Honk If You Love Jesus.

Late last week, on my daggy kitchen patio, here on the north shore of Long Island, this is the picture I took of the last, final, good riddance daggy pile of snow of the Winter of 2017-18 (Taffy strolled by just in time to give a sense of scale):

Ha ha. This week (April 2) all the rumors of another Spring snow storm came true. This is just one reason why Spring is my least favorite season. The other reasons are because it’s just a tatty, disappointing time of year.

Taffy doesn’t care if it’s Spring or not. He enjoys hopping and dashing around in the stuff any time it’s new and fresh and fluffy:

But it does tire him out:

Meanwhile, I, the completely crazy cat lady, worried that our front porch feral cat, Steve, might not have enough protection against this vicious Spring storm, so I rigged up some extra coverage for him (can you see him tucked up in his fleece-covered heating pad scooched into the straw nest that insulates his plexiglass hut under the other plexiglass lean-to behind the holly bush under the front porch eave?):

But let’s get down to business. Let’s do the Cross My Fingers Last Champagne-O-Meter of the Winter of 2017 -18.

This is what we woke up to, on Monday April 2 morning, on the den patio at approx. 7:00 AM:

One half hour later:

8:00 AM:

By 9 o’clock AM the Champagne-O-Meter had a really cute topper of snow:

Which this guy knocked off:

It was forecast that the snow would stop at 10 AM, and at precisely 10 o’clock AM, the snow stopped (how do they do that?), giving us a maximum snowage of this:

And let me tell you, it was beautiful. Every tree and bush looked like a big white fluffy feather, the world was whisper quiet, and the coziness was off the charts. Then it warmed up and got a little rainy and by 5 o’clock PM it was down to this:

And Taffy was down to this:

So, yeah, we’re back to the daggy end of Winter again and, now that I am finished painting the Damn Monet Book, I  am stuck working on the most daggy part of being an author: writing the book proposal.

This is the part where I show my publisher why the world needs one more damn book about Claude Monet, who is something of a cottage industry in the art world. Any museum director worth her salt knows that, if your gallery is running a deficit, all you have to do is put together an exhibit with the word “Monet” in the title you’ve got a sure-fire way of raking in the dough.

From 2016 to 2017, the money-maker was Painting the Modern Garden, Monet to Matisse that even got a theatrically- released film made out of it. The accompanying book of the exhibit is 328 pages long, weighs over five pounds, and costs almost $80.

That’s Monet’s painting of chrysanthemums on the cover. It proves my thesis that the only flower that Monet could paint well was the water lily.

This year the cash cow will be Monet and Architecture, which the Royal Gallery in London hopes will fill the coffers and which follows up on the 2010 spectacle, Claude Monet, a Retrospective that was held at the Grand Palais in Paris that drew 913,000 visitors in four months, the first show in France in over 34 years to out-pace the King Tut blockbuster of 1976.

It’s these kind of stats —  plus showing how the comparable best selling books are actually crappier versions of your own book which will out-sell those crap books — that you have to include in a proposal about your proposed Monet book. You need to show that there is great public demand for stuff about the Prince of Impressionists (965,000 people went to see a Monet exhibit at the Art Institute in Chicago in 1995 and added $393 million to the economy of the Chicago metropolitan area because 72% of visitors came from outside the city), and how your humble book (48 pages; much, much smaller than a breadbox; light as an impression of sun rise; and kind of cute) will fulfill an overlooked yet lucrative niche in Monet-branded consumer goods.

Photo credit: Joel Comm, fellow author.

This is the very worst part of writing a book. Except for all the other parts of writing a book. Basically, writing a book is torture, but having written a book is bliss. Except for all the things that you wish you change if only you could start all over.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is whether or not this cat is dead:

This is how my 17-year old Coco sleeps on her heating pad on her Ikea chair. Every time I see her like this my heart stops because I think she’s dead. I wish she would sleep like a normal cat and stop giving me mini-panic attacks.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is that big shiny gold cross that Laura Ingraham wears:

She’s very Christian, and did you know that for Christians this was Holy Week? And that Holy Week is the one week when Christians don’t make fun of kids who survived a mass shooting in their school? Because, you know, while decency might come naturally to other people, the people who wear big shiny crosses have to have a special Holy Week to not be a shit.

Laura Ingraham has been practicing her Christian values since college, when she was the editor of a conservative newspaper at Dartmouth in the mid-1980s that secretly recorded a meeting of closeted students who were seeking support from the school’s small Gay Student Association—and then released a transcript of the meeting.

Meanwhile, count me in as a member of the Church of the Advertisers Who Pulled Their Ads Off Of The Laura Ingraham Show:


“TripAdvisor believes Americans can disagree while still being agreeable, and that the free exchange of ideas within a community, in a peaceful manner, is the cornerstone of our democracy. We do not, however, condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency.” (Yeah, that’s the cross that Laura wears.)


“The decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program.”

Liberty Mutual Insurance

The insurer has pulled their support for Ingraham’s show because her comments were “inconsistent with our values as a company, especially when it comes to treating others with dignity and respect.”



Ruby Tuesday

Atlantis, Paradise Island

Jenny Craig



Stitch Fix



Johnson & Johnson

Office Depot

Somebody say Amen.

Have a great weekend Dear Readers. May all your snow be melted, and may all your cats be alive.


28 Comments, RSS

  1. Every single one of those advertisers have my praise and should I need what they sell, my purchase dollar.

    Three cheers for being finished on the book, now onwards to the proposal! I’d buy it! I’d even buy it for my friends! And three cheers to you for ensuring Steve’s comfort. He’s a lucky boy.

    I love my Taffy pix! Keep ’em coming!

    • Vivian

      Yes, all those companies deserve praise and support.

      I would take more pix of Taffy for you, but they would all look exactly the same. He naps A LOT.

  2. Casey

    Ha ha that’s funny how big Laura’s cross is and how teeny tiny her moral compass is. Whenever I see a person wearing a cross necklace, I know to run in the opposite direction. I want to belong to you church and go have lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s today. Thank you, all those corporations that have more heart than your god-loving disciple.

    Steve better know that he is one lucky boy. Even though he lives under a bush, it’s the coziest warmest bush with room service I’ve ever seen. And Taffy, oh, I want to curl up with him on his cushion.

    Why don’t publishers go with their guts instead of thinking they are business people with business plans and forecasts and crunched numbers? It’s still anybody’s guess what book will sell and what book won’t, no matter how thoroughly you write your proposal. But that’s interesting stuff about Monet being such a cash cow for the museum business. I hope it will impress everyone in your next business meeting.

    • Vivian

      How was Ruby Tuesday”s? There’s one near me but I don’t do fast food, but they have the heart to drop Laura Ingraham so I feel that I should darken their door soon.

  3. Ellen W.

    That’s not a daggy porch – it has a patina of authenticity!

    I too hope this is the last time you have to put out the (California) Champagne-o-meter this winter.

  4. Megan

    Well I will honk because I love Taffy. Beep beep. He’s so gorgeous if you get tired of him I’ll have him! I was shocked you said the last Champagne o meter hope you haven’t given any ideas to Murphy. Ah Christians, there are many that give Christianity a bad name. They aren’t all like that. I don’t think they speak for God… just remember one day God willing… they will have to explain their actions and I want to be there to see that. All those doctor murdering anti abortionists and their cohorts. I think they have a massive shock waiting, one way or another. However I’m here for the kitty photos not to see the idiots, they are everywhere hard to avoid. The price of realestate in Hell is on the rise. Best of luck with spring we are having no luck with autumn, no rain for 12 months and none forecast and still 28C days. Roll on winter.

  5. Marg-o

    Oh my god I thought you really had a dead cat. Here’s hoping that sweet Coco has sweet dreams for many more years.

    Laura Ingrahm must be mentally ill but that’s what I think about all Republicans. But she is evil. She needs a cat like Taffy, because he makes me a better person through the power of your photographs, imagine what he could do in person.

    I need a Monet book by Vivian Swift.

    • Vivian

      So far, Coco is still breathing, andes, Republicans must be mental ill. That’s the kindest thing you can say about them.

  6. Kirra


    That snow is very impressive. I think many people would love a copy of your Monet book, as it’s small and full of actual paintings of Monet’s garden (rather than photos). Probably at a price that people would spend on an art book, rather than one of the massive books that are expensive. So good luck with the proposal!

    It’s good seeing companies take a stand against public figures who are horrible.

    Hope Coco and Steve are doing well, Taffy looks happy.

  7. Patricia

    I’ll honk for your column and cats everywhere. Although honking will just annoy the cats… I have nothing lucid or printable to add what you said so well.

  8. You are undoubtedly Steve the Cat’s best friend in the entire world. And that snow, at this time of year, is CRAZY.

    Laura Ingraham, well, don’t even get me started on her. I hadn’t heard that story about the gay group at Dartmouth. I don’t understand how some “Christians” can so thoroughly lose sight of PEOPLE in the service of their greater ideals. I’m pretty sure even Jesus didn’t want that.

  9. Leslie

    AMEN! Isn’t it hard enough to be in high school? In my opinion, adults who publicly dis law-abiding, politically active, well-spoken teenagers have not passed the I-Am-A-Grownup test. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size, Dr. Laura?

  10. I love how you care for the cats in your life. They are lucky to have you.
    Oh that snow! I hope it stays away now and you can enjoy spring flowering.
    And AMEN!

  11. Judy Jennings

    Vivian, Beth and I were at the Art Institute of Chicago in ’95 drooling over the Monets. I hate to tell you that I was there twice. ?

  12. Susan

    Interesting that you must prove need/demand for your book. In my view, your outstanding art sells all by itself.

    Steve looks very comfy in his upscale abode. How special that you provide heating pads to ensure kitty comfort. Beautiful life in LI.

    As for Ingraham, what the hell is she thinking?

    • Vivian

      Susan, if only you were in charge of acquisitions my life would be perfect. But yes, it’s still necessary to justify your spot on the publishing roster with statistics and arguments.

      There’s not much that I wouldn’t do to ensure Steve’s every comfort and appetite (did I mention he gets three square meals a day plus treats?). I am hopelessly in love.

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