lottery.) 

 “No More Plastic Shutters!” 
 5. Addiction:  No, I’ve never, ever, tried drugs (ok, I’ve inhaled twice.  But I didn’t enjoy it)).  We’re talking about Diet Coke here, the monkey on my back:  I actually really, really have tried to conquer my diet Coke addiction.  Daily.  But then, sometimes with four minutes to spare before the store closes, I’m in the car, racing for that 12 pack–those cold, shiny aluminum cans, the click and whoosh of the pop top as it opens, the high of the first slug sip…….yet, though I love a cold dry gin martini far more than I love vile Diet C, I can always stop at one or two martinis, and will go weeks between them, whereas with Diet C four hours seems to be my limit  Go figure.
6.  Although I am quite happily bald and shaved, and have been since my early 30’s, I will still brush a ghost forelock away from my face in a breeze, just as I did as a young man with the real thing— much the way I”m told an amputee can still feel his missing limb
Portrait of the Dilettante as a young man.  Note wavy forelocks, bandana to keep same out of face, soft and fuzzy beard, liberal attitudes.   
7.  Long ago, when they were first imported from Sweden, my then partner and I, in a profound and sincere desire to live gently on the earth (see items 1 & 2),  installed a Clivus Multrum composting toilet in our charming seaside cottage.  I’m sure they’ve improved the technology since then.  I hope they have.  But I don’t intend to find out myself.  Permanently traumatized. 
Entrance to Charming Seaside Cottage.  Within lurked a monster that terrified all who entered.
Now, *Drumroll, Please*,  here are my seven nominations, which should really be 15, very hard to make, given the wide field of excellent blogs that I follow.   ( Lists are hard. I nearly imploded when JCB asked me for five favorite books about Maine.  It took hours to get the list down to 10…).   So, in addition to the blogger  who nominated me, Yvonne of La Petite Gallery, my list would be, in alphabetical order…..

An Aesthete’s Lament.  Stylish. Such fine writing, on myriad and esoteric subjects of just the sort that interest me.  Why this one isn’t publishing books, I don’t understand.

Architect Design.  Imaginative, infectious in his enthusiasms, and a sense of joy in his discoveries.  Makes me nostalgic for that time in my 20’s when all was new—in  a good way.

The Blue Remembered Hills:  A well furnished mind, has opinions and good manners, and not afraid to use either.

Domicidal Maniac, an imaginative and well written blog, with the best title of any

JCB.  Love her trouvees, and her own elegant photography ( I wish I had that kind of eye), and her writings on art and architecture are incisive.  Lovely blog header too.

Old Long Island.   Zach is doing something very important here, compiling a vast online archive of material on his chosen subject, making a wide range of material available to an interested public. I’ve found gold in his posts.

Peak of Chic. First blog I ever went to. Here’s where I confess that I used to be cynical about blogs—-lots of  long winded, self indulgent people with too much spare time going blah blah blah about their prejudices and weird interests, thought I—A breeding ground for mini Rush Limbaughs.  Then, one day, trying to find a specific photograph of a room by Tony Duquette, I stumbled across Peak of Chic.  Over the next three days I went through every post.  Such good stuff about design history, with solid knowledge, and an open mind.   Then I started checking out others., got hooked, and here I stand before you today

This list should really be longer.  I finally narrowed my tied list of 15 down to seven  based on how long I’d been following them.  These seven are the ties: ;  Cafe Muscato, worldly and amusing, runner up for best title;  Little Augury, stylish and esoteric;   What Is James Wearing  (at first I just couldn’t believe this guy, but it’s really grown on me); The Corinthian Column, Erudite, worldly, knowledgeable;  Reggie Darling, another well furnished mind with distinct opinions and elegant style, newest blog on my list; Early American Gardens , a delightful specialist blog on a subject I love; and Frognall Dibdin (speaking of best blog titles), who keeps the discussion elevated.
And then, of course, there’s the Sartorialist…. Snappy, fun, and inspirational.  Viewing his posts has gotten me jauntily knotting my scarf again, just in case his camera ever comes to my town.  I want to be ready for my closeup.
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