Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And, Now.....Farewell To 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            And so, as the sun sets on Tara, with Scarlett and Gerald looking on, we come, now, darlings, to the end of 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  To think that when I write the last words of this post, that will be it, this year, for the Raving Queen!!!!!!!!  But not to get sad, girls; hell, I  will see you all back here, tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

                              As the year fades into History, I have to say I enjoyed it overall.  We know what the future held, at this point, for Scarlett and Gerald; let's pray we are spared such adversities, as theirs!!!!!!!!!!!

                              What more can I say???? Imagine me, at a loss for words, verbal or written!!!!!!!!!!
I can only acknowledge my gratitude to you all for sharing these observations with me.  It has been my pleasure to be the Raving Queen for lo these many years, and I plan on doing so in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Besides, what would you all do for literary, fashion, or culture tips???????????

                                I will now go out with this lovely sax rendition of "Auld Lang Syne!"

                                To those days, now, and to come!  See you in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An Assessment Of 2013, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    To paraphrase Dickens, the Times were pretty good this year!  Especially when you consider that 13 is an unlucky number.  But what made the year pretty good, overall??????  Well, you've heard about Celia, Jessie, books read, and the like, but here is a look back at some other things that made this year Positively Memorable!!!!!!!

                                     1. My Beloved Monsieur--First and foremost. Keeping me on track, well fed and groomed, guiding me in ways helping to maintain my sanity (especially at work!!!!), and my gratitude to both he and God for having such a loving person in my life! To Be Continued, in 2014!!!!!!!!!

                                      2. Keeping My Sanity, At Work--See above!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      3. My 40th High School Reunion--Which turned out to be fun, seeing past
people and places, capped off by, after a wait well worth it, acknowledgement from, and a picture taken with, Roberta!!!!!!!!  Thanks so much, Roberta; stay healthy and well! With this glamour photo, had Roberta taken up acting, we could have been the Lunt-Fontanne of today.  But, being gay, darlings, which does that make me???????????

                                      4. Our Friend Judy--Whom I worked with years ago, and still a delightful presence in my life, and now Monsieur's.  We welcome her warmly, plan to do so in 2014, and one of the few people I can swap book topics with!  Judy knows!!!!!!!!!!

                                      5. Audrey and Ruby--For their inspiration; Audrey, by sheer will  of being a working parent, and Ruby, for reminding me of the headstrong child I once was!  (And, yes, as Monsieur would say, still am!!!!)  Fasten your seat belt, Audrey, you have some Parental Turbulence ahead!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       6. Seeing Blythe Danner on stage in "Nice Work, If You Can Get It!"

                                       7.Our Friend Ellen--Known first by Monsieur, whom we also welcome warmly and will continue to, with the wit and insight of One Who Has Lived!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       8. My Father and Sister-- The former turns--ready????--99, on April 30, 2014!!!!!!!!!!  And you know what comes after that?????????  You want to talk party???????  You ain't seen nothing yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The latter,also a source of guidance and inspiration, having been through and come through so much!  I don't know how any of us do it, darlings, but especially she!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       9. My Mind Still Being Agile Enough Never To Run Out of topic Ideas--Huh?????  What???????????????

                                      10. The Rediscovery Of Tippi Hedren--After viewing "The Birds" during its 50th Anniversary Year, it caused me to reevaluate.  Not that i want to move to San Francisco.  But, I DO want to be a Bitch Socialite, wear that two piece green outfit, and fur coat, and walk across grant Street, like Tippi, in the film's opening shot!!!!!

                                      11. Joan Fontaine In "Rebecca"-- With the sad passing of this Golden Age icon, (whom I was fond of, darlings!!!!) I was compelled to re watch her signature film, which made me realize what a shy, retiring thing I am.  But, then you already knew that, didn't you, girls????  If only my wardrobe matched Joan's, here!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        12. Not To Forget Our Beloved Cujo!!!!--Our canine mascot, on 77th Street, as we walk to the subway! May we get sweet doggie kisses and get to finally hug you in 2014!  Love to Baby Gojira and everyone at home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       13. Anyone I Am Leaving Out???????--If I am, you know who you are, and thanks for going through 2013 with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Looking forward to seeing EVERYONE back here, when I assess 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        So, that's the list, girls!  Make your own, and let's all pray for the best, next year!!!!!!!!!!


The Two Best Performances, This Year, On The Broadway Stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Let's switch to a topic more cheerful. girls, something you know we all know and love--theater!  The Two Best Performances Of The Year On The Broadway Stage in 2013, came, ironically, from two actresses, both firmly entrenched in the world of Musical Theater--Celia Keenan-Bolger in "The Glass Menagerie," and Jessie Mueller in the Carole King musical, "Beautiful."  And, girls, you can still see them, for yourselves!!!!!  "Beautiful " hasn't opened yet, so there is some time, there, but "The Glass Menagerie," running since September, and having extended its run to February 23, 2014, will most likely end then, so catch Celia fast!

                          Celia Keenan-Bolger, especially, is a revelation in "The Glass Menagerie."  When I first heard she was cast, I admit I was skeptical--how can someone go from Musical Theater, to playing Laura Wingfield, one of Theater's most iconic dramatic roles???? But, I am telling you, from her ingenious first appearance on stage, to her last, Celia inhabits Laura in a way that no one else I have seen in the role has; she not only IS Laura, you feel as though Tennessee himself had been waiting for Celia to come along, and play her.  I am sure, each night, in a remote box far up in the rafters of the Music Box Theatre, Tennessee Williams' ghost sits each night, beaming his exaltation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Her performance, like the production, was carefully crafted and guided by director John Tiffany, which makes me ask, now, why the hell couldn't HE have had a crack at the film version of "August:Osage County????????"

                           Thank you, Celia!  On behalf of the Raving Queen, all my girls, and the entire New York theatrical community!  We simply loved you as Laura, and your performance as she will never be forgotten!

                            Now, on to Jessie Mueller, seen below!  After her blow-everyone-off-the-stage Broadway debut, in the revival of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever," soon to be three years ago, I regard "Beautiful" as nothing more than promise fulfilled!  But what fulfillment!  "Beautiful" is a bio musical in the same structural vein as "Funny Girl"--there are many similarities to it--but seeing Jessie playing and singing Carole King is like what it must have been to see BARBRA play Fanny Brice.  When I had heard Jessie had been cast, after my first flush of feverish thrill, I wondered, "How is she going to do Carole, without losing Jessie?"  Well, darlings, let me tell you, I cannot explain how, but she has managed this feat!!!
I hope "Beautiful" and Jessie have a long, lovely run, enough for her to pick up this season's TONY Award for Best Actress In A Musical!  Because, as far as I am concerned, there is no one else out there who deserves it more!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              So, catch both these remarkable artists, as soon as you can, loves!!!!!!!!!!  I can't imagine 2014 will turn out anything better!!!!!!!!!!

                                 But, then, Hope does spring eternal, doesn't it???????????????????

Time For Bitch(es) Of The Year, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              The results are in, girls, and the winner(s) has/have been chosen!  For the first time since 2010 (the year of Dahrun Ravi and Molly Wei!!!!) there are two Bitch(es) Of The Year. Sadly, the reason for selection almost mirrors the same as those selected three years before--bullying a classmate, to the point of suicide!!!!!

                              In 2010, it was Tyler Clementi, of course!  After his plight became a cause celebre, and a rallying cry in this country, you might think things would have toned down a bit!  But, in 2013, with the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick, who leaped to her death from a Florida water tower, Tyler still hasn't taught us anything.  Not to blame Tyler; hardly, but those who fail to learn from his story.

                              And two of those who failed are this year's winners, who drove Rebecca to her death, Katelyn Roman, 12, and Guadalupe Shaw, 14!!!!!!!!!!

                               That Katelyn, she is an especially nasty piece of work!  Just like that Laura Sperber, in my day!  But, hey, Laura, you fat bitch, you did not get met  to  kill myself.  Hope you land in the slammer, for pilfering coin collections!!!!!!!!!

                                  You know what Katelyn said, online????  "Yes, I bullied Rebecca, and she killed herself, but I don't give a fuck!"  Some might say, at least she is honest!  This kind of honesty demands, as I said, earlier this year she and Lopez be burned as witches!

                                     But the Florida Justice Machine let them go scott free!  Which sends out the message that bullying is OK, that the harassed's life and loss is simply collateral damage!

                                       I can't think of better winners for Bitch(es) Of The Year!  And just think of the nastiness ahead, in 2014!!!!!!!!!  I cannot wait, and you know I will keep all my girls informed!

                                         Hopefully, next year, perhaps a Fun Bitch will be selected!  Because it saddens me to write about those  who are truly despicable!  And will never change!

                                          But, then, they wouldn't be bitches, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is This The Worst Book Of The Year??????????????????

                             Many are saying so, girls, but not I.  I stick with my citing Marisha Pessl's "Night Film" as the Best Book Of the Year, but Lauren Weisberger's highly anticipated Summer Read was a letdown, deserving to be called, not Worst Book Of The Year, but Most Disappointing!!!!

                               The bristling bitchery that made all us girls simply ADORE "The Devil Wears Prada" was missing from this one.  If I were Anna Wintour, I would be more offended by this book, than the first; here, Miranda Priestly comes off as a cipher, and she barely appears in the novel.  The reader waits for her to appear, and when she does, she is far from the Fabulous Gorgon she was in the first book!  She does some underhanded things, yes--she would not be Miranda, otherwise--but not with the judicious fun she seemed to be having in the first book.  There, she was a Fun Bitch!  Here, she is just dull!  Even Anna would agree she deserves better parody, than that!!!!!!!!!!!

                               As for Andy, Lauren gives her an empowered, "Sex In The City" type resolution that made me want to gag!  Why go all Candace Bushnell, all of a sudden, Lauren???? Lack of confidence in  the material??????

                               Speaking as I did, earlier this year, this is not so bad as "Last Night At Chateau Marmont," but far from what Lauren at her best, her most Lauren, is capable of!  I can only hope her next effort--which I will read--outdoes this!

                                Because, if it doesn't Lauren, dear, then, fabulous hair or not, suddenly publishers will not want to print your books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Happy New Year, darling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Final Book Of 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I clocked in at 53 books this year, darlings; about one a week!  I know that is low for a high scorer like me, but, let me tell you, I wouldn't trade it for a higher one.  When you have a beloved Monsieur, and are like Joan Fontaine in "Rebecca," running a huge place like Manderly, and keeping out rif
raf  like Mrs. Danvers, a lower score is well worth it.

                                      Still, I am glad my Book Year went out on a high note, because "Americanah" is one book that deserves its spot on the Times' Ten Best Books Of 2013 List.  I loved Adichie's previous novel, "Half Of A Yellow Sun" and, after this, I look forward to the next.

                                       This book very nearly missed being a "keeper."  Miss Adichie telescopically compares and contrasts, over a generation, the life experiences of two secondary school friends, and potential lovers, Ifemelu and Obinze.  Ifemelu goes to America, becoming a journalist/blogger of some renown, while Obinze remains in his native country, doing the "right thing"--marriage, children, and staying there!!!!  Ifelmeu is by far the more fascinating character, and hers is the real story, as she examines America's attitudes toward race and race relations, saying a great deal about the social sensibility of how present day life is lived in our country.  This is where the book succeeds.

                                         Where it fails is with her gradual disenchantment with America, which was not clear to me, leading her to return to Nigeria in midlife, thinking she can just pick up with Obinze, like it is nobody's bushiness.  When his wife finds out, and reads him the riot act, I fully agreed with her!  I did not realize I was such a moralist, but her pleas for the maintenance of their marriage makes more sense than this belated, belabored post-adolescent relationship between  adults, who have not seen each other, in a generation.  And the resolution is unsatisfying.

                                            Which is why "Americanah" fails to completely satisfy, and so is not a "keeepr."  It is extremely well written, insightful in its observations, and consolidates Adichie's stature as a remarkable writer.  Don't let my judgements cloud your vision, girls; it is a book  well worth reading!

                                              That's it, for books this year, dolls!  Happy Reading Discoveries in 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

This Was Some Asami, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Remember Asami, the lovable serial killer, in the 1999 Japanese film, "Audition????"  How she would happily  chirp away, while slicing off her lover's foot, with piano wire, causing it to  fly across the room????  Who could forget that one, darlings??????  You had to hand it to Asami, she loved her work, and made it fun!!!!!!!!!!

                                Not so Misook Wang, of Bloomington, Indiana!!!!!!!!  Unlike Asami, she was a real Sad Sack--deprived of love by her mother's early death, raised in a Cinderella like environment, but with no ball or Fairy Godmother!!!!!!!!!  She had been married twice, but things never seemed to work out.  That should have been a signal, right there.  After two tries, give up, honey!  Not only are you not Elizabeth Taylor, you obviously have no self-awareness.

                                   So, it was too bad when Misook met up with Don Tyda, and his mother, Linda.  Don was something of a Mama's Boy, himself--he was as bad at jobs as Nisook was at marriage--but Linda wanted him to succeed, supported him, and kept pushing him to succeed--but in a positive way.  When Don and Nisook met, her superficial charm won him over, and she almost instantly bonded with he and Linda.  Before you knew it, she and Linda were as cozy as Miyoshi Umeki and Juanita Hall in "Flower Drum Song."
Marriage followed soon after; the emotionally deprived Nisook had a husband and mother figure to love!  She even had a daughter-- Michelle, from a previous marriage to an American man, and a son, Dion, from Don.

                                  But this "Happy Talk" was not to last.  Now, I saw this on a program called "Evil-In-Law," so you would think this would have been about the Mother-In-Law murdering the wife.  Actually, it was the other way around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Nisook 's pathologies began to overtake her. Emotional insecurity set in, and so did financial.  No matter how hard Don worked,or how much Linda helped them out, it was never enough.  Nisook was also a kleptomaniac, and after she was caught stealing for the third time-- using toddler son Dion in his baby carriage as a decoy!!!!--that ended the Tyda marriage!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Nisook was heartbroken!  But get this--not over losing the relationship she had with her husband, but the one she had with Mother-In-Law Linda, who, by this time, wanted nothing more to do with her!  Besides, Linda had her own life; she was a smart cookie, a woman who hired herself out as a Mandarin translator, and one about to marry and honeymoon with an American husband.  She was happy and busy; she did not need all this psycho nonsense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Nisook just could not let go--of Linda!!!  She harassed, phoned, stalked, and finally tracked her down, culminating in luring her to a store parking lot, where she begged for the relationship to resume.  A witness supposedly saw Linda being physically abused by Nisook; too bad he did not call it in!  And Linda, good hearted thing, let Nisook talk her into something one last time--to return with her to the tailor shop Nisook ran, in order to pay back money the daughter owed her mother-in-law.  Linda was, as I said a smart cookie; if only she had been smart enough not to go.  Because, once at the store, there was no check, Linda sought escape, Nisook's rage exploded, and before you knew it, Linda was dead on the floor, having been bludgeoned and strangled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Cold as ice, this thing took a nap, then blithely disposed of Linda's body in a public park, tossing her clothes into a dumpster near her shop!  Which is what led investigators to ultimately discovering Linda's body!!!!!  And before you knew it, Little Miss Nisook's ass was hauled off, to prison, for Life!

                                        The ones I feel sorry for are the family.  Don, who lost everything, most especially his caring mother; Linda's fiance, who lost a happy life-to-be; Michelle, the daughter, who lost a mother, and Dion, most innocent of all, who lost all, knowing nothing.  Hope those kids get the emotional help they are going to need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Guess Nisook is now folding prison laundry!  Well, she asked for it!

                                         I know, girls, I know!  The year is winding down, so why can't I write about cheerful things, like lunch at Cipriani's?????  I would love to, darlings, but, I just haven't been there, recently!  I promise, over the next couple of days, and, with tomorrow, having to wind up things for the ENTIRE  YEAR, things will get more cheerful on here!

                                         But understand, girls--I writes them, as I calls them!  Or they call out to me!

                                         That is what being the Raving Queen is all about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I Cannot Stress This Too Much, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Doesn't this guy look like a loser, darlings?????  Well, he is!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       This is Jerry Bottorf, of Lithia, Florida, in the Tampa area.  When he began his adulterous relationship with Christie Sehorne, around 2006, or 2007, he was working two jobs--as a store clerk, and a bouncer at a club, where he and housewife/mother Christie met.  The guy was also in his late thirties, about 37, I think, and--get this---living with his mother!

                                       What a pig, girls!!!!!!!!!!  Another great role for James Gandolfini, if only he had stuck around!!! Oh, well, there is always John Goodman!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Not only is Jerry ugly--sort of the way Robert Bloch described Norman Bates in his original novel, "Psycho"--the relationship between mother and son sounded pretty much the same.  No, Mother was alive, not stuffed in a fruit cellar, but she was obsessed.  And what she was obsessed with was her son getting married, and having a family!!!!  Not that she wanted him out of the house--oh, no!!!  If things had not gone down as they had, Jerry and Christie would probably be living with her, which would have been another kind of Hell for Christie, only she was too dumb to realize it.  And why fall for such an ugly thing, anyway?????   Because Jerry was nothing to look at!!!!! But, then, neither was Christie!!!!
                                         See what I mean, dolls???????????????

                                          Besides, Christie was married, had been long enough to have two children, ages 4 and 6--to Thomas Lee Sehorne, and let me tell you, he WAS something to look at!  See???????????????

                                How could Christie be so stupid??????????  Well, for starters, the poor thing was lonesome, because her husband's job required him to travel often to Michigan, working on fishing boats, so he was away a lot!!!!  Boo Hoo!!!!!!  Christie cried Crocodile Tears, girls, because she fled at night--so who was taking care of those two children, then, hmmmmmm?????--to the club scene in the area, where she met Jerry, and then his mother!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Back to Mother.  Remember the scene in the Robin Williams film "One Hour Photo," where he stands back from a wall in his home, revealing it to be covered all over with the family he was obsessed with??????  That is pretty much how things were at the Bottorfs, because when the police finally got in there, they found the walls covered with pictures of the Sehorne children--a 6-year-old son, and 4-year-old daughter!!!!!   Mother was moving them right in, so to speak, because she was obsessed with being a Grandma!!!!!  Creepy, huh???????????

                                   The club where Jerry and Christie met is also where Jerry met, and became palsies with, local gangland leader, Michael Garcia!!!!!!!!!!  A real class act, this guy!!!!!!!!  When things between Jerry and Christie began to heat up, they began to see hubby Lee as an obstacle to be gotten rid of, so they could be together!!!! Not only that, Christie, upon Lee's death would inherit two Life Insurance policies totaling a million dollars!!!!!!!!

                                   Aha!!!!!!!!!  That Christie!  What She Did For Love, my ass!!!!!!!!  There was no love about it!

       Before you could say "Double Indemnity,"  this couple contacted Michael Garcia and a                           trigger man, Luis Angel Lopez, who was only 18, to ambush Lee in his garage one night, as he arrived home.  The event took place in the early morning of June 7, 2007.  Added to that, "actress" Christie not only played the surprised grieving widow, "discovering" Lee's body when she was taking her son to the bus for Day Care, she allowed her son to see his father's murdered body!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sick bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As Lee's brother, Ben, a lawman himself, being a Sheriff's Deputy said, "There is a special place in Hell, for Christie!"  There is--but first, she and Jerry will have to serve out their Life sentences on Earth!!!!!!!!!

                                    But, girls, as I keep saying to you, if the guy is 30 plus, and still living at home with Mother, this is a RED FLAG!!!!!!!!!  Don't go near him!  I know you are not like Christie--you've all got some brains in your heads--but these Mama's Boys can be real con  job schmoozers!!!!!!  So, it was worth telling this tale to repeat--watch out!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As for Mother, she is probably still at home.  If you ask me, she should have been put away, too, because you can't tell me she did not know about, if not all, then most, of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     But now, Mother won't get her wish.  She doesn't even have loser Jerry around anymore.  Now, she will probably sit in her Lithia house.  Sit and stare.  While everyone around her will say---    "Why, she wouldn't even hurt a fly!"

                                       Bullshit, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What Happened To Beth Littleford????? And Who Is This New Cascade Kitchen Counselor???????????????????

                                When they first began airing, girls, I loved those Cascade Kitchen Counselor commercials.  I was so impressed by Beth Littleford's performance in the role, that I wanted to hire her!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  But, keeping up with things as I do, I have noticed a new series of Cascade Kitchen Counselor commercials, in which said counselor is dark haired, and mousy!  Like Agnes Gooch at the halfway point of  her makeover!!!!!  Not ugly enough to be frumpy, but less sophisticated than Beth!!!!!!!

                                  So, I set out to discover what happened. The results are puzzling.  The information says the new counselor is Nancy Wall, who happens to be Steve Carrell's wife!!!!!  Now, why would she need to work??? Or have those offers been slipping, huh, Steve??????????

                                  I looked up this Nancy Wall, and you know what???  Every photo I find is of a blonde haired woman, very similar, in look, to Beth!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What the hell is going on????

                                   My beloved Monsieur thinks Nancy may have been required to dye her hair, or wear a wig, for the ad, so she would look different from Original Counselor Beth.

                                    This woman, as stated is not only mousy looking, so is her delivery of her lines.  No comic timing--so, obviously she learned nothing from her husband--no crisp efficiency, like Beth!!!!!!!!!!

                                      What I want to know is---why is Beth no longer in the role???? She was perfect, and the ads were enjoyable.  I bet the product benefited from them!!!!

                                       The new set of ads, with Nancy, are awful!!!!  I say, bring Beth Litteford back!
Bring Beth Back!!!!!!!  NOW!!!!!!!!!!!  She is the one and only, the most acceptable, Cascade Kitchen Counselor!!!!!!

                                         Because, I am telling you, if Beth does not come back, I am switching to Affresh!!!!!!!!!!!!




Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Should Have Been The Picture Of The Year, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, It's Not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Remember Melanie's 1972 hit, "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma?"  The lyrics to that kept playing through my head, as I watched the film version of "August:: Osage County" yesterday.

                                       Let's start with the worst, and get it over with.  Julia Roberts gets the final shot.
That's right!  JULIA "WORTHLESS" ROBERTS.  A lot goes wrong with  the film before that, but this, THIS, is the most egregious error!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          When it was done, on the Broadway stage, in 2007, "August: Osage County" offered up a conflagration of theatrical fireworks by an ensemble cast that worked as an organic whole, because the piece, even with a three hour length, was structured as an organic whole.   Not so the film. Pared down by an hour, there is no structure, no transition, and much deletion of character development.  Tracy Letts sold himself to the Hollywood Dream Machine, allowing them to destroy the integrity of his piece.  Not that there are not some good actors or moments in the film.  The problem is that's all there is.  No transitions, no expositions; the film version of "August:Osage County" amounts to one, extended, two hours plus cat fight!

                                         Julia Roberts, to her sole credit, cannot be blamed for this!  That goes to the director, John Wells.  There is no direction, no editorial sense, no artistry at all.  For a film that centers around the suicidal death of a regionally distinguished poet, the film is sorely lacking the poetry that Letts' piece had on stage.  Oh, it comes through, at times, in some of the speeches, but Wells shoots the whole thing as though it were a two hour television show.  Which is not much of a surprise, because, Wells came from television.  But how did he land, or who gave him the right, to  direct this A-list piece and turn it into C-minus sludge????????????  Even more than Julia Roberts, Wells is the problem, here!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Now, you may be asking by now, is there anything at all good about the film.
Yes, there is, and I am going to tell you that,now!!!!

                                          The Divinity That Is MERYL STREEP nails Violet Weston.  From her addictive tics and twitches, to her monologue bouts of truth telling, saying the things we would all like to say to those we despise, but , sadly don't, she is refreshing, and it is a good thing she is on screen most of the time.  I LOVE Violet, and I relate to both she and Barbara.  Let's face it, if you have relatives you cannot stand, you will relate to "August:Osage County."  As this film demonstrates, the sins of the parents are visited upon the children.  It's like my White Trash cousins, the Liddys, who keep encroaching into my family's life when they are not welcome, and should stay the fuck away!  The sins of their no good, bastard father, guilty of unforgivable acts toward my mother and myself, are visited upon his children, their children, and now those children's children!!!!!!!!!!  Like the Westons, they are to be avoided.  And if any of you Liddys read this, FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      My, I am getting a bit hot under the collar here.  Guess I have more than a speck of Vi and Barb in me!!!!!!!  So, let's get back to the movie!

                                         Juliette Lewis is perfect casting as trashy sister, Karen; an over aged, New Age tramp, who is that new example of American failure--once upon a time, those who failed ended up as car salesmen.  Now, if you can't make it, you end up in real estate, Karen's line of work.  Not to mention her lack of success with men: Dermot Mulroney, by the way, does what he can with the role of Karen's sleazy fiance, Steve, but one thing the movie does is to short change the men's parts.  Too bad, because some of them are good, especially Chris Cooper as Charlie.  I disagreed with Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal as Little Charles; on stage he was played as someone lacking in both developmental and psychological stature; here he just comes off as a schlep!!!!  I am telling you, it is the lack of direction that louses up the film time and again.

                                        As for Julia, who, as eldest daughter Barbara, needs to be a worthy adversary to Violet, well..she's not.  Roberts' idea of looking embittered is a perpetual scowl with pursed lips; forget about facial transitions, because her acting level is not capable of such.  Maybe with an A-list director, like, say, Mike Nichols, who could work with her, but not this Wells guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Who is left?  Abigail Breslin does a nice job as Barbara's teenage daughter,  Jean; what she is allowed to do, that is. Hers is another role that has been shortchanged; and on stage, the sexual abuse between she and Steve was more palpably felt than on screen.  If I recall, on stage, some took place at the dinner table.  Hell, it starts almost as soon as he is in the house, out of Karen's sight!

                                           While Julianne Nicholson does not do a bad job as Ivy, I have to wonder how she landed the role.  Outside of a stint on "Law And Order, Criminal Intent," what the hell has she done???????  I worried, during the dinner scene, when she underplayed the scene where she stands up for Little Charles, that the adaptation was going to deprive Ivy of having any spine, which would be wrong; she is, after all, a Weston!!!!  Never fear, Julianne shows plenty, later on, though I kept wondering what someone like, say Maggie Gyllenhaal, would have made of this part!

                                            Thank God for Margo Martindale as Mattie Fae,, the only stage trained actress capable of holding her own with MERYL.  Casting her was the second smartest thing done--MERYL being first, of course.  As for Ewan McGregor, he plays the role as blandly written, but on stage Bill had some spine of his own.  Even when arguing with Julia, McGregor acts as though he is being cut down and castrated every time.

                                            But that is just what this brilliant play has been--cut down, and castrated.  What was searing American drama on stage here becomes a series of fight set pieces.  Come on!

                                              Now, let's talk about the ending.  Even if the final shot had been MERYL being held in Johnna's arms (an excellent and underused Misty Uphan!!!!) it would have been OK.  But nothing could match the power and poetry that took place on stage, with Violet and Johnna clinging to each other, alone in the top of the house, while the Native American repeatedly sings, "This is the way the world goes round and round,"  as the lights slowly come down, fading to black, which was sheer theatrical brilliance!  To go from this to giving JULIA--JULIA, goddammit!!!!!!!!--that final shot, is the film's most unforgivable sin.

                                                Tracy Letts obviously made a Deal With The Devil, and look what he got!
He should have held out till he got a better director, and the film made on HIS terms!  I would have, darlings!

                                                  Which just goes to prove two things,  girls!  That some artists can be bought at any price!  And when they are, it yields crappy results!

                                                     My final word to this film, John Wells, and my trashy relatives--

                                                      FUCK YOU, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

"When A Girl's Incidentals, Are No Bigger Than Two Lentils...Then To Me That Doesn't Spell Success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                 Any Theater Queen worth their salt knows this line was first uttered by Jean Stapleton, the original Mrs. Strakosh, in the Original Broadway Production of "Funny Girl," which turns 50, this coming March!  The line certainly did wonders for Jean, who went on to fame as Edith Bunker, and it certainly did wonders for Dolly Parton!  I don't have to say a thing more!

                                But now distributors are trying to do the same to...Barbie!!!!!!  Yes, Barbie; and, I am telling you, this is a violation of American Decency!!!!!!!!!!  Barbie is not about being stacked and having a rack, she is about being perfectly proportioned, something us girls and gay men have in common, and which has driven both groups to things like crash diets, or anorexia!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 But, now there is also Plus Size Barbie, and not only is she stacked, she looks obese, and White Trash, like Mama June on "Honey Boo Boo!"  Once upon a time, girls, makeovers were about being more attractive, now they are telling us to eat like pigs and just march ourselves into Mr. Pinky's Hefty Hideaway, or variations thereof!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Instead of jumping on Obamacare, why don't the Republicans get all worked up about this???? Maybe because they don't care!!!!  Maybe because obesity means diabetes, health issues and death, which means they  can make more Republicans????  And now they are going to blame it all on...Barbie?????????????

                                     I call for a ban on all plus sized Barbies!!!!!!!!!!!  It is OK to be plus sized, if you are girls, but what about glamour and elegance????  If you are going to change Barbie's size, dress her tastefully, not like some backwoods tart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Don't we have enough of those in America, darlings?????????????????????


This Holiday Ad Annoys Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Ever since Thanksgiving, when the Holiday Season began, I can't stop seeing these disgusting Honda ads, featuring Michael Bolton.  The first thing I want to know, girls, is who the hell is Michael Bolton, and how did he get this far??????  Not that a Honda spot is something to be artistically proud of, but it does bring in a heavy cash flow!!!!!!!!!!  As for artistry, Bolton, whomever he is, does not have any artistry. His vocal quality and performance style are that of a fifth rate lounge lizard in some sleazy Vegas bowling alley!!!!!!!  You know, like Kathy Garver!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             I am at a quandary, girls!  I want to share my disgust with you all, but I feel morally indecent if I do so, because Bolton completely lacks talent!!!!!!!!!  Of course, if I do post an excerpt, there is no law saying  you have to click it, so maybe I will post it, anyway!

                               There!  Now, if you want hear how horrible he is, you can!  I am telling you, I hate seeing the Holidays end, but I want to see the end of this guy advertising for Honda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Send him back to that fifth rate Vegas gig!  Even Kathy Garver is too good, for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Things I Learned From "Rebecca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        "Manderly...we can never go back to Manderly,,,But,
                                           sometimes, in my dreams, I do go back..."
                                             --Joan Fontaine in "Rebecca"

                                       To commemorate the passing of the great Joan Fontaine, darlings, I spent part of Christmas Day on You Tube, watching her signature film, Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca."  Girls, if you have not seen it in awhile, you must, because there is so much you can learn from it.  Joan, as the character known only as the Second Mes. De  Winter, never looked lovelier, and I personally, I want duplicates of all the outfits she wore in this!  Hitch certainly knew how to dress his women!!!!  I mean, look at Grace Kelly!  And Tippi Hedren!!!

                                         I always identified with Joan in this, because she plays such a shy, sweet, and retiring thing!  Just like me, darlings!  That''s right!  You damn well better believe it!

                                          But, what are the lessons to be learned from this film??? Get set to blast off, girls; here we go!  Now, pay attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          1. Monte Carlo Is One Of The Best Places In The World To Snag A
Rich Husband!  I mean, it works for Joan here, and it worked for Grace Kelly, in real life, when she was filming "To Catch A Thief," also for Hitchcock!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         2. Never Put Out Your Cigarette In Facial Cold Cream!!!  That Mrs, Van Hopper!  Florence Bates is simply brilliant as the aristocrat wanna be, who can't be, because she has no breeding, which shows, via this crucial moment in the film!  This is the mark of someone who grew up in a place like Goat Alley, is desperately trying to conceal it, but origins have a way of coming out at odd times!!!!  So, be careful, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        3.  If You See Someone Near A Cliff, Looking Like They Are About To Commit Suicide, Intervene!!!!!!!!  Because, if you do, it can change your entire life!  Look what it does for Joan, here!!!!!

                                       4.  Upper Crust British Men Are Hot!  They are also, unfortunately, uncut, but once you are engaged, girls, this is a cosmetic matter that can simply be taken care of, with a couple of snips!  Getting back to the topic at hand, Laurence Olivier may have been the perfect Heathcliff, but, never have I EVER thought of him as sexy!  But in "Rebecca" he is!!!  I don't know if it the moustache, grey in his hair, or clothes, but he is one hot thing in this film!  After seeing this film, every girl should want their own Maxim De Winter!!!!!!!  But Reginald Denny, as estate keeper Frank Crawley, is nothing to sneeze at. either!  Hot damn!  He looks like he could give girls a good tumble or two!  And how about Nigel Bruce, the epitome of the avuncular, jolly Englishman, as Giles Lacy, (he is also best known for playing Dr. Watson opposite Basil Rathbone in the Sherlock Holmes films!!!!!!!) for all you girls with Daddy issues???? He is some
 hot Silver Daddy, girls, the kind I know some of you go trolling for!!!!  So, pay close attention to Giles here!

                                     5.  If You Do Go Searching Among The Cliffs For a Suicidal Husband, Make Sure You Look Your Best!  Sweep your hair back, like Joan, above!  Make sure your skin tones are glowing!  Dress simply in a blouse or skirt, or, best of all, that sweater and pearls thing Joan is wearing when she first sees Maxim by the cliff!!!!!!!!  Hot British Men like shy, retiring things, girls, especially after, like Max, having been married to promiscuous sociopaths!!!!!!!!!!!  Elegance is Simplicity, darlings!  I am telling you, Diana Vreeland was right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    6. Hang On For Dear Life To Manderly!!!!  I mean, after living in such a place, who would want to live anywhere else????  I wouldn't!!!!  Which means that once you bag Manderly, girls, your next stop should be the tomb, because this is where you should be spending the rest of your life!  As we all do, darlings!!!!!   And that brings us to.....

                                    7. Mrs. Danvers!!!!  Remember the scene in the letter room, where Joan finally arises out of the chair, and says to Judith Anderson, "I am Mrs. De Winter now????"  Joan never looked more lovely when saying it!!!!  If you walk into a Mrs. Danvers situation, girls, make sure this scene takes place right away!!!!!  And then dismiss the bitch on the spot!!!!  Smack her across the face!!!!  And don't let her pull that costume routine on you, like she did with Joan!   A Mrs. Danvers is not simply a hired hand who needs to be put in their place; she is something you must get rid of!!!! Otherwise, you will lose Manderly, as Joan and Max do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      8. Burn Down Rebecca's Cottage And Boat!!!!  Get rid of all traces of her!!!!!

                                      9. Promote Frith To Run Manderly!!!!  He is a hell sight far better than Mrs. Danvers!!!!!!!!

                                     10. Always Take Breakfast From the Side Board!

                                     11.  In This Position, You Cannot Afford Not To Have A Personal Maid!!!!!!!!!!

                                     12.  After Breakfast, Do Your Correspondence in the Letter Room!  Following that, go the library and read!  Have afternoon tea, with your husband!!!!  You are Mistress Of Manderly now!!!!!!!  Who the hell has to work????  And who the hell wants to????????????????

                                      13. Keep That Promise Never To Wear Black Satin Or Pearls...Or To Be 36-Years-Old!!!!!!!!!!  I guess that was the age of Rebecca!  Good riddance!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Who would have thought this Gothic romantic classic would contain so many important life lessons????? Observe them well, darlings, and find your way to Happiness!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Or at least a Happy 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Started With A Bang!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I am telling you, girls, the Festive Christmas just isn't what it used to be.  No more tiny tots, with Anticipatory Sleep Disorder.  No more dancing sugar plums.  And no more Toyland Town around the Christmas tree, because I happen to be both too old for them, and uninformed about what the hot thing on the market is!!!!!!!!!

                           Nevertheless, Christmas started with a bang!!!!!  Literally!   Monsieur and I made it to Norristown, PA, the eve of the 23rd.  At 6:15 , the morning of the 25th, Christmas, I awoke, needing, as I usually do, at that hour, to relieve my bladder.  My sister's house is in a rural and suburban location.  There is a front yard, with sidewalks, and a cul-de-sac; out back a huge yard, beautifully landscaped and fenced in, behind which are woods, where lurking deer occasionally leap over the fence, and nibble at the bird seed in my sister's feeders.  Forget "Bambi," honey; these deer are not a bit afraid.  My sister bangs the window, yells, but they just flit their tails and continue what they are doing!!!!!!!!!

                            All of which is by way of saying that when the lights go out, the house is incredibly dark.  Kind of like Satis House, and Miss Havisham, which you know I love.  Well, Miss Havisham at least lit candles; I did not.  Because, when I arose from my bed, to open the door and walk out the hall, to the bathroom next door, I gauged wrong.  Instead of walking to the door and turning the knob, I slammed right into the wall, adjacent to it!!   CRASH!!!!!!!!  I woke Monsieur out of a sound sleep--which takes a lot!!!!--and my poor sister was out in the hallway, because she thought our 98-year-old father, who was sleeping down the hall, had fallen, and, mentally she was already dialing 911, convinced Christmas Day for us was going to be spending it in the hospital Emergency Room!  What a way to start the day, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         The rest was routine!  We experienced the Miracle Of Jesus, the night before, at Christmas Eve Mass, and on said day we awaited the coming of my nephew Jonathan and his family.  They arrived amazingly early, for them, the children were delightful, but Jonathan's wife sounded like Fantine in her death scene in "Les Miserables." and Jonathan sounded like he was getting sick, so we all worried we were now inhabiting a House of Pestilence that would infect us all!  So far, no go!  But my aged father had to ride back to his Villa (where he resides) in this germ ridden car.  Hope he is OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        Now comes the piece de resistance!  We get up, on the 26th, to take our usual 10 AM bus back to NYC, which I could not wait to get back to!  Imagine our surprise, when we discovered we were off by an hour; the bus had departed at nine, because it was a weekday, and we generally do this trip on weekends!!!!!!!!!!   The next bus was not till 5PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         What could we do?  We went back to my sister's, and waited.  The day went amazingly fast, especially as we were concerned about my nephew Matthew and his wife, Cindy, getting to Johnstown, PA, in a snowstorm!!!!!!!!!  There was a car pileup, and the trip took them 5 hours; they did not get there until 5:30, with Cindy's overbearing father fit to be tied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Not to worry; we had our own drama.  We got to the bus terminal at around 4:30.  At 5PM, a Greyhound bus pulled in, empty, and people ran to it, like the Russians fleeing Moscow during the revolution in "Doctor Zhivago!!!!!!!!!!"  It turned out to be the wrong bus!!!!!!!!!  When the right one pulled in, there was so much pushing and shoving, and fighting in line, especially from two women who would have given Nasty hostess at Demarchelier a run for their money!!!!!!  I put them in their place, and I and then the bus driver gave it to me for my attitude!  Honey, he hasn't even seen my attitude!  As it turned out, we got the last two seats on the bus.  Would you believe we had an aisle full of standees?????  Or some who sat????  Which is entirely illegal!!!!!!!!!!!!  I felt bad for them, especially one tall, heavyset guy, whose back, I think went out.  I was afraid we were going have to pull over and do something to help him, but our incompetent bus driver turned on the lights for a second, and that's it!!!!  I heard grumblings, and I think others, like us, are going to complain to Bieber, the bus company!!!!  Bieber means Bitch, darlings; we always have some problem with them, at Christmas!!!!!!!!!!  Why couldn't we have had a second bus????  Or why couldn't some of us been siphoned onto Greyhound, which was also going to New York??????  Nerts to you, Bieber!!!!!!!!!!

                        Inevitably, when we got real close to Manhattan, traffic backed up.  Understood.  But, when we finally get inside the Lincoln Tunnel, why did the dumb driver pick the slowest lane to drive in???  Maybe because he wasn't sure of his driving skill???? Because, let me tell you, every other bus in that tunnel with us, sailed right past us!!!!  The crust!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          So , what should have been a 90 minute to two hours trip took three.  All of us  arrived wet, limp, and emotionally drained!!!!  Fuck You!, from Bieber!  Those were their Holiday wishes to we, their paying public.

                           By comparison, the city subway system was civilized and relaxing.  When we walked into our Bay Ridge apartment at 9:30 that night, I was never more glad to be done with the day!  Of course I followed it with a migraine the next morning!  The stress, darlings!  You know, I'm  just a shy, retiring thing, like Joan Fontaine in "Rebecca!!!!!!!!!!!"

                           It was the Bus Ride From Hell!  You would have thought Mrs. Danvers had made all the arrangements!!!!!!!!!!!  And maybe she did, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          It's not Mrs. D, it's Bieber!  Even during non-holidays., out of the two trips we have to take, coming or going, one is inevitably good, the other bad!  There is just no predicting which!!!!!!!!!!

                           Merry Christmas, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

"O Come, Let Us Adore Him," Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             As many of us girls know, the final day of the paper Advent Calendar is December 24.  And that is always a double door, which opens up to a bigger than the rest picture of the Nativity!

                             I am doing this on today, the 23rd, not to be different, but because, after today,  I will be out of town, and out of communication, until sometime on Thursday!  And what tales I will have to tell, then!  If you think "August:Osage County" is something, just wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               The real question is how to end this all, musically speaking?  The obvious choice, headlined, would be "O Come All Ye Faithful."  But what about "Joy To The World???"  "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!?"  "Angels We Have Heard On High????????"

                                So, which is it going to be, dolls?????  Give me a few minutes, and I will be back with the results!!!!!!!!!!

                                 The Roches helped me decide!  In addition to their gorgeous harmonies, you get a full dose of Christmas carols on here, including some specifically mentioned here, like "Joy To The World," "O Come All Ye Faithful," (sung in Latin as "Adeste Fideles"!!!!) and my personal favorite, "Angels We Have Heard On High!"

                                 Thus ends the Raving Queen's 2013 Advent Calendar!  So, Season's Greetings, a safe journey to your destinations, and I will be back with you, for more dish, girls, soon!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Don't Care What They Say, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Some think the Shortest Day Of The Year--which we have been building toward since June-- was yesterday, but the way I was taught, it is today, December 22!!!!!!!!!!  Which makes sense, because, six moths later, June 22, which is the Longest Day Of The Year, is Meryl Streep's birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!  I knew there was a touch of Divinity somewhere!

                                      And, of course, for the Shortest Day, you have to have the Longest Night!  Kiss, kiss, loves!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Then, slowly, the days start getting longer again.  I start feeling it around February and March.  More time to walk and be outdoors, loves, until that Summer Solstice of Meryl Streep!!!!!!!!!!

                                        So, cram in whatever you do, today, darlings, and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Traditions Maintained, And Broken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Yesterday, girls, we finally made it up to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, to see their famous Christmas Tree, which I think I have been standing under for 29 years!  Next year would make 30, so that would call for a celebration.  The last several years have been with my beloved Monsieur, which makes it even a more special, and spiritual moment.  More than anything, this signals for me the passage of Time, and I am pleased to say I was here to maintain this tradition once again.  The stately beauty of this moment never fails to move me.  As I have said, I feel what, I think, Bernadette must have felt, when she first saw the Vision!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Now, another tradition we attempted to maintain, but failed to, was the Christmas fight at Demarchelier!!!!!  Monsieur even looked in the window, but no sign of Nasty Hostess or that older guy from last year, who threw us out!  I have to confess, after the fight I had at work this week, where I invoked the famous line that closes Act Two of "August: Osage County," I was ripe for a battle at this East Side bistro!  But it was not to be, because, even though it was close to noon, they were not open yet!  Maybe they knew we were coming!

                                  From there we made it over to the Marquis Hotel, where we met Monsieur's Florida cousins, Eddy and Mary, who were charming.  We were also joined by wild and crazy Uncle Ernest, who was decidedly not charming, being more charmed by Eddy's sucking up to him for money, while ignoring Monsieur and I.  Like we give a shit, but come on!!!!!!!!!!  

                                  We made it to the Edison Hotel Coffee shop, and had a Holiday repast, then made our way home to Bay Ridge, which I was thankful to get back to!  Merry Christmas, Cujo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    But this is one tradition not to be maintained!

                                    Besides, the spirituality of the Tree shall remain with me, always!

                                     Bet Sister Camille has been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Loads Of Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Darlings, after reading about the Holocaust, Jack The Ripper is a walk in the park!
                                      Maybe that is a bad choice of words, since all of his victims were  trollops out trolling, but let me tell you, it was easier to take than the extermination of six million Jews.

                                         Not that these five women deserved what they got.  Stephen Knight's book (which I have a feeling I read years before, since I read almost everything concerning this case) tells the story now familiar to millions from the movie "From Hell"--how the whole Jack The Ripper thing was a conspiracy led by Sir William Gull, Coachman John Netley, and, to a lesser extent, Walter Sickert (who may have been threatened) to cover up the fact, known by the five that were killed, that Prince Eddy married Annie Crook, a working class girl of low birth, who gave birth to a royal bastard, Alice, that could have toppled the British throne!!!!!!!!!

                                          The five victims killed--Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Kelly; actually make that four, because Edddowes was murdered mistakenly, under the assumption she was Kelly, which lends credence to why the real Kelly was killed indoors, and her body so horribly disfigured, in that lurid photograph-- actually knew Crook, and there was a blackmail scheme afoot, so the ladies had to be eliminated.

                                           I am not sure I buy the whole thing, nor do I buy Patricia Cornwell's notion that Sickert himself was Jack The Ripper! The only thing that makes sense to me is that the women in question were specifically targeted.  As the book states, there were about 80,000 prostitutes in London at the time of the killings, so anyone who wanted to kill a prostitute just for the sake of her being one had their pick.  Why these five????  There had to be a specific reason!!!!!!!!!

                                            On that, I am firmly convinced!  As for the rest--it is entertaining speculation that makes for a compelling, fun read!  I doubt whether we will ever know the full truth about Jack The Ripper, even if it is, and may very well be, staring us in the face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               That Jack!  He just refuses to stop being written about!

                                                What a cut up, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"The World In Solemn Stillness Lay/To Hear The Angels Sing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                              The Holidays are closing in on us, girls!  We just heard Sister Camille's inspirational message about Christmas.  It seems a billboard in Times Square, sponsored by an atheist organization, asked the question "Who Needs Christ In Christmas?"  Sister C set things straight; reminding us this is a time for everyone to celebrate joy and love for one another and our fellow man, no matter what persuasion we may be.  She points out her friends include agnostics and atheists!!!!!!  Well done, Sister!  You go, girl!!!!!!!!

                            No matter how you slice it, darlings, Christmas deals with the birth of Jesus.  Even if you think of a creche as a nice Holiday scene, it IS a part of the Holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              As a Catholic, whose body, naturally, is pain wracked from stone floors, I am not about to argue here--Christmas, and the Baby Jesus go hand in hand!

                               Which is why, as this singular Blessed Event draws near, I have included one of the most gorgeous, but less heard than others, carols surrounding it--"It Came Upon The Midnight Clear."

                                Sometimes "the" is changed to "a," though I prefer the former. This was a poem, written in 1849, by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church, in Wayland, Massachusetts.  The following year, a composer named Richard Storrs Willis, who had trained under Felix Mendelssohn, darlings, wrote a melody called "Carol," and set Sears' lyrics to it!  And voila, a classic was born!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Of course, this carol has been covered by just about anyone who sings, including yours truly!  But, considering the last line of the first verse, I prefer choral renderings, because, then, it really is like the angels singing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Peace On Earth, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Welcome, Winter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I always think of Bugs Bunny, when I think of Winter!  In one of his cartoons, he pops out of his hole, rips off a page from his tree calendar--the date is December 20th, which changes to the 21st, and then he says, in that inimitable Bugs Bunny/Mel Blanc voice, "December 21st...First Day Of wWinter!," and instantly a clod of snow hits the ground, and that is it for the Season!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I was not able to find that shot, loves, but the shot of Bugs popping up here is similar, and a bit more festive, coinciding more with the Holiday Season!!!!!!!

                            So, here we are, on the First Day Of Winter.  which, ironically, is a far cry from this!!!!!!  We have been getting some real Winter weather, leading up to it, now we are sort of segueing into Spring!  Guess it may not be a White Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

                              But a Happy Winter to all! Tomorrow is the Solstice, the Shortest Day Of The Year, so start mulling that cider right now, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                And snuggle in, snowbound and cozy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time For The Penultimate, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                We are really coming down that Holiday homestretch now, girls, so it is time to get out the truly heavy ammunition!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, here we go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  When it comes to being "penultimate" there are two scenes in the 1944 "Meet Me In St. Louis" that qualify!  One is "The Trolley Song," which become one of Garland's signature tunes, and the other is the Christmas Sequence, with she and Margaret O'Brien.  It begins with them at the window, then Judy sings, as no one else has or will since, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," and then Margaret dashes, sobbing out of the house, and out into the yard, where she smashes all the snowmen.  Which is what earned her that Juvenile Academy Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I understand director Vincente Minnelli really had to get Margaret worked up, in order to do that scene.  I am telling you, dolls, had I been cast as Tootie, he would not have had to do a thing!  All he would have had to say is "Action!," and off I would go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      You really did not think I would let the Holidays get away, without including this gem of gems in my Musical Advent Calendar?????????  I would not be doing my duty to all you girls, if I did!  And I know some out there would be shocked, if I excluded it!

                                        So, I haven't.  Now, I don't know if Margaret's snowmen smashing scene is here, but here is Judy Garland at her vocal peak, and Margaret, even in the song, at her dramatic best!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Have Yourselves A Merry, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!