Sunday, July 31, 2016
What a July we had! I took some time off, there were two political conventions, I saw a political documentary ("Wiener") that made me laugh, and you just read about our trip top Montauk.
Now, we face August, when Summer becomes routine, people look ahead to Fall, but not before all the fun and frolicking which must be done in this month, before one packs it up, and goes indoors, in the Fall. It's enough to make one sing "Another Winter In A Summer Town," from "Grey Gardens!!!!!!!!!!"
So, July was fun!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I had fun with all of you! Now, we face a new month--bitches, barbecues, and m ore! I will be here to tell you all about it!
Until August, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember how excited I got on the last bus trip, when I saw a real, live prostitute at the Joyce Kilmer Service Center, not far from my hometown, of Highland Park, New Jersey?????? Well, girls, yesterday we took our scheduled L and M Bus Tour to Montauk, so when we pulled into some Queens rest stops, like the McDonald's in Bayside, I was dismayed to find not a single prostitute, lurking about.
Does that mean there are no hookers in Queens? How come; it's a borough of trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks trashy!!!!!!!!!!! Trashier than the other boroughs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As for the trip to Montauk, no, we did no encounter Roberta, much to my disappointment. We covered the touristy sections only, and, unlike Sag Harbor, which I prefer, there was no main town street for running into people. So, I could not, to my regret, storm the Montauk Bookstore.
The Montauk lighthouse was strikingly beautiful, as was the weather, which cooperated with us. Montauk's scenic splendor was in evidence, not only through nature, but through Declan, the nice, young Irish lad, who waited on us at our very tasty, if expensive, lunch at Gosman's. But Declan was so charming, who cared how much it cost?
As with these bus tours, you run into some characters, but, dolls, I am telling you, this trip took the cake. For starters, there was Jeff and Susan, who got off in Bayside. He kept saying the woman with him was his girl friend, but I am telling you, she is his special needs daughter!!!!!!!!!!!! At least, that is how it looked.
Then there were the two well retired flight stewardesses, who lived in Manhattan, where they are probably still sharing the same rent controlled apartment they have had since 1936. Between them they must be paying $26 a month in rent; that's $13 apiece. Sounds good to me! I don't know how these two live with each other; one was kvetching about everything--the air conditioning was too cold, then too hot. The bathroom smelled, the sound on the movie was too loud, then too low. Our tour guide, Roberto, was threatened with not getting a tip! But the highlight, was when one of the women got up, with the garbage bag stuck to her pants, which kept coming off, so that I got to see an older woman's panties! I am telling you, I almost screamed!!!!!!!!!!! And they were not Depends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will never forget Carol, from Forest Hills. If you thought Ronee Blakley's breakdown monologue in "Nashville" was impressive, you should have heard this one. She never took a breath!!!!!!!!!!!
Carol sat behind us, latched onto the poor woman sitting next to year, where she gave an account of her life. A retired medical social worker, who has hundreds of boy friends since her teens, but is off men, but not a lesbian, she has also worked as a home aide, lived in San Francisco, Houston, had a nervous breakdown somewhere in California, came back East, lived with her mother, and now owns a co-op in Forest Hills, across from the CVS, where she earns $50 a month supplemental income by bottle collecting.
I mean, you have to hand it to her; she says she is happy being alone, which is admirable to a point. I mean, when I was alone, you heard how unhappy I was about that! Now, I am not alone, but happy. So, Carol dear, admirable as you are--and believe me, I do admire someone who can make a life for themselves, but how do you keep that co-op???--maybe there is a reason for your being alone, and it starts with yourself. We love you, Carol, but you need help, dear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, it was quite a day. Scenic splendor and emotional turmoil. Just what one gets from L and M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If only we had run into Roberta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, July 29, 2016
Darlings, Not Since Patti Played "Evita" On Broadway Have I Been This Politically Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me tell you, girls, the hysterics at the Democratic Convention--right down to Marcia Kramer--was unequal since Theater Queens first since the ascendancy of Patti Lu Pone when she played "Evita," back in 1979.
Now, don't be mistaken. I am pro-Hillary all the way. I mean, would you rather have Donald Trump riding hot shot on that bomb, as it blows us all to smithereens, like Sterling Hayden, at the end of "Dr. Strangelove?" If you have any modicum of brains, of course not.
Hillary will be good for the gay community. Think how many fashion fags she requires to dress her, do her make-up and hair, and make her as good looking as she was last night. This will keep many busy for years!
Darlings, we love Hillary in all her glory. Besides, unlike the Donald she is NOT bat shit crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just Machievell me, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Girls, I am telling you, I don't read as many short story collections as I should, because I have this ambivalence toward them. I like the epic scope of the novel form, first and foremost, and, while a novel tightly holds together, the vast majority that come my way contain several outstanding stories, but not all of them.
Which is why "A Manual For Cleaning Women" is such a surprise. I had never heard of Lucia Berlin till now, but I am telling you, while her stories may be thinly disguised autobiography, they hold together, each and every one, some even connected to one another. So, it is a short story collection that comes almost close to being a novel.
It examines the hard underbelly of American life in all its geographical regions--even New York. What is remarkable is that, while many characters struggle, the cumulative effect on the reader is not depression, but inspiration. And admiration for Berlin's linguistic skill and texture.
Lucia Berlin died in 2004, at the age of 68. This book will be her legacy, and it is a rich and rewarding one that I urge you to read. But I long for the promise that would have been contained within her future endeavors, and how I would have looked forward to reading them.
Not since Dawn Powell has an author merited such rediscovery.
Excuse the belated posting this week, darlings, but I am facing all kinds of challenges--from work, from my Summer Reading Program, and from the heat and humidity and more generated by recent political conventions.
Nevertheless, the winner of this week's Bitch Of The Week Award is a character seen only through the eyes of other characters. She is the mother of Billy Bibbit in both the novel, play and movie of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest."
This is an artist's interpretive rendering of her, and it is pretty good. Within the story, she is seen only through Billy, in whom one can see what she did to him, and Nurse Ratched, through which can be seen how. But there have always been things about this character's back story that I wanted to know.
Was there ever a Mr. Bibbit? Did he ditch them, because he could not stand her castrating ways, or did she murder him? Or was Mr. Bibbit just a transient thing, like Margaret White, with Ralph, so, once having been impregnated, she takes it out on the child? And what was her mother like? Was she a monster of abuse? Or her father?
I would like to see a story done about this woman, though many would cite Dave Pelzer's "A Child Called IT," as being such.
How did she and Nurse Ratched become old friends? Mrs. Bibbit certainly does not strike me as having been a medical profession, Ratched tells Billy she and her mother are "old friends," so where might they have crossed paths?
If you have any ideas along these lines, or the character of Mrs. Bibbit, please explain here. Oh, and what about her social standing? She broke up her son's marriage to a girl he wanted, because she did not meet her social expectations.
Mrs. Bibbit looks like she stepped out of Goat Alley. So, who is she to talk???????????/
This bitch did not cut hiss throat, but she was responsible for her own son's suicide. As was Ratched!
What a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
After even the little bit of convention watching I have been doing, I am worried. I don't think Trump will get elected, but I keep hearing how strong a possibility it is. And that is what scares me.
I have put up a zombified face of Hillary Clinton, not because I have anything against her; in fact, I am all for her, and our house is a Hillary House; even Baby Gojira will be voting for her. Rather, I use this to show what we will all be transformed into, should Trump get elected.
Women, gays, and minorities will lose their jobs, homes, and be thrown out on the streets, dying in one another's arms, like in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes Of Wrath." Prostitution will go up, because what other jobs will be available for these folk? And women will die once again at the hands of back street or home abortionists, in a style unseen since the 1950's. Remember Demi Moore, as Claire, in "If These Walls Could Talk?" I am telling you, this is what we could be going back to!
So, I am urging everyone to look at this face and ask, "Is that what I want to be?"
If the answer is no, you better make damn sure you cast your vote for Hillary!!!!!!!!
But what a legacy she left behind of trills and tones, and how the Great Beyond will benefit from them.. Two days ago, at 86, Marni Nixon died from breast cancer. Of course, Broadway being what it is today, no one will even know who she was, so I doubt the lights will be dimmed for her. But they should.
She is best known for dubbing the voices of Deborah Kerr in "The King And I," Natalie Wood in "West Side Story," and Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady." All film versions of stage classics. In another, "The Sound Of Music," she was seen and heard on screen, in the small role of Sister Sophia, hidden beneath a nun's habit and cowl.
Marni had been around for years. She dubbed in the 1947 film, "The Unfinished Dance," and for Margaret O'Brien in "Big City." I recall her appearing on "The Lawrence Welk Show."
I also got to see Marni, onstage,albeit in D.C., at the Kennedy Center, in the musical, "James Joyce's 'The Dead'." She played Aunt Kate Morkan, a music teacher, amid a very talented ensemble. This was an underrated show, indeed, but I saw Marni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She will be missed by so many of us who knew who she was. To those who did not, shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dim those lights, you Broadway bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had been so looking forward to reading "Sweetbitter," darlings, especially after the hype it got. I figured it was perfect for the Summer--and I was right, up to a point--and that this would be to the food service industry, what "The Devil Wears Prada" was to fashion. And it is, to a point. Where things go wrong is that while Miss Danler is a master chronicler, she is a poor fictionalizer; this is barely disguised autobiography, and should really have been marketed as non-fiction. The other problem is Miss Danler has no real specific point of view beyond, "Oh, I am this young thing just soaking up Life." Gag me with a spoon! As a result, her book has no perspective, and unlike Weisberger, no wit.
Her sexual obsession with Jake get too much coverage. When she finally has her orgasm riding him in the taxi back seat, I was like, "Ho hum." Not many of us have that experience, but we all, when young, think about it, at one time or another, so, like, what's new, darlings???????/
Simone is a much more fascinating character, even more so than Tess, the stand-in narrator for Danler. If a movie is made of "Sweetbitter" I would love to see how Simone is cast.
On the plus side, Danler catches the rhythm of being young in New York, what you have to compromise to live this bohemian existence one may think is so cool, but decades down the road will become stale, and she gets all the glamour and grit of what it is like to work in the food industry. Her heady descriptions of wine and dishes were as pungent as her descriptions of the backup in floor drains, and cockroaches behind the fridge.
This book did it for me--I would never make it as a waiter. Clean those dirty, sometimes urine stained floors? Me? Come on? I would rather scrub stone floors, like Jennifer Jones in "The Song Of Bernadette."
I read Danler's book with reservations. But that does not mean there aren't parts that are enjoyable.
Just try to forget Jake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, July 25, 2016
This Summer's Eve ad has been airing for several years now, and I wish to God someone would retire it. This guy, who thinks he is channeling Zachary Quinto is some macho pig who thinks that just because he is accidentally using Summer's Eve, something is going to happen to him.
I love when he drinks the raw egg down. I mean, that goes back to the days of Yosemite Sam! But does he also know he is channeling Liza Minnelli in "Cabaret????????"
My God! So he used Summer's Eve by accident! What is he going to do, grown a vagina?????????? Is that what he is afraid of? That it will fall off, and what will he do? Castration anxiety!
If I were the girl friend/wife/ fiancee, I would dump the Neandrethal but quick! It is a foreshadowing of the marriage.
Obviously, the advertiser who thought this up has deep, homophobic issues!!!!!!!!!!!!
Each morning, as my beloved and I await the arrival of the train at our Manhattan bound subway platform, we see the ad shown here. It faces the reverse of what it does here, but I find it striking.
On the surface, there is nothing wrong. The Rockettes are shown demonstrating their artistry, showcasing the event they are performing in, while a little girl beams her emotional and artistic exultation.
And therein lies the problem.
Why must is ALWAYS be a little girl? Because, I am telling you, in Christmas Spectacular ads of past, and even this year, I bet one will be featured.
Are the arts only for girls? Why can't little boys be seen at such shows?
And is anyone working today dumb enough to think that there are not some burgeoning gay boys out there, who themselves dream of being a Rockette! This post is being written by one, right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are out there, have no fear! It is up to the ad department to correct this sexist discrimination!
I want to see a little boy at Christmas! If not, I hope some animal poops on stage during the Nativity.
And may God forgive me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Nurse Ratched deserved what she got, no question about it. As the Summer temperatures rise, so do people's tempers, and I am no exception. Some behavior I see out there makes me think the perpetrators of such acts deserve what Nurse Ratched got.
Like this fat troll bitch of a mother, who was unfit to be a mother, and strictly White Trash. You tell she was such by her size and ugliness, and, especially, because her upper elbow as tattooed. What trash.
This sick excuse was on the D train I was riding, with her children. The little girl, definitely over five, was well behaved. Her younger sibling, a toddler, wasn't. Now, it is Summer, it is hot, and toddlers do misbehave. And mothers are going to get mad. I am not saying this should be dealt with, but when the mother's screaming can be heard all over the train car, screaming in the child's face, like she hates him, to the point, where he is terrified, I had to wonder.
At what point should one intervene? And what number does one call? All this was running through my mind, and I was so upset over this, I got off the train with the mother and child, which turned out not to be my stop, but only at 53rd Street. And you know what? She was still screaming at, and fighting with this terrified child. Which makes me wonder--if she acts so blatantly like this in public, what is she like behind closed doors?
I have everlasting regret I did not do something. I felt for that child.
So thinking of Nurse Ratched being strangled makes me smile, and feel better!!!!!!!!!!!
Isn't that fright inducing, girls???????????? The thing that cracks me up about Nurse Ratched, the role owned by Louise Fletcher, is her profession, and that her first name is Mildred. Just like my mother, but the comparison ends there. My mother was not a bit like this, and if there are such creatures still out there..well, they should be booted from their jobs.
Which is why we all love when Jack Nicholson attacks her in the movie. Just like Bruce Davison turning the rats on Ernest Borgnine in "Willard." They provide cathartic fantasies for things we dare not act out on.
But times have changed. There are no Nurse Ratcheds out there anymore....or are there? Do you know any? Do you or have you ever worked with one? And the profession does not have to be a nurse, you know!
Tell me about it, girls! In the comments section. And how did you deal with it?????????
I must confess, I have reached something of an impasse in my Summer Reading program. All of a sudden, what started as a challenge, has gotten light and easy. I am trying to vacillate between hard and paper back, serious and fun, but I am nowhere near ready yet for "Cities Of Fire" by Garth Risk Halberg; the plan is to end my summer with that.
Now, I had heard about "The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society"--my, that title is a mouthful, unlike something like "The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs," which literally roles off the tongue. But, then, William Inge was a lyrical writer.
I had heard of this book for years, but paid it no mind. What got me interested was discovering the circumstances under how the work was written and published.
The novel is largely the work of Mary Ann Shaffer, an older woman, who, during the course of her life, had been a book seller, editor, and librarian. The novel was her idea and she wrote it. But, as publication neared, and editors asked for rewrites, her health began to fail, and so she asked her
niece, Annie Barrows, an author, herself, to step in and put the finishing touches on it. And so she did. Which is why the book has two bylines on the cover. Unfortunately, Mary Ann passed on before publication. It is so sad she could not realize the success of her achievement.
All this reminded me of one of the fuss, twenty years back, over Helen Hooven Santmyer's novel, "...And Ladies Of The Club," one of my faves. Of course, that was a thousand plus page book, she worked on it for fifty years, but lived to see it published, at the grand old age of 98! There is still time for me, hons!!!!!!!!!!!
So, I was expecting, more or less, a scaled down version of the earlier novel, with literary references. Oh, they are there, to be sure, but the entire novel is epistolary, and having read "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven" and "The Light Between Oceans," I came to feel I was spending too much of my reading time in England. Especially when you factor in Curtis Sittenfeld's "Eligible," which is set in Cincinnati, but, being a reworking of "Pride And Prejudice," I am reading Austen's work in my head, as I go along, so I was feeling stuck in England. And needing to get out.
My initial reaction was ambivalence. But I will say this much, as soon as the character of Elizabeth came into the story, it all clicked for me, and I was able to move on, and go with the story at hand. The book is charming, in a reserved sort of way, and the male characters are just as interesting as the women. The title makes it sound like a "woman's book," but like "Everyone Brave Is Forgiven," it is for everyone.
In Annie Barrows comments at the end, she advises against trying to make a potato peel pie. I am with her.
Any reader minus my expectations will love it. But if you share mine, I promise, once Elizabeth comes onto the scene, you will be hooked.
And two bitches deservedly get slapped. and who among us, does no love that, darlings???????????????
Girls, I am telling you, if any out there are aspiring comedy writers, one need look no further than last week's Republican National Convention to teach one how to do it. Paddy Chayefsky and Gore Vidal must have been laughing in their graves.
What with Power Mad Donald gasping and sputtering, like one possessed, of how he alone can fix the country--which is a joke in itself, or his wife Melania, seeming to channel Sofia Vergara, as Gloria, on "Modern Family," except Gloria has more class, and Sofia more intelligence than Melania. And working her way up in the fashion world? Yeah, Melania; on your back! Bet she never got within one hundred feet of Anna Wintour!
The world must have been laughing at us, but I found the whole thing informative, having political satire right in front of me, and more frightened than all the blood on last season's "American Horror Story!!!!!!!!!!!"
If this idiot does get elected, the nightmares that Chayefsky and Vidal wrote about will actually come true!!!!!!!!!!!
And, then, where will we all be, darlings????????????????????
Saturday, July 23, 2016
When Playbill ran this photo of Celia and Andrew Keenan-Bolger the other day, I purred, and then I wondered.
Both have killer hair. What is their secret? Where do they get it done? And how do they look so fresh and radiant, when the rest of us are drenched from this Summer heat wave??????????
As soon as I saw this photo, I knew it had to be posted. It is so inspiring. It speaks of youth, and the possibility thereof.
And some of Andews's dream roles match mine--like Jack in "Into The Woods," or Toby in "Sweeney Todd." How I would love to see him do those.
As for me, slightly older, while my voice is still here, I would like a crack at Sweeney Todd himself. Or Jean Valjean in "Les Miz."
Don't hold your breath, kids. But keep your eyes on Celia and Andrew.
Their photo is as scrumptious as two scoops of sorbet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 21, 2016
I owe Curits Sittenfeld something of an apology. When this book first came out, months before, I made her Bitch Of The Week, for having the sheer audacity to take on Jane Austen.
She still rates that for said audacity. However, the result is far more satisfying than I was led to expect, and while there were things to quibble at, I liked "Eligible" enough to devour in practically a single sitting. Whether that was because of Sittenfeld's prose and style, or because I was coming right off a heart breaker, "The Light Between Oceans," is hard to say. My guess is both.
Now, let' face it. Most of the readers of "Eligible" are well versed with the Jane Austen novel. I, for one, was curious how the Lydia situation would be handled. I was more than satisfied with that, nor did I mind the novel being set in present day Cincinnati, (same city as this week's Bitch Of The Week, but a whole other milieu) but I questioned keeping characters names the same; Austen figures could very well figure out who was who. I mean, what parents today would name a child Fitzwilliam Cornelius Darcy? I concede there may be plenty of Darcys walking around, but not with such an antiquated name.
For me, it was like reading several things at once. I saw the characters here clearly, but I also saw Mary Boland as Mrs. Bennett; cannot get away from her. Caroline is still such a bitch, as she is in Austen, though more understated in the latter. Kitty, who sometimes gets lost in the Austen shuffle, shows some distinction here.
To say "Eligible" is more than entertaining, would be to certify Danielle Steel as literature. Suffice it to say Sittenfeld does Austen no harm, while entertaining any reader who would take it on.
I have a feeling Jane would be pleased. Though modest enough to keep quiet that she is the better writer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fifty one years in prison is just what April Corcoran--no relation to the Disney Corcorans I can tell you!!!!!!!!!!!--deserves. You know what this sick, addicted smack bitch ho' of a mother did? To get her fix,, she pimped out her 11-year-old daughter--you hear me???--to her drug dealer.
The drug dealer should be castrated. Not for selling, but for the underage sex.
So, April is the perfect choice for this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and in addition, she would force the child to take heroin, which the kid quickly vomited up.
April, you bitch, you will never see that kid again! When I was just a toddler, and night would descend upon the city, in the opening sequence of the soap opera, "The Edge Of Night," I, being a Jersey kid, thought the city was New York! It turned out to be Cincinnati, and Corocran represents the underbelly of it.
Oh, get this, on several occasions the sleazy dealer video recorded the encounters, with the mom's approval.
This poor child, now 13 is living with her father, stepmother, and two siblings. She reportedly suffers from trauma, suicidal thoughts, and is on meds.
It will take a long time to make this child right--if ever!
Meanwhile the smack ho' will spend most of her life in jail. If she is 32 now, she would be out by 83. In which case, she could just rot in there.
You Creature From Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
I am telling you, when the only movies I have seen this Summer are documentaries starting with the letter "W," you know we are in a cinematic drought.
"Witness" was the harrowing tale of the whole Kitty Genovesse saga, which continues to live on.
"Weiner" is as driven as political satire, from its seemingly dirty title to its salaciousness, which is actually reality. What a perfect lead-in to the Republican Convention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was not necessarily Anthony's curse his last name was "Weiner," but putting such, and his recreational pursuits of his male appendage, on public display, was, at best, foolish. You can see his wife, Huma Aberdin, whom I feel real sorry for, is suffering throughout every foot of film she is on, whereas Anthony blithely wanders through it all, in a fog of such arrogance, it almost seems as if he takes pride in his sexual meanderings, rather than is cowed by him.
Some might call it honesty. I call it being a fool. It would like if I gave away my makeup secrets on here, and, darlings, you know that is a thing I would not dare.
Anthony, you've got no shame. You also have no more career.
Your movie was loads of fun, but what are you going to do with the rest of your life! It's like you have used it all up!
Maybe Huma can get a gig on the Food Channel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, July 17, 2016
I am afraid it is, girls! Imagine my shock when I learned that, after fifty seven years, The Four Seasons restaurant was shutting down. Oh, sure, they say they are moving to an area close by, and will reopen in about a year and a half, but, even if this comes to pass, it will not be the same.
Think of all the people who dined there. From Jackie and Lee, to me! Too bad I wasn't with them! You think Truman Capote got dish? He has nothing on me!
The understated, old style elegance, that attracted so many of us to this city, is vanishing in favor of a corporatized atmosphere, staffed by autonomous clusters of mass inhumanity, with no compassion or feeling for tradition or style. The flavor of the month is good enough for them, and when that wears out, they simply move on to the next one! To hell with tradition, to hell with caring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In a sad way, this is the right time for The Four Seasons to end. The only place of its kind left is La Grenouille, and I pray that hangs on! Or, if not, that I am able to get there, before it closes, should it!
Poor Madame Armfeldt in "A Little Night Music." If she thought craft was gone at the end of her lifetime, what would she say now????????????
Even the original New York Times review, back in 2012, said "Prepare to weep." I wish I had read that, before I read M.L. Stedman's novel, because I was not prepared for such emotional wreckage. I wept through portions of the book, and by the last forty pages was sobbing so copiously, my beloved came to see what was wrong, and I felt upset the rest of the day, hours after finishing this book.
Yes, it is slightly manipulative, but it also, in its detail and plot construction references such literary points as Dickens, the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and the fairy tale, "The Fisherman And His."
Let's start with this. The novel covers a generation, from the teens to 1950. Tom Shelbourne, and his wife, Isabel, live in isolation on an island, off the Australian coast, where he is a lighthouse keeper. Like many couples, they long for a child. Isabel goes through two miscarriages, and a stillbirth; still, she will not give up. I would have required mental health treatment by the second time, darlings! Shortly after this last tragedy, a boat washes up on their shore, containing a dead man, a woman's cardigan sweater....and a barely two month old infant. I am sure you can guess what is coming.
The Shelbournes, at Isabel's insistence, decide to keep the child. This makes way, years later, for an emotionally fraught situation that tears adults, child, and the populace of an entire village apart, ending in 1950 on a bittersweet note that recalls the final scene of the movie "Splendor In The Grass."
To describe this novel in further detail would not only ruin things, but would seem to encompass an 800 page book. The author's sense of structure keeps all the action confined to 343 pages, packed with wrenching heartbreak and drama. I could not stop reading, and yet I wanted to. The story became too much for me to take, and I wept copiously, as I said.
I can't not recommend the book, but I am afraid to. Maybe had I been prepared for what I was in for, I could have handled it. Maybe, after reading this post, others may handle it. My ambivalence does not mean that Stedman is not a good writer; she is.
But, after what I went through here, I think I will pass on her next book.
Read this one at your risk, darlings! And don't say you were not warned!
Remember when Bette Davis spoke that iconic line in "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte," darlings? We gays have certainly come a long way; we may not have our own cigarette, like Virginia Slims, but now we are starting to be thought of in terms of retirement communities. How's that for planning? They probably can't wait to bury us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My cynicism--acquired, like Karen Richards says, "the day I discovered I was different from little boys," and oh, boy, was I!!!!!!!--is prompted by what I have heard about Wilton Manors. Of course, it is in Florida; strike one there, but it is also in the Fort Hamilton version of Goat Alley...and by a set of railroad tracks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This can be viewed in two ways. Once again, we are being marginalized, being relegated to the Wrong Side Of The Tracks. On the other hand, there might be more astuteness afoot than may at first be realized. Near the railroad tracks was where Joan Crawford, as Lucy Harbin--just LOVE that crazy bitch, girls!!!!!!!!!!!--lived. Who can forget that iconic shot of her stepping off the train, at night, with the camera panning up to reveal a remarkable recreation of a 1940's Joan, in the opening of "Strait-Jacket????"
Some developer might have tapped into the notion of placing Wilton Manors near the tracks, so gay men could play out their Lucy Harbin fantasies. I mean, come on; how many of you out there have wanted to don that dress, wig, heels, and clanking jewelry, stepping off the train onto the station in the most noir of nights? I know I have!
So, in a way, Wilton Manors gives TOQ's (Tired Out Queens) the chance to live out this fantasy!
As for me, darlings, I will wait for The Baby Jane Hudson Rest Home! I have PLENTY of fantasies to live out there!
Besides, I wouldn't be able to afford the "Hello, Gorgeous?" Pines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, July 15, 2016
It must have been fun being a Beale, what with the two Edies, and all, but it sure is not easy being a Kennedy. All that money, and what does one do? Forget a career; why should one need to work? With the sole exception of Caroline, who pursues a life, and has convictions, the women wring their hands in tragedy, and play stock versions of Mary Tyrone, while the men, for the most part, are alcoholics, who can't keep their pants on. One of these alcoholics is Robert Kennedy, Jr., pictured, whom I used to have a modicum of respect for, when both of us were young, as I thought he would make something of himself.
Mr. Kennedy has altered that opinion by publishing a book claiming his cousin, Michael Skakel, a scumbag, if there ever was one--and what a porker!!!!--murdered Martha Moxley, in that famous murder, back on Halloween, 1975.
Kennedy says Skakel is being framed for a crime he did not comitt, and that--get this, girls--the killers were two teenagers from the Bronx.
Great timing, what with all the racial tensions in this country. You know Kennedy will affirm that the kids were Black, but what I want to know is, what would teens from the Bronx, especially back then, know about Greenwich, Connecticut? What does slime from the Bronx, even today, know about Greenwich, or anything???????????????
Martha Moxley was bludgeoned to death with a golf club by a teen aged Skakel, whose ego could not handle her rejection of him. It still couldn't. I mean, the kid masturbated over her corpse, to the point of ejaculation!!!!!!!!!! Not even very many adult killers do that! Or anyone else!
Skakel, from the get-go was, and remains, a sexual psychotic. If this scumbag is released, it will decrease property values in Greenwich.
Justice was done for Martha. Leave her alone.
Roast Skakel on a pig spit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Remember all the fuss, back in 1986 (my God; that was thirty years ago!!!!!!!) surrounding Tama Janowitz' book, "Slaves Of New York?" The media made you feel that if you did not read it, you were nothing. Well, I never got around to reading it, and here I am, now writing. And where the hell is Tama? Probably on that Island Of Losers, having tea with Julie Taymor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Tuesday Nights In 1980," is Molly Prentiss' first novel. It is set in the period that Tama wrote about, only Miss Prentiss is a better writer than Tama. The way she presents a disparate group of characters, telling their stories, and bringing their narrative tropes together, is nothing short of brilliant.
Miss Prentiss understands the importance of structure, straightforwards, yet engaging prose, which gets the rhythms of Manhattan SO right, it took me right back to that time, which was when I was just beginning to come into my own in New York. The only thing I questioned was Prentiss' use of the bar, The Eagle. Was she just using a generic name, or didn't she realize it is actually a gay bar? And still around! But who goes there anymore???????????
Now, that would be a story there, but I don't have time to hang out at a Headquarters For The Desperate. Besides, my story would not be half as interesting as Miss Prentiss'. And I love how she gives James and Marge what they want, even if it wasn't the way the wanted it, at first.
But, you will have to read the book, to find out what I mean. It is well worth it.
Recently, I had a chance to watch the classic 1991 "Law And Order" episode "In Memory Of." This was based on the George Franklin case, involving repressed memory. In real life, George's grown daughter said she recalled her father raping and murdering her playmate, Susan Nason, while she was nearby. Franklin was convicted and imprisoned, but the whole repressed memory thing was overturned, and he was released. Personally, I think he did it, and if her is out there, he does not deserve to walk the streets.
The "Law And Order" episode begins with construction workers, demolishing an abandoned apartment building. Within the walls of the basement, where the laundry was, are found the skeletal remains of a young boy. The remains turn out to be Tommy Keegan, who went missing, three decades before, in 1962. The detectives talk to surviving residents of that building back then, whom they track down. One of them turns out to be Julie Atkinson, a flower shop owner, and veteran of bad relationships, so traumatized by her parents, Thaddeus and Catherine Messimer (played by Michael Higgins and Rosemary Murphy) she has disowned them. Julie is played by Mary Joan Negro; what ever happened to her, she was a good actress!!!!!!!!! As she is questioned, she recalls walking home from school with Tommy (with whom she was friends) that day. Her mother went to a meeting of some sort, her father was home, and when she woke up to use the bathroom,she saw him covered in blood, washing a blue sweater. He gave her a monstrous look. When Mrs. Keegan finds out, she realizes Thaddeus, who mentored Tommy, must have killed him. Especially when a former coworker of his tells a story of their communting back to the city from the suburbs. Thad goes to use the men's room, but does not come out. The coworker walks in, and finds a cop ready to charge Thad with child molestation, but the worker talks him out of it. But there is a boy nearby, in the bathroom. Julie testifies, Thad admits to the crime, and is put away. But I maintain his wife, Catherine, should have been charged, and put away. That bitch knew exactly what her husband was, and when Tommy went missing, I bet she knew he did it, and all she thought about was not poor Tommy, or her daughter, Julie, or Mrs.Keegan (who was widowed; hence Thad mentoring Tommy), bu that they would be found out. I have no doubt she knew just what her husband was. Which makes Catherine Messimer the first winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award
Seeing this episode brought back memories of the 2007 "Cold Case" episode, "Offender."
In that one, Clayton Hathaway, the six-year-old son of Mitch and Tara Hathaway, goes missing one Sunday. back in 1987. His body is found at Mitch's construction site, raped and murdered. Mitch is the obvious suspect, he goes to prison, and his wife Tara (played by Jordan Baker) left him, calling him a monster. In the present, Mitch is released on a technicality, with a vigilante's determination to kill every sex offender in the area, until he finds his son's killer. Lily and Company happen upon this, just as Mitch has done away with several pedophiles. They elnist the aid of ex-wife, Tara, to stop him. Tara recalls their friends, Clifford and Linda Burrell, back then, living nearby. Cliff and Linda helped search for Clay, and were very supportive. But Tara recalls finding discarded pictures of a sleeping Johnny Burrell, in a bathroom cabinet. She thought Mitch had taken these, but , when the detectives talk to the now grown Johnny, he reveals his dad, Cliff, took them. All roads are leading to Cliff, as the killer of Clayton. The child was bullied by another child, that day, and when Burrell went to help, he lured him into the garage, closed the door, where he raped and murdered Clay. Mitch gets hold of Cliff on a rooftop, determined to avenge his son's killer, and then end his life. Tara apologizes, and asks Mitch to forgive her for not believing him, saying they can start again,.Mitch backs off, he and Cliff are hauled off, and Clayton's ghost smiles, at seeing his parents reunited.
But, in a funeral; scene, set in the past, at the time of Clayton's death, the way Stephanie Manglaras, as Linda Burrell, played that scene, suggested to me, she not only knew what her husband was, but that the boy whose funeral service they were at had been killed by him. Which is why Linda should have been hauled away with Cliff, making her the second winner of the Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award.
Both situations are fictional. But there are real life versions of these bitches, hiding behind their cloaks of respectability, just to keep their ill gotten gains. I hope Time catches up to you losers, because if it doesn't, I will look you in the eyes, walking down the street, and smack you across the face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What else can I do, darlings???????????????????????????????
Does anyone know what Bastille Day is, anymore? Was it only coincidence, or something subconscious, that chose me to pick it as one of my vacation days??????????
Yes, darlings, here I sit, on my own time, writing away, a steaming cup of coffee, next to me. Life, as it should be. But I have so much to do today--errands, the bookstore to get something to read fitting in with my system (which will eventually be explained!!!!!!!) and other things at hand. Maybe a movie.
We really don't have any Bastille Day plans! I just like taking a break in mid-July! Before I break, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So. to any out there, who truly do celebrate Bastille Day, I wish you the happiest of days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Now, darlings, I am hardly one to make light of the Holocaust. But the other night, a friend mentioned someone they knew acquainted with a woman named Ilsa. I have not heard that name in ages, and it brought back to me thoughts of this film, "Ilsa, She Wolf Of The S S," which I have not seen in twenty years, and is more than forty years old. It was first shown in 1975. Imagine that. How did I miss it?
Well, for starters, it is high camp, tinged with porn. Straight porn, that is. Can one go too far in the areas of camp and porn???? Well, among gay men, there is "Centurions Of Rome." I don't have to say any more. On the distaff side, the 'Ilsa' films (this one was so successful a whole series emerged) made a strong argument for that case.
Lesbians and straight men with dominatrix fantasies will just love Ilsa, who beats, whips, urinates, orally rapes and degrades hers to command with such abandon those under her command love it. Actually, it is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Not that I would watch it a second time, but it should be experienced once. (Gay men will have a time laughing at how these straight guys get off! What ever happened to K-Y???????????)
Having done that, like me, one will never think of the name Ilsa in the same way, should it be heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And what a world it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When Miss Parker walked into my life, as I watched her running to catch a bus in Manhattan, yelling, "Hooooold it!!!!!!," I instantly saw her as someone I could relate to, as I had been there, myself. In every thing I have seen her in, there is always some moment, where something her characters do connect with me. Like when she admits she wrote the equation in "Proof;"I thought of how many times I had done things but wasn't able to explain how I did them. I just knew how. Or I visualized.
So, when the book appeared, I thought, "Oh, now she is writing a book. Really." But once the word started pouring in, and with all the focus on the "Cabdriver Chapter," I
thought, if I admire Miss Parker as much as I say I do, I ought to read her book.
Before going on, let me say, that during my early days of discovery, I would wonder if she was related to Sarah Jessica Parker, or the heiress to the Parker Bros. game company, or to the Jane Parker, cake and bread and rolls company of the 1950's. Well, the book makes clear she is none of these.
She is complex and indomitable. Let me say that while I knew all about the "Cabdriver Chapter," before I read it, and it did take me to a time in my life, when I was trying to cab it back to my apartment in Woodside, and the cabdriver did not know where we were going, with both of us becoming more hysterical, to the point of me accusing him of kidnapping, and he wanting to drop me off at a police station! I kid you not; I was hysterical. Somehow--and I do NOT know how--I did make it home, that night.
What was fresh and engaging to me was, brilliant as she is, Mary-Louise has her own way of doing things, which resulted her getting probation her first semester, at the University Of North Carolina School Of The Arts, where is she now is their most distinguished graduate. "A Chorus Line" was right. We all, no matter how brilliant, have our own Mr. Karp.
More interesting than the "Cabdriver Chapter," was the way on Cerberus. I want to know who this was--one guy, or three different guys, or a guy with three distinct personalities.
Both Mary-Louise and I are youngest children, which means we have standards, darling, and they had better damn well be met.
Let me add, her writing is as lyrical and incisive as her acting. Over the years, rumors have surfaced about her wanting to give up acting, which I hope she does not do, but I also hope she writes more, because I want to read what she has to say.
I have never read a more moving chronicle of adult children facing the passing of a parent--their father--than the way Miss Parker writes. It took me back to that time when my mother was lost to us, 37 years before.
Which is to say this is not some celebrity tell-all. This is a woman revealing herself as another human being among so many of us. She just happens to write and act brilliantly.
Thanks for sharing, Mary-Louise. I look forward to more!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, July 11, 2016
When no one knew who the guy was, darlings, I started out liking him. I loved "In The Heights." Then along came this precedent setting piece called "Hamilton," which I have not seen yet, but I promise I will. Something about me has resisted it. It cannot be THAT good.
Most girls on here knew that Saturday night was Miranda's last performance in the role he not only performed, but created. Thirty years ago, I might have crashed my way into the show, and stood on line outside to see him. But, at this stage of my life, I feel people should pay to look at me, and wait for me outside!!!!!!!!! You hear that???????? I have to hand it to Lin, and I do. But, do you know what happened after the show??????????/
He marched off stage, after the final bow, and got rid of his "Hamilton" locks, appearing at the back stage door, shorn. How egotistical! And then posting the cut hair on social media? I mean. it is disgusting? Suppose it has lice?
Did Donna McKechnie post her Cassie skirt online, after finishing that role in "A Chorus Line." Would she have, had it been possible????????? Of course not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not even those with great hair, like Meryl Streep, Blythe Danner or Mary-Louise Parker would do such a thing.
Which just shows what a cash cow Miranda is! A big old media whore, who will probably donate it to the highest bidder. Who will get it? Harvard? Boston? Any archives I might know? Who the hell would want it!
Lin Manuel has gotten too big for his own good. He should take a lesson from Julie Taymor.
If he does not mind his P's and Q's, he will end up on the Island Of Lost Directors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I heard ENCORES Off-Center would be doing "Runaways," I had several reactions. Part of me wanted to audition, just to sing that score, even though I am one of those who saw the Original production, back in 1978. The second was nervousness; could a different generation perform this piece, would it hold up, or would it fall apart? But once I heard that original cast member Trini Alvarado's daughter was in the production, I said I HAD to see this. And so my beloved--who had never seen it, but is fond of the Original Cast CD, which we listen to a lot, and I had memorized ever since it was on vinyl--and I went. We were glad we did.
The setting is a place for the discarded. Into this arena come discarded youth, done in by their parents or society. A plaintive young voice explains how she just ran away, another chimes in how they had no choice; they HAD to go. Suddenly, hordes of kids begin taking the stage, running furiously in place, and before one knows it, the audience is immersed in Elizabeth Swados' words and visions, intoned by the cast, as they go into the show's opening mantra, "Where Do People Go?"
And I went wild. I daresay I was not the only one.
I wondered if the show would be trimmed. Because it is filled with so many Seventies references that might not be relevant. Or may have other meanings today, as when the name "O.J. Simpson" was mentioned, there was cynical laughter among the crowd.
The audience, I imagine, consisted of those such as I who had seen it originally, those coming to it for the first time, and the friends and classmates of the cast members. Done for the first time without an Intermission, and at a breakneck pace, this "Runaways" was pretty much intact. The only noticeable song missing was "Minnesota Strip," though its refrain, "Stay away, Stay away" was used.
I had been afraid songs like "Find Me A Hero," "The Undiscovered Son," and "The Basketball Song" might have been cut. But there they were, with all the familiar favorites. And, of course, there were some standouts.
The girl who performed "Song Of A Child Prostitute" was as haunting and shocking, tinged with innocence, as when Diane Lane did it, back in 1978. I swear, the girl who sang "Lullaby From Baby To Baby," was channeling Trini, with a voice both innocent and sultry--just like she, back in '78.
Whoever did "Sometime" and "To The Dead Of Family Wars" deserves special kudos for tremendously effective renderings of two very difficult pieces.
The curtain call was extremely moving. After the bows were taken, sheets of paper appeared among the cast, who held each one up to spell, "Thank you, Liz!" I cried real tears!!!!!!!!
My only caveat was with one of my favorites, "No Lullabies For Luis." Maybe the girl singer needed more amping on the mike, because, while she sang it well, it did not have the compelling urgency or vocal strength or authority of its originator, Josie De Guzman. Josie will always own the number.
I hated when the show ended. I wanted it to go on. I would like to see it move somewhere, so this most talented ensemble--the best all Summer--can hone their craft. Still, I am glad I followed my impulse in seeing "Runaways." I have no regrets, but I feel sorry for those who did not get to see it!
Will another 38 years have to pass before it is noticed again?????
I mean, darlings, who would think a book dealing with marital breakup would cover this? Basically it is simple--cut up some fresh tomato and garlic, put them in a pan containing olive oil, and cook lightly, set aide, boil some linguine, then pour some uncooked sauce and the mixture over the pasta, and mix together. Who would have thought? It' so simple, I might surprise my beloved with a home cooked meal this week.
As for the marital breakup, well, you know, girls, Nora Ephron, was married, for a time to Carl Bernstein. Yes, THAT Carl Bernstein. Here, Nora becomes Rachel, and Carl is Mark Felt. Basically he feels too much, regarding women, which is his problem, but then becomes Rachel's. But Nora steps back and manages to view things with an acerbic objectivity that is refreshing. We are deep in Joan Didion territory, but a style radically different from, and infinitely more readable, than Didion.
Can you believe I have never seen the movie with Meryl Streep? I know that is hard to believe for some of you on here, and it is something I need to correct as soon as possible.
I have to wonder what took me so long to read "Heartburn?" It has been around, and I loved what Nora did with "Julie And Julia."
But this "Heartburn" is not contagious. The only thing the reader will catch is delight, both in the recipes, and in raking the soon-to-be ex-husband over the coals.
And, of course, I would love to know whom Thelma Rice was based on!
What a tramp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, July 8, 2016
First, let me clear up the confusion. You are correct, if you are thinking the title character is who he is. That is right; it is Godzilla, better known now, by his Japanese name, Gojira. But, because novelist Mark Jacobson was working with a TOHO franchise, that "a" had to become an "o," so here, now he is known as Gojiro.
He still loves children, his fans and the world. But he is a lonely complicated soul. He is sixty six million years old, and, for much of that time, he was a small lizard. But the whole atomic thing in the Forties and Fifties caused him to mutate into the giant creature known and loved today. And he is invincible. So, he will be emissary of this world, long after those reading this, have left it.
Gojiro has his humorous moments. He states that the burgers at Hollywood's famed Brown Derby restaurant, are not what they are cracked up to be, and he should know. He admits all of his movies were made solely for money, and never are actual ones mentioned, because of Jacobson and the TOHO copyright. The movies mentioned have the ring of others, but are not actual titles.
It is when the novel gets philosophic and existential that it becomes weighted down. Not that Gojira--I will call him by his real name here--is not moving and intelligent; he certainly is. But a breezy, Jacqueline Susann Hollywood tale, as only Gojira could tell it, was more what I wanted, and would have added more fun to the ponderousness Jacobson often overindulges in.
He really should have let Gojira tell his own story. Some celebrities do need ghost writers.
Gojira does not. Left to his own devices, he could be on a par with Brooke Hayward, and Susan Strasberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And this commercial has been bouncing around channels, for months!!!!!!!!!!!
You want to talk about sexism on television. You think the Bush administration was bad?????? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
I mean really--practically showing vaginas on television. Why do the women have to always step forward. You would NEVER see a counterpart, where the guys--just as attractive, I should hope--trim their pubes!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, come on, guys, don't tell there isn't one of you out there who has had a trim, or wax job????????????
This is enough to give the Gay Male Community nightmares! It should be pulled from the airwaves!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or, give the guys equal time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!