For more than 117 years our company has been in the woodbarrel business. Never, never has one been put to better use than on your January cover. Alas, I did not have the pleasure of taking the picture. If I had been consulted, I gladly would have donated a more suitable barrel— say, one made of knotty pine? To you and Robin Givens Tyson we offer our sincere thanks for showcasing one of our barrels at a truly eye-catching moment in time.
A GLANCE at the best-seller list reveals the usual array of suspects. The title at the top of the nonfiction list is by Robert Fulghum, who claims he gained most of his wisdom in kindergarten. As one whose kindergarten must have been sorely backwater, I congratulate him.
A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO QUALITY AND STYLE The point of the trip was diving. Several days with a friend, on his boat, cruising and hoping to sight some whales and, perhaps, even be in the water when one passed. The diving was supposed to be superb. Otherwise, I might have lived my life without ever going to Hawaii.
Traditionally, when an Englishman went to his local, he drank local. Each region had its great beers, served up fresh from the cask with a pull of the hand pump. Tradition took a beating after the war, when merger-andacquisition fever left a nation of beer lovers at the mercy of six megabreweries.
Carl Reiner once said that he didn't believe Englishmen really had accents, they just all got together and agreed to talk that way to make the rest of us feel bad. The act was probably rooted in feelings of inadequacy dating back to their origin as druids who were still running around painted blue long after everyone else had moved on to cooked food and world conquest.
It's not easy being a rite of spring. Though hordes of asparagus lovers can scarcely wait for that brief span when "grass is in season," secretly these aficionados curse the willowy green spears. Asparagus is troublesome to shop for and prepare, and there’s that annoying assortment of specialized utensils, techniques, and recipes.
No piece of furniture is more misunderstood today than the couch. The worst thing that's happened to couch design is the term "couch potato." The lexicographers at Webster’s have given up hoping the vulgar term will drop from usage and have accepted it into their pages.
A Idous Huxley's futuristic Brave New World doesn't shock readers today the way it did when it first came out in 1932. That's because Huxley's chilling vision of the future has, in many ways, come true since then. Nowadays, readers gloss right over passages that horrified an earlier generation— passages about mind-altering drugs, for example, and genetically engineered clones.
<p>I HAD JUST been escorted to my room on the Queen Elizabeth 2, and as we sat in New York Harbor I played a videotape called Elvis '56. When booking passage on the ship, I had been informed that one of the amenities of my stateroom was a color television set with a VCR attached.</p>
<p>IT IS SATURDAY morning. Earl Weaver's life is full of Saturday mornings now. Weaver's house sits by the fourth and seventh fairways of the Country Club of Miami. He has a golf cart of his own. When it is time to play, he gets into the cart and drives to the first tee, where he gets into things with a regular foursome.</p>
The monkey hangs heavy from my back now, old friend. It whispers in my ear all day and crowds out my dreams at night. I write you at the end of trading on the fifth of the month— some nine days before my options expire—in the fourth year of my addiction.
Stripped of its tax advantage, real estate looks to be an ugly investment these days, but there is at least one way to dress it up. In a "triple-net" lease deal, you buy into a real estate limited partnership, which buys commercial properties in order to lease them to fast-food and retail franchises.
When do you feel most embarrassed at having been part of the 1960s? When politicians your age compare themselves with Jack Kennedy? When ad-mongers your age use Beatles music to sell cars? When TV producers your age finance their beach houses by editing your childhood into fifty-four-minute chunks of folk leg-end? How about when executives your age report that nothing makes them feel like the guys in Easy Rider so much as putting on a suit, calling a cab, and heading off to the airport for a no-holds-barred, all-stops-out, mind-blowing business trip?
The era of the collision-damage waiver (CDW) may have come to a crashing halt (sorry) with American Express's announcement that holders of its "green card" will now receive CDW coverage when they use that card to rent a car. Observers in the rental business think that Visa and MasterCard will have no choice but to match the move, virtually ending the sale of CDWs—but don't celebrate yet.
The figures are startling, which in this context means startlingly bad. A thirty-five-year-old has a 45-percent chance of being disabled for ninety days or more before reaching the age of sixty-five. Even the trouble-free fifty-five-year-old runs a 26-percent chance.
If you vote with your feet, why not with your shopping cart? The Council on Economic Priorities has published Shopping for a Better World, which rates 1,300 brand-name products according to the social consciences of the companies that make them.
In the waning years of this violent, corrupt, and successful decade of American business, at least one thing stands clear: ethically, we stink. On the other hand, I've got to believe there are many, both in and out of prison, who feel that moral relativism presages the end of civilization as we know it.
Edward Villella could never wait for the curtain to go up. Neither could his audiences. The most exciting American-born ballet dancer in history, he introduced a generation of us to the power, passion, and intense beauty of classical ballet.
<p>WE WERE SITTING in the living room in my house in California, looking out at the Bay and Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge. The first rainstorm of the season was in full fury outside the big windows. My visitor was pacing, staring at the huge eucalyptus trees swaying in the wind.</p>
In the beginning, there was Moses. Now there is Farrakhan. All along, there's been an epic struggle of power and of pride
<p>CHICAGO MAGNIFIES REALITY. Everything seems rawer and bigger than elsewhere—the wind, the heat, the cold, the memory of great fires and bloody gangsters and vast stockyards that reeked of entrails and beef. Its concrete looks thicker, denser, more massive than New York’s.</p>
DINNED TO THE WALL, just above a faded cigarette ad captioned WHEN YOU'VE BEEN THERE AND BACK, is a Zip-loc bag with a letter attached. "Dear Peter," it begins. "You must certainly be wondering why you have received this packet of ashes from the Himalayas.
TO BEGIN WITH, NO: that’s not a photograph below. Well, of course it’s a photograph, but it’s not a photograph of a path. It may look like a photograph of a path, because how else could you get that incredible play of shadow and light, those pebbles, those cracks and smudges? How else could you capture the depth and precision that make the thing look so real?
She grew up, this shy singer, in Tucumán, Argentina, in a province as fantastic in her memory as a landscape created by Borges. There were huge sugarcane fields. The fruit trees and the flowers never stopped blooming. The place was called the Garden of the Republic, a wonderful name, for not only was it lush there but Argentina had not yet been taken over by military dictators.
That special feeling is not all in your head. It's all through your body and blood too
<p>It Used to be that whatever was good for you had to taste bad or hurt like hell. Castor oil was prescribed as preventive medicine, maybe because it thoroughly sickened you. You ran laps as punishment. Face it , life does involve suffering, and staying healthy does take effort. But now it turns out that glowing good health has very little to do with self-laceration; scientific evidence is proving not only that being healthy makes you feel good, but that feeling good makes you healthy.</p>
WHEN YOU’RE LIVING A GOOD LIFE,your body is exquisitely balanced, producing the right amount of specific chemical substances at the right time to arouse you, relax you, reduce pain, produce feelings of pleasure, or fortify the immune system.
Sometimes it's better to skip the morning run for an extra hour or two in bed
<p>THE MYSTERY IS AS OLD AS TIME. Throughout most of history—all those centuries, those billions of sexual joinings—the act of love, that intimate act through which our species is perpetuated, had been described with flights of fancy or crude vulgarity.</p>
More than an end in itself, it’s also the best prescription for good health
<p>AS WE’VE SEEN IN THE FOREGOING, it’s a pretty good bet that laughter, love, and sensual pleasures can help make you healthy, if not wealthy and wise. So it should be simple. Pleasure calls you to eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty, sleep when you’re weary; to care for others, to make love, and to do numerous other things that are good for you, for society, and for the species.</p>
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME you went to a ball game, flopped down onto your seat behind the third-base dugout, and the bleacher bum next to you turned and said, “What’s that you’re wearing? It has lively floral top-notes, a spicy shimmer, and sunny citric base-tones”?
<p>JUST INSIDE THE FRONT of Binion’s Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas, it is business as usual: a tour group from Columbus, Ohio, is holding Dixie cups of quarters, slugging it out in a gridlock of slot machines. Behind them, in a zone free of clanging change and midwestern avarice, the real players, for whom a “nickel” means five hundred dollars, hold court at two emerald-topped poker tables.</p>
“CALL ME CATBIRD,” I told Johnny (“The Orient Express”) Chan as I sat down next to him in the Pit at Binion’s Horseshoe. Chan gave me a smile as thin as the line between defeat and humiliation. “Are we playing for real money?” he inquired, brandishing a wad of green the size of a mango.
<p>ALREADY IN MCBRIDE’S TRUCK BED were two two-man rafts, two two-man tents, three oars, a foot-operated air pump whose bellows was mended with duct tape, four coffin-size waterproof stuff bags stuffed with clothes and other plastic Ziploc bags full of all a child could dream of for playing house and more: bandages, tweezers, moist towelettes, fresh basil, tea bags, instant coffee, retractable metal cups, gorp, a deck of cards, a crossword book and pencil, Chap Stick, croutons, freezedried shrimp creole, freeze-dried vegetarianstyle tofu burger mix, unlightable waterproof matches, three lighters, Anna Karenina (Dart had been reading it since he was a sophomore), marshmallows (the only ones available in Provo’s Albertson’s were pastel colored), flattened toilet paper (cardboard removed), aspirin, codeine, snakebite kit, chewing gum (to keep McBride’s fingernails out of his mouth), bologna, powdered milk, dry cat food (to feed the fish), tampons, stick cinnamon, toothpaste, Kool-Aid, celluloid sponge, ten packs of Marlboros (Dart’s), one pack of Carltons (Carmel had been smoking one bad cigarette a day since age sixteen), a series of rolled topographical maps of the Dolores River and the surrounding area, dried fruit-flavored oatmeal, garbanzos, McBride’s thirty-year-old lucky Bulova watch, and Carmel’s antidepressants (just in case; hidden in a French candy tin).</p>
On page 158: Issey Miyake duster ($810) at Issey Miyake, Bergdorf Goodman, and Charivari, New York; Maxfield, Los Angeles; Ralph Davies, San Francisco. For information contact: Issey Miyake, 530 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York 10018.