2009: Year in Review

(reporting from the Underworld, about only the things that interest us)

It's been a helluva year. Good, bad, and ugly - 'round here it's all relative and as far as we're concerned it keeps the wrinkles coming and the laughter abundant. We needn't bother you with the sordid details of life as late-20-somethings, of the travels, the tantrums, the slaps and the kisses. Nay, we'd rather find comfort in living through another year of experiences, readily anticipating another year's surprises, dreads and delights. Here's a round-up of the good, the bad, and the stupid (and some slightly fictional):

Styx bought yet another pair of disgusting boots: (not fictional)

Hecate hurt her ankle - again: (Fractured, this time)

Styx martyred herself for three JBF events (NYC, Miami, Minneapolis) and learned more about how NOT to run a foundation/business/friendship than any class, book, self-help guru, parent or magic 8 ball could ever reveal:

(Don't be fooled by her smile. Styx knows the importance of good PR, even in the midst of total disarray.)

Hecate kicked arse organizing the entertainment for two totally awesome Saint Paul City Ballet events:

Tiger Woods. F****ed. Up. Just when you thought guys would smarten up after Steve McNair got finished off by his mistress, Tiger reminds us that you can't give men too much credit:

Hecate revelled in a very rare and exciting year of new experiences in filmmaking: (1) a 'blink and you'll miss it' bit part in the Coen Brothers' uber-angsty sleeper hit A Serious Man, (2) starred in an Animal Planet segment (No, Styx was not the subject), (3) a blip in a commercial for BW3's (if you don't know about it, it's probably better that way) and (4) a delightful turn or two in this music video for up-and-coming local artist Matthew Curney- see Plagiarism, http://www.myspace.com/mattcurney.

Styx revelled in a very rare and exciting year of new experiences in mistake-making.

The United States of America welcomed President Obama into the history books again for being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 was to be awarded to President Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Thank you nobelprize.org! It's almost like the fist-bump as a sign of impending doom between the First Lady and His Presidentness Himself never happened. Sock it to 'em, Mr. President!

The Sartorialist released an epic book:

Daria Werbowy (still) rocks, and continues to be our fav model:

Rodarte killed it:

Balmain annihilated it:

Paz got even cuter! :

...and cheekier...

Hecate chopped her hair off:

So did Styx:

Hecate went to NYC for Breanna's 30th and gained a number of cool points thanks to the gift she bought Styx for Festivus (see previous post), and a few extra pounds thanks to Roebling Tea Room, rye, The Flying Cow, Blackbird Cafe, mmmmm yes and so many others.

Hecate and Styx both made New Year's resolutions. The only part we'll let you in on is more style, more brainiac goodies, more stories, more "make you say huh?"s, more info, more diligent blogging. The rest is, well, most certainly too much information.

HAPPY NEW YEAR COMPADRES!! Hecate & Styx - wishing you all a hootin' and hollerin' 2010.

(images courtesy of style.com, amazon.com, tmz.com, politicalhumor.about.com,freepeople.com)



Santa Baby, you totally forgot to gift me the Burberry of my dreams:

But there's time yet, so why not take your pick - I'm easy to please! :

*Styx, signing off*
(images courtesy of stylesightings.com and jakandjil.com)



Restaurant to run to: Meritage

Though I mean 'run' figuratively (best not to hurt yourself in the name of a damn good meal), do hurry- because with every passing day of mediocre, overpriced meals out or concocted in your own kitchen, you're missing out on some of the finest wine, French grub, and excellent ambience and overhead music. (It helps that our Godsister, Margaret, works there, and livens any meal!) Located in the Hamm Building in Downtown Saint Paul, this euro-wonder is positively delightful, from start to finish. Last evening, as a culmination of our dear friend Breanna's visit to MN, a gang of us gathered 'round the table for a delicious mix of Soupe a L'Oignon Gratinee (french onion soup), Moules Frites (mussels), Roasted Duck Breast (don't ask me for the French translation, I haven't the foggiest..), and more, with the final treat served State Fair-style - salted caramel ice cream dipped in homemade dark chocolate (!!!!), served on a stick. Awwwww yeeeeeaaaaah!

Styx, Hecate, and Ma Dukes

Margaret- our hostess with the utmostest

Mollie, and the glorious Duck presentation

Meritage is wonderful. Brunch here is equally as satisfying. Oh, and did I mention we were sharing bottles of wine priced at $26/each, and glasses of some of the finest for a mere $3. Pretty groovy for a Sunday night, wrapping up a loooooooong holiday weekend!

Caramel and salt and chocolate, oh my!

Breanna and Jill - positively lovely

Motto to live by (c/o Meritage): Cooking is like love; it's all about timing and chemistry.


Oh, and, ahem, can we please talk about these shoes/boots/lusciously luxuriating L.A.M.B. chaussures?! The best five inches I've ever known.
(click to view the dazzling details)

*Styx, signing off*


I'm just now getting over my food coma resulting from the annual Christmas pasta party with the wonderful Shields family. This is the event I look forward to every year- when kindred spirits join together, with their varying levels of culinary genius, to create the world's finest homemade pastas, sauces, and stick-to-your-ribs yummy goodness that Paula Dean couldn't hold a candle to.

Pasta making is fun, and sexy. Godsister Mollie and Hecate dazzling us with their spinach ravioli skills.

"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling."
-Henry David Thoreau
Well Thoreau, switch out the 'bloom on fruits' for lip-smacking-good pasta dough, and you've get Hecate penned.

Ma Dukes served her brilliant manicotti, Mollie created her superb squash ravioli with sage-butter sauce, and the joint effort of many resulted in terrific spinach ravioli with Godmother Ann's magnificent meatballs and sauce. (breathe) I'm getting full all over again just reminiscing!

The Paz-ta king himself, either making a mess or helping-- perhaps a combination of the two?

Pasta cutters make fine weapons, no?

Laughter in the kitchen is what makes the food taste sooooo good! (I suppose the excessive use of butter helps, too)

And of course, the dessert tray - served up by the finest bouffant to grace Christmas: Hecate herself. Oh Hecate, you really were born in the wrong era!

All in all, a wonderfully magical Christmas. Especially when it comes to the gift Hecate gave me:

Antlers. AWESOME.

(All recipes are closely guarded by the Shields/Higgins families, so as to make for more fitting wives who bring to new families the magic that we've grown up enjoying. Hell, we need every upper hand we can get!!)



Contest time!!!! I've got a cool $100 for anyone who can name the song and artist of ALL of the post headings on this blog thus far. Oh, you didn't know those were all lyrics? Well well well, my little cherubs, I (Styx)delight in your indulgence..

(you have until New Year's eve, at 11:59 on Dec 31, to take me up on it)



Androgyny is the life for me. Perhaps I'm a bit biased, but the understated unisex appeal of a woman dressed to rival the men just does it for me. My bias surely comes from my newfound shape (boyish), after having ballooned from a healthy 165 to a buxom 205 before having Junior 4 years ago. Long gone are the days of 36/24/36, when jeans hardly fit my bum and anything less than a size L bikini bottom would be uncivilized. I love my "new" shape (no more bum lookers on the prowl!!), and especially love that I can appropriately wear the men's stuff, together with garments designed for my own gender, and feel genuinely good about the outcome -- not too Ellen DeGeneres butch, yet never girly or pretty, per se.

Here are some of my favorite representations of the style I, Styx, would've never been able to pull off back in the days of basketball, high weight squats and hip hop dancing:

(images courtesy of garancedore.fr/en, thesartorialist.com, frejabeha.blogspot.com)