Friday, September 22, 2017

Maybe It Is Time To Listen To Jacinta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      She was, after all, the holiest child at Fatima.  And a recently canonized saint!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Now, I don't have an confirmation from the On High, but word has been circulating about that the world will end catastrophically tomorrow.  As Gojira told me earlier this morning, people have been hinting at that for thousands of years...and he has been around longer.  Hell, he knew Nostradamus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I am not too certain myself.  This isn't, after all, "On The Beach," by Neville Shute, and I sure am not Ava Gardner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       So, it might be a good idea to pray to Jacinta, just in case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       But I hope to be back with my girls, soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gojira Is Stepping In To Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Yea, Gojira!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    After all the disaster caused to so many places by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Gojira is heading out to sea, and to the islands, to see what help he can bring, and comfort he can bring to the children.  Our big hearted reptile friend is so good natured, he wants the Earth to be a safer place, and I can tell you, in real life, folks will feel safer, when they see Gojira emerging from the sea!

                                     I am sure Sister Camille would approve, so, again, a big "Hurrah"" for our friend, Gojira!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     You don't see Mothra doing anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seven Years Gone......Still Not Forgotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              My only reluctance in writing this post is fearing the pain it might bring the Clementi family, but I doubt they can be bothered, and I am sure this day is irrevocably etched in their memories.

                               Seven years ago, this evening, the definitive bullying/hate crime, resulting in the suicide of Tyler Clementi was perpetrated on this innocent young man.  I have no idea where Ravi and Wei are, nor do I care.  I only hope their consciences are not at rest.

                              Not only was a family and a community marred, but the promise of the contributions this intelligent, talented fellow could have made to the world around him was taken from him.  He never had a chance.

                               Take a moment today to remember Tyler Clementi.  If you see someone bullied,
reach out to them.

                                The only way to to step in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Rest In Peace, Tyler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Answer To This Guy's Dating Problems Does Not Lie With E-Harmony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Girls, let's face it, for those in need E-Harmony is not the answer, because, if anything, they are as homophobic, maybe even more, than Christian Mingle.

                             The guy in this ad just annoys the crap out of me.  We see his pathetic dating life, where the women are one short step from Agnes Gooch--which does not mean they cannot be fatal attractions; ugly girls can be dangerous, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              No, this guy's problem goes deeper.  And he clues us in by his preppy shirt, and his mannered frustration.  I thought he was going to shake his head.

                              This guy is fishing in the wrong pool.  He needs to realize he is gay, come out, and get on to some gay friendly sites, and find the partner who will relieve all his stress--especially the emotional.

                               Get with it, guy!  Live the life you were born to live, like the Mother Abbess tells Maria in "The Sound Of Music."  Which I am sure you know by heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Who does E-Harmony think they are kidding, using this guy?

                                 Maybe it is a homosexual de-programming tactic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Well, forget, it, E-Harmony!  Some of us, and this guy, will go our own way!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Trilogy Comes To An End!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I am not being unjust in saying that everything ends up hunky dory for Russell and Corinne.  What I did not realize, until reading the final volume of McInerney's "Calloway Trilogy" was how Dickensian it is.  The trilogy bears a striking similarity to "David Copperfield," in that David, the main character, was less interesting than all those swirling about him--Mr. Micawber, The Murdstones, Aunt Betsy, Mister Dick, Pegotty, Dora, Agnes, Uriah Heap....I could go on.

                                Same with "Bright, Precious Days," and the other books.  Russell and Corinne are key, but everyone else is more interesting.  Junky authors Jeff Perkins and Jack Carson, Corinne's acerbic mother, Jessie, and slut sister, Hillary--who, of course, did not go to Miss Porter's, like Corinne, which is one reason why she is a slut, because, as we all know, sluts do NOT come from Miss Porter's--the Calloway children, another slut, Trisha Cox....these are the more interesting characters.    Russell and Corrine are the least of it.

                                 Hey, remember the Disney film, "Those Calloways?"  They even own a poster of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                No editorial mistakes, this time, because you know who checked this book over, prior to publication?  None other than the great Donna Tartt!  Smart move, Jay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Of the trilogy, the two framers--first and third--are the best.  The middle one, "The Good Life," is something of a letdown.

                                 I wish Jay would now write a book about Hillary.  What becomes of girls who do not go to Miss Porter's????????????????????

                                 It's a relief, reaching the end, but, thankfully, Jay, unlike Jill, can write!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not Since Asami In "Audition" Has There Been A Bitch Like Manling Willimas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Most family annihilators are male, though some can be female, and when they are, the fury is especially deadly.  Manling Williams, this week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of the Week Award, was one cold thing!

                              She and husband, Neal, met when young.  They married, and had two lovely boys.
Neal, unfortunately, was not the career/corporate type.  If he had continued working at Disneyland--the two lived in the Rowland Heights section of Los Angeles--maybe things would not have turned out the way they did.

                              But, like that bitch, Asami, Manling was ambitious.  So ambitious, she decided she was going to ditch the life and people she had, and start anew.  Some Medea, huh????????????

                              On the night of August 7, 2007, she coldly announced to hubby Neal, she was going out for an evening with the girls.  He thought nothing of it.

                                What Neal, aged 27, did not know, was that his 28-year-old life had, prior to leaving, matter of factly walked into the boys' room and smothered, "Othello" style, her sons Devon. aged 7, and Ian, aged 3.  Then she walked out the door, without so much as a glance back.

                                  You can bet this dumb bitch never heard of "Othello."  She heard of the almighty dollar, and that is what she wanted.  The evening out with the girls was a lie.  She was really dating an older high school sweetheart, whom she was planning to latch onto, thinking the kids would be an intrusion.

                                    Her plan was for Neal to find the boys dead, and then he would commit suicide.  That is what she was counting on.

                                     But things did not work out that way.  Neal just what to bed, having no idea danger was afoot.  Why should he?  But, when Manling got home, and discovered the truth, she knew she had to do something, and so she stabbed Neal 92 times, with one of the samurai swords from his collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Ninety two times!  Half a dozen would have done the job!

                                      This Napalm bitch deserves no mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Which is why she is now on death row!  Stay there, until you rot, Manling!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here We Go, Again!

                                   Happy First Day of Fall, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Yes, today is the day Proserpina goes back to Hell.  Though, with the weather the way it is, many may well think she had left sooner!

                                     But, like yours truly, she is a creature of habit, and so, today is the day.

                                     Leaves will fall, weather will chill, holidays will come, and people will cozy up to one another.  Fall can be fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Let's face it, we will all have a better time than Proserpina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And So Goes Another Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               You know the drill, girls.  Tomorrow, as I was taught, is the First Day of Fall.  If Proserpina is not fully packed by now, she better make one more round of the designer outlets, before she heads off tomorrow for her six month visit to Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               So today is the last day of Summer.  As Michel Legrand said, it is time for "one last caress."    As Judy Collins said, more prosaically, "Sad deserted shore....your fickle friends are leaving."

                                Even though it was a rather mild--in terms of events and weather--it is still sad to see this happiest of seasons come to a halt, muting into the mellowness of Fall, and cozying up to each other, plus, hopefully, forthcoming exciting cultural and literary events.

                                 How to really say farewell to Summer?  I have an idea--

                                 Here is Christine Ebersole singing "Another Winter In A Summer Town" from "Grey Gardens!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                  See you in the Fall, loves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Neighbor Trouble Can Be The Worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Last night's episode of "American Horror Story:  Cult" turns out to be more like Rod Serling's "The Monsters Are On Maple Street," only taken up several notches.  The scariest moment I had was when Kai said something to Ally--and I sort of agreed with him.  But just for a second!

                             I have to say things are livening up on this show.  Sarah Paulson's Ally has finally found her mojo, and is confronting everyone--the Wiltons, that tramp. Winter, and just about everyone in her wake!  I love it!  Meanwhile, Oz is slowly transforming into something, from all this, which, I still say, will be frightening.

                             I hope Ivy does not leave Ally, because I would hate to lose Alison Pill.  But who was that couple in Dr. Vincent's office?  The woman is traumatized by boxes, for being abused that way by her grandfather, only to get home, and be attacked by clowns who put both in the very caskets she fears.  What the hell is this all about?

                             The Wiltons, who chair the Nicole Kidman Fan Club, which should tell anyone something is wrong with them right there, are ambushed by Ally, but, then he goes all ballistic when it appears his wife--you know, the vampire!!!!!!!!--has been murdered, and he points the finger at Ally!

                              And blood drenched Smiley faces are everywhere--at the Mayfair-Richards, and the Wiltons?  So, what the hell is going on?

                             I still maintain Kai and Winter are engineering all this, that Kai is solicitous to Ally because he is Oz' biological father, which is going to mean custody trouble.  But how or why Ally is coming over to Kai's side--which was made clear last night--will be fascinating to see.

                             My only complaint was I missed Twisty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             And, on some season, can't they bring back Ma Petite?????????????

                            Or maybe Ma Petite is one smart cookie--she has seen the scripts, and is not a bit interested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Neither "Dolce Vita" Or "Vida Loca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                          After nearly breaking up, Corinne and Russell are back again.  Are they living "The Good Life?"  That question is up for grabs, because, after their boom and bust adventure in the Eighties, chronicled in "Brightness Falls," along comes 9/11, which irrevocably changed New York City, and not necessarily in a good way.  When the dust cleared, back came greed, greed greed!!!!!!!!!!

                                           As for Corinne, like Maria in Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," she goes down to the workers, volunteering at this soup kitchen, where she meets Luke McGavock, who is really some big pussy hound.  He is married to some fashionista named Sasha, but he and Corinne pine and pant for each other, throughout most of the book, having an affair, which no one knows about.  Meanwhile, Russell is no angel, either.

                                            In other words, not much happens, outside of 9/11.  It is the same old McInerney corn, though he does need a good editor.  When Corinne goes to visit her mother, who is a riot of a character, she mentions the film "From Here To Eternity," and that Deborah Kerr's character was a prostitute.  Wrong!  She was an adulterer; Donna Reed won an Oscar, for playing a prostitute, named Lorene.  Get your facts, right, Jay!  Ironic, really, what with Jay having been a fact checker, and the novel more about adultery, not prostitution.

                                            The best thing "The Good Life" does is to illuminate vividly how 9/11 changed life in New York City.  The encroachment of suburbia, the dumbing down of its populace, the loss of edginess that those of us young enough to remember came to this city to seek out, is gone, and McInerney demonstrates how and why.

                                             As for Corinne and Russell, well, they have another book ahead, called "Bright, Precious Days," which I will report on soon.

                                             McInerney is still one of the better Brat Pack writers.  Let's see how he wraps things up in the trilogy's conclusion, "Bright, Precious Days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                             And then, that will be it--for him!   Enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Darlings, I Have GOT To Find Out What Kind Of Moisturizer Jennifer Lawrence Uses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Not since the other Jennifer (Jones) of decades ago, has an actress had as creamy a complexion as Jennifer Lawrence, which is photographed to perfection in "Mother" (or "mother.!" however you care to write it).  It almost does not matter, because the film is essentially a two hour mind fuck, and there is no right or wrong to it.  But, there are two important points that have to be gotten out of the way first.

                             When Jennifer Lawrence takes that shower, and then steps out, oh, my God, how I wanted to look like her!  Be prepared for that, girls!  That we could all look like Jennifer Lawrence!

                               Second, when Michelle Pfeiffer--yes, darlings, Michelle Pfeiffer--offers you a cold, refreshing glass of lemonade, you had better damn well take it.

                                As for the movie, it seems to be two in one.  The first half is straight up Biblical allegory, and you can count them off one by one-- Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and The Flood, even Abraham and Isaac, though, in this version, Isaac does not get saved.  Is he some kind of Christ figure here?  That is one of many questions to ponder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                This is the first half of the movie, enlivened considerably by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer, in a way unseen since Ruth Gordon and Sidney Blackmer enlivened "Rosemary's Baby."  Any resemblance to that iconic classic ends here.

                                 So--Jen runs around the house, so her body can be adored, occasionally swallowing some liquid, orange concoction--weren't Pfeiffer's lemonades enough?  Is this Knox gelatin?  Some kind of Laxative?  Jen stops taking it when she becomes pregnant, after which the film pretty much becomes what I had been expecting--a homage to Polanksi's "Repulsion," with Jennifer, instead of Catherine Deneuve, going bat shit crazy in a house, not an apartment, with a human heart, instead of a mutilated, pre-"Fatal Attraction" rabbit.  But, then comes those last seconds, which turns all having gone before on its head.

                                 Caution--the film was made with a hand held camera, so, like my David, if this makes one nauseous, stay away!  No woman in any stage of pregnancy should see it!

                                   If you figure out any more than I can--or care--you are welcome to try.

                                    Meanwhile, I will retreat to my kitchen, and have a cool drink!

                                    If only Michelle Pfeiffer were there to give it to me!  We could drink, discuss hair, and  fashions!

We Have A New Reader, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               It is always gratifying to get a new reader, but in the face of this hurricane strewn September, it is more than refreshing.  With all my girls, I would like to welcome Pamela Purvis to these pages.  Welcome, Pam, and I am hoping you find things to enjoy on here.

                                As always, this blog goes best with morning coffee.  It is never far from me, when I write.

                                A perfect time to come here, as we are fast approaching all kind of holiday seasons.  That always makes for some good posts!

                                 And, as always, here is this blog's unofficial theme--

                                 It is always Deborah Harry's "Call Me!"  I cannot post it now, but give it a listen elsewhere!  Enjoy, and welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

I Found Some Gems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Yes, both David and I made it to the Brooklyn Book Festival, where, of course, I was on the prowl.  For books, what else?

                             Everyone, and I mean everyone, devoted to fiction, was looking for the new Jennifer Egan book, "Manhattan Beach."  Alas, that does not come out until October 5.  I found a table where it and some other gems were being raffled off, but that was a contest!  And there was a manuscript copy on another table, but if one was not a participant in the festival, one could not so much as lay hands on it.

                            Of course I was disappointed.  But, that did not stop me from finding the new Nicole Krauss novel, "Forest Dark," which I cannot wait to read.   I also managed to land the new Jesmyn Ward novel, "Sing, Unburied Sing," which is shaping up to be one of the most talked about books of the year, and then something I have heard about all year, but haven't had a chance yet to read--"Pond," by Claire-Louise Bennett.  All this, plus what I already have to read, should keep me busy, for a long time.

                            We met up with our friend, Judy, and made do with a light meal at "Teresa's," on Montague Street.  Even if I didn't score Jennifer Egan!

                              We will have to talk about that, on October 5, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

You Have GOT To Be Kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Just when I think films cannot sink lower, along comes this crap called "Battle Of The Sexes," featuring my least favorite actress, Emma Stone, as Billie Jean King, and Steve Carrell, whom I happen to like, as Bobby Riggs.

                                 The first question is, who cares?

                                  The 1973 pairing of these then tennis icons was the silliest media event in the time I have spent on this planet.  Who gave a damn, then, and who will, now???????????

                                    Emma Stone has enough trouble looking pretty when she is dolled up to the max, as she was in "La La Land!!!!!!!!!"   This film demonstrates it does not take much, to make her ugly; all it takes is glasses, and a faux wig.  Her impersonation of Billie Jean is the cheapest I have seen; belonging more as a Made For TV movie--remember those????--than on the big screen.  Even Billie Jean herself was not this unattractive.

                                     The one I pity most is Steve Carell, whom I consider to be an attractive man.  He is talented, but is he so desperate to prove he can transition from comedy to drama, that he will accept anything that comes his way?  And hasn't he already demonstrated this, in better films, like "Little Miss Sunshine," and "Dan, In Real Life?"

                                      Hang in there, Steve!  Your time is coming!  It is just not going to be with this film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Who is going to give a shit, now, anyway??????????????????????

                                        Besides, the best tennis scene in film history was when Celeste Holm, dressed as a nun, held her own on the court, in 1949's "Come To The Stable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I Want To See You There, Tomorrow, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I mean, it isn't even Fall, yet, and things are kicking in, already!

                           Tomorrow wraps up the Brooklyn Book Festival, and I am telling you, right now, I am headed there to see if I can pick up some new literary gems.  I have got to read the new Nicole Kraus, and get my hands on the new Jennifer Egan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Not to mention some faves of mine--like Claire Messaud, Jonathan Safren-Foer, and Jonathan Lethem, will be there.  Don't expect Joan Didion; she's too busy drinking and smoking to venture outdoors.  The fresh air would probably kill her!  But you can count on Joyce Carol Oates; just like Sylvia Miles, whenever there is free food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            So, yes, I plan on being there to search, meet, and greet.  If you want to do the last two, I will be wearing my most conspicuous T-shirt--the yellow one, emblazoned on front with the poster for "Attack Of The Fifty Foot Woman."  It can't be missed, and it shouldn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            See you all there!  But, I am warning you--anyone who tries to snatch the new Jennifer Egan from my hands, I will fight tooth and nail for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He Was The Librarian Of Our Dreams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Say that word, "librarian," and, to the thinking populace, two images will come to mind--"Citizen Kane," and Donna Reed in the nightmare sequence of "It's A Wonderful Life."  For male librarians, it is the one in "Sophie's Choice."

                               Dan Cherubin's brilliance as a librarian rested not only on his leadership, intelligence, and humor, but that he defied every stereotype in the book.

                                He was also an LGBT activist, raised by two Mommies--Heather was not the only one, darlings!!!!!!!!--and he spoke out when needed with no apologies for his own sense of self-identity.  Which was one of the traits I admired him for,  That, and him understanding my sensibility, which hovers somewhere between Jacqueline Susann and Jennifer Jones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                To those of us who knew and/or worked with him, the announcement of his passing, earlier this week came as a collective shock.  I had no idea he had been ill, let alone having left the city for suburban Connecticut, to become the head librarian at Wesleyan University, in Middletown.
Which I am sure he did well.  He always did.  Does that mean I could end up at Miss Porter's?  Who knows?

                                 During one of my low periods, in 2001, Dan got me into a book group he not only belonged to, but had founded.  I met many lovely people, whom I still hold dear, and I know they share my sadness over Dan's passing.

                                   Dan had such a sense of humor, a funny outlook, some stories too wild to tell, even on here, but one I will share.

                                    The book group met once a month, at a different host's house.  One month the selection was "The Moor's Last Sigh," by Salman Rushdie.  As good a reader I am, I just could not get through it.  When we finally met, we all discovered each of us had stopped at different points. Only Dan finished the entire book.

                                      He also was not too bad in the kitchen.  I have memories of a casserole he would make that was scrumptious.  What a pair he and Julia Child would have made!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     To honor Dan is to recall all his facets.  Which is why the pic I chose for this tribute is somewhat irreverent.  But I think Dan would like it.  I think he would get it; it is something he would have expected from me.

                                       Dan had his ups and downs, but to lose him this way, too soon, is our own sadness.  I hold many fond memories of Dan, and shall miss him, as I am sure others who knew and loved him will.

                                        He always told me to "Sparkle, Neely, sparkle!"

                                        Now it is his turn to sparkle.  Rest In Peace, Dan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Manhattan This Photo Portrays Is All But Vanished From Existence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            The recent disappointment of my recent visit to the renovated Child's--now pretentiously renamed "Kitchen 21," at Coney Island--brought this to mind.

                             The photo is from "Annie Hall," and the scene is my favorite, when Alvy detects a pompous, pretentious blowhard, in a movie line, pontificating on Marshall McLuhan, and Alvy takes him aside, and shoots him down, by retrieving McLuhan himself from behind a giant review card.

                             Now, in the scene, they are going to see Ingmar Bergman's "Face To Face."  For starters, where are films like this, anymore?  Even in Manhattan?  And remember when Alvy takes Annie to see "The Sorrow And The Pity," which I have never seen--and maybe never will???????  Because, when was the last time that film was shown, anywhere????????????

                              Like me, Alvy also has to see a film straight through.  He cannot go in, once the film has started.`

                              The artistry of films such as these, or book stores as gathering repository places for the intelligent, that once made Manhattan a destination place, is quickly fading.  When I watch "Annie Hall" now, I mourn, more than I laugh, because of what we have lost

                               Even the pretentious pontiff type is gone.  I cannot recall the last cohesive comments I have heard, standing in a movie line, unless coming from my husband, friends, or myself.

                                I would love to march out this afternoon, and see "The Sorrow And The Pity."  These days, count yourselves lucky if you even get "The Enchanted Cottage!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                 I know "Mother" has opened, and though I am going tomorrow, and will report on here, I have my doubts.  I thought I had an idea of where the film was going, but the little I have read indicated that I was wrong.  At least Jennifer Lawrence still has her lovely, creamy skin.

                                  Those times, they are a'changin', and not in a way that I like.  The suburbs I chose to escape from as a youth seem more erudite now, and Manhattan more like the landscapes of my youth. Is it still possible to have an artistic experience?????????????????

                                   Or does it just all boil down to the masses having a collective bowel movement??????????

Now, The Dumbing Down Of The So-Called Intelligensia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Now, girls, I never considered Sally Quinn an intellectual world beater.  But I had read some of her pieces in The Washington Post, and the lady could write.  When she made her debut, along with Hughes Rudd, on the CBS Morning New, on August 6, 1973, "TIME Magazine" called it "the year's most ballyhooed fizzle."  I always felt she got a raw deal.  I mean, she was no dimwit, like that Deborah Norville!

                                  And Sally bought, owned, then sold Grey Gardens!  Too bad I could not have bought it, or that she converted it into a museum, which would have served as a shrine for gay men.  The Lourdes of The Hamptons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I always had respect for Sally--until now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I love the "By The Book" column "The New York Times" runs, covering noted people and their reading tastes and habits.  I don't need The Times, dears.  They can find out all they want about me, simply by reading these posts.

                                   In this column, Sally was profiled yesterday.  Within a question regarding classics, she stated having recently read "Middlemarch," by George Eliot.  Then came the comment that shook me.

                                  She said, "I liked it.  I did not LOVE it."

                                   Sal, hon, are you crazy?  Do you have any intelligence, at all????????

                                   Any reader who is of serious literary bent, reveres "Middlemarch."  Its narrative is compelling, as are its character studies, and Eliot's prose is among the most gorgeous in the English language.  What is there not to LOVE??????????????????

                                   I was scandalized by this remark!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not to love "Middlemarch"--why it is practically a desecrating remark about all of English literature!!!!!!!!!!!!  The nerve of her to say this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Sally, I will tell you right now, you may look good for 76, but your mind is going putrid.  If I were you, dear, I would hang it up, now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Stick to your Grey Gardens profits, and read Beverly Cleary.

                                    That is about as much sophistication, as you can handle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Get Over Yourself, James!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         Remember the wonderful Lance Kerwin show, "James, At 15?"  There was a slight controversy over the character losing his virginity, after which the series became "James At 16."

                         That is sixteen, not "James, Post 60!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                          This week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, James Woods, used to be a respected actor.  He started out with Meryl Streep in "Holocaust."  Don't you mess with her daughters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Now, I don't want to get into the whole Woody Allen-Roman Polanski thing, though perhaps I must.  Whatever lapses of judgment both have made, they have never lost their artistry.

                            Woods' career tanked so long ago, I cannot remember.  Now, he trolls Hollywood, indulging in that community's three favorite activities--drinking, drugging, and whoring.

                              Not that that does not go on in New York, but we are more sensible here about things like craft and artistry.  Forget "La La Land."  New York is still THE place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Woods fancies himself some gift to underage women, according to Amber Tamblyn, Russ' daughter.  After propositioning one girl, only to be told she was only sixteen, Woods simply replied, "Even better."

                             Hey, James, have you looked at yourself in the mirror, lately?  You have no career, the looks you had are gone, and the only women who would go out with you are biddies from the nursing home, or rehab center, where you are due to end up, who have yet to have their cataract surgery, so they cannot see how ugly you are!

                             You pig!  You're finished!

                              Grab a tube sock!  It's your only chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"AHS: Cult" Was Such Fun, Last Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         It may not ending up being the best season of the series, but its potential is highly enjoyable.

                         Yes, Sarah Paulson, as Ally, is still running about, like a hysterical nut, though she may have a point this time.  And John Carroll Lynch, as the lovable Twisty, made another brilliant appearance; he has GOT to be given more screen time.   And Billie Lourd is still stealing the show as the creepy Nanny, Winter Anderson.  What is it, with those Judy Garland, Dorothy of Oz braids?  And the rest of her dressed like a prostitute?  I love when she gave Oz a Twisty doll; she could give me one.  But, I am telling you, I think she is up to something, and I think I know what."

                          The cult is slowly closing in on Ally and Ivy, and Oz, though I cannot imagine why, except that, in a representational sense, they are the New Mainstream that the Old is trying to keep at bay.  When Evan Peters, in one of his two big scenes, as Kai, said to Sarah Paulson something about "them coming for you," I knew that he, Winter, and those creepy new neighbors, the Wiltons, he who raises bees, and she who stays out of the sun because of cancer--or is it vampirism????  I really cannot tell--are all aligned, and in on something, and they are closing in on the lesbian couple and offspring next door.   If you think Ally's hysterics are pointless now, wait; eventually she is going to have something to get genuinely hysterical about.

                          I can see this coming, as clearly as my husband knew Ally was going to shoot the Mexican (but born in San Diego) grocery clerk, Pedro.  Which was a tragedy, though whomever murdered that faux chef wannabe and power monger, Roger, should get a metal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          A fun evening was had by all, darlings!  Now, it is just a matter of sitting back, and seeing if I am right!  And waiting for the coming of Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates, or whomever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           That media whore, Ryan Murphy!  If he could get Charles Manson to make an appearance on this show, he would!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back To The Brat Pack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        I am happy to report the return was satisfying.

                                        "Brightness Falls," written in 1992, is the first of a trilogy that continues with "The Good Life, in 2006, and ending with "Bright, Precious Days," a decade later.  McInerney seems to want to write his all encompassing history of New York City, during the time when his generation, and mine, the Baby Boomers, were coming to the fore.

                                           Maybe that is why "Brightness Falls" is also the longest of the three.  Which was not a problem, because the characters were fascinating and the story had a lot of scope.

                                            Let's start with Russell and Corinne Calloway.  He is a publishing house exec on the rise, she works in a brokerage firm.  Both have the capacity to be the city's movers and shakers, but Corinne wants to chuck it all, and have a baby, while Russell latches onto what today would be called a Ponzi scheme, and rides with it, to the sad end.  In between, are secrets both hold about their successful author friend, Jeff Pierce (a stand in for McInerney?  Except he is not the narrator).  Corinne has slept with him twice--before and during her marriage to Russell-- and hubby is jealous of his friend's literary success.

                                           This is all played out against the cataclysms of the stock market crash, and the AIDS crisis, among other things.  Nell's gets a mention--oh, the days of Nell's, darlings!!!!!!--but the author here is more interested in telling a story than dropping names of places.  How refreshing!
Another Brat Packer who can actually write.  You cannot imagine how pleasing that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Even if the trilogy were not known, it is obvious, from where the author leaves his characters, at the end, that there will be more!  And I cannot wait for it.

                                             So, now we are forming a hierarchy of the Brat Pack.  Donna Tartt, the High Priestess, Tama Janowitz, following, and Jay McInerney on the third branch of the tree.  Will there be room for anyone else???????????????????

                                              Stay tuned, and find out, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You Want To Hear About "It???????????" Here We Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Yes, it starts with Georgie.

                                 But, even before he is sucked into the drain by Pennywise, (a very good Bill Skarsgard, but, face it, Tim Curry owns the role) this "It" showed every sign of being different, because, in an almost far too graphic scene, the kid's arm is ripped off, before he goes plunging into darkness.  The director, Andy Muschiettti, lets everyone know he is going to push the boundaries of the 1990 telefilm.

                                 My husband did not like the film.  While "It" is no artistic masterpiece, its ensemble of child actors is very good, though I doubt this film will do anything for their careers.  They are the pawns used to tap into what the story is really about--the manifestation of fear.

                                 And fear abounds all through this film.  Not just Pennywise, but an evil, leering pharmacist, a Munchausen by proxy afflicted mother, a sexually abusive father, not to mention sewer drains, the best haunted house seen on film in years, and the kind of film special effects that allow It to splinter into whatever It wants--a disintegrating clown, with tentacles coming out of its mouth was the best.

                                 As well as Muschietti evokes fear in his young actors, the drama is in the visuals.  This film is worthy of prizes in the categories of set design and art direction.  They supply the necessary fear, and it is they who elicit the scares from both the children in the film, and the audience.

                                The film it as well constructed as a good amusement ride, providing, basically, the same thrills.  This movie wants to be so much more, but does not succeed.

                                You want to float, darlings?  Find a swimming pool that is still open, or indoors!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Thought This Would Be the Social Event Of The Season......It Was Not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             For lo these many years of going to the Mermaid Parade, at Coney Island, with my beloved and friends, there has been structure, past the Parachute Jump, that has fascinated me.    It is this imposing structure, with a nautical theme, going back to the Golden Age of Coney.  I had always thought it was a bath house, but those old enough to know have told me it used to be a huge restaurant, called Child's.

                              Back around April, this structure had been renovated and refurbished; its lush outdoor exterior restored.  It still, for me, conjures up thoughts of the Sondheim musical, "Follies," or Herk Harvey's 1962 film, "Carnival Of Souls.  I had always wanted to see it from the inside, even in its squalor.

                            Well, like the song says, "baby, look at you now."  The atmosphere, apart from this picture, is so dark and cavernous, it feels like one is inside the pavilion of the Carnival Of Souls.  I was waiting for the streamers to come poring down from the ceiling, and the souls of the dead to begin their maniacal dance.

                               Which actually would have livened things up, darlings.  Because, outside of atmosphere, there is really no other reason to visit this place.

                                  The food is pedestrian and over priced.  The staff is overwhelmed, because the place is so cavernous, with so many nooks and crannies to serve in, they need more staff.  On a lovely day, the rooftop bar is lovely, overlooking the ocean and boardwalk, but why should the customers ask for what they want; what ever happened to customer service?

                                     Go once, darlings, because who knows how long it will last?  It is not bad, it just does not live up to what it could be.

                                       And how many people will trek out to Coney in the dead of our New York Winters???????????????????

                                        See and dine there, while you can!  

                                        The drinks are fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A New Take On Tracy Turnblad???????????????

                            As soon as I saw the hairdo, darlings, I thought of Tracy.

                            Which gave me another idea--why not do "Hairspray," as a Zombie musical, with everyone dressed in like manner as this costume?  It would bring a whole new meaning to "Good Morning, Baltimore," I am telling you.

                                Actually, this is how I feel, before I have my first cup of morning coffee.  I just cannot think without it.

                                But, thank God, I don't have to look like this, all the time!

                                It's all about innovative musical theater, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Relationship With Reading Lists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     One of the few things I loved during my school years was the Reading List, which was given out, before school ended, for the summer.  As I got older--junior high and up, the lists got interesting, especially for those like myself, who shifted from juvenile to adult fiction.

                                      I wonder if Reading Lists are still handed out today. Even in my day, they seemed to just stop, after ninth grade, especially as the English department shifted from traditional courses to phase electives.

                                     If reading lists still exist, I would love to see one.  Because I can tell you one thing right now--they have been considerably dumbed down.

                                    Each time I got a reading list, I would go through it carefully, checking off what I had read, putting a star behind a title that meant a MUST.  Like "The Fountainhead," in eighth grade.

                                     Yes, that's right, darlings.  I wonder what someone at that age would mark off now.

                                       I still remember the ninth grade reading assignments.  Here is how it went.

                                       Ninth Grade--"To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
                                       Tenth Grade--"The Keepers Of The House," by Shirley Ann Grau (Huh?
                                           Who?  What?  Is this even read, anymore?)
                                        Eleventh Grade--"The Autobiography Of Malcom X"
                                        Twelfth Grade Honors--"The Horse's Mouth," by Joyce Cary, and
                                            "The Story Of Philosophy," by Will Durant
                                         Twelfth Grade CP--"The Razor's Edge," by W. Somerset Maugham
                                         Twelfth Grade Remedial--"1984," by George Orwell

                             Now, of these books, I have, by now, read five.  What I find most interesting is the high level of books on this list.  The idea of "1984" for the remedials--the future grease monkeys and beauticians of America--is laughable, and shows how more intelligent even the dumbest kids were back then.  Orwell's dystopian work would never make a high school list.  Today's students wouldn't even  be ready for it, till graduate school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              As for me, I still have reading lists.  Not the kind I assign--books to be read are just piled atop one another now.  Rather, since 1968, I have kept a list of every book I read during each year, and, and since 1970, the same, with movies attended.   With books, my goal is to reach 100, but that has not happened in awhile,  However the book I am currently reading will put me at 84, so this could be the year.

                             I have never lost the pleasure of the reading list.

                              I know tastes change, but why do they have to be dumbed down?????????????

Friday, September 8, 2017

Oh, My God, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sarah Paulson, As Nurse Ratched!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                If there is a busier working actress in Hollywood, right now, beside Sarah Paulson, even I could not guess who.  The way her resume is piling up, she is looking to become the Meryl Of Melodrama.

                                As some of my previous posts have revealed, I am big on origin stories.  Well, the latest one being concocted, with Paulson in the lead, is that of Nurse Ratched, whom Ken Kesey introduced us to in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," and Louise Fletcher embodied on film, earning herself both an Oscar, and, for a time, the career title of Hollywood's Most Sought After Bitch.

                               Now, I just love Nurse Ratched.  Not just because she is a bitch, but for personal reasons.  She has the first name as my mother, Mildred, and my mother, like Ratched, was a nurse.

                                Ratched was a control freak.  My mother, I now understand, suffered from depression and other health issues, which, I now believe, kept her from seeing and dealing with the problems I was having in school, at that time.  A time I still resent.

                                Now, as for this series, if Ratched's childhood is going to be portrayed, Ryan Murphy had better make the one sensible casting decision that will give the project credence.

                                 Louise Fletcher should play Paulson's mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 What better way to pass the torch??????????????????

                                  And how about a cameo appearance by Kathy Bates, as Annie Wilkes?????????

                                  But that is another story.  Geez, please, Ryan, use Louise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It Is Called "The Locals," Not "The Locos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                           Let  me start by saying that this is one of the best novels I have read this year.  Along with "Lincoln In The Bardo," it could make my Ten Best List.  Even if I hadn't been reading all this Brat Pack stuff, Jonathan Dee's novel would still be refreshing, because he is such a wise and insightful writer.

                                           Small town stories will come and go.  Telling them is timeless, but their dynamics change, with the times.  They have moved from the scandalous exposition of Sinclair Lewis, Henry Bellamy, and, of course, the gold standard, "Peyton Place," by Grace Metalious; beyond the florid romanticism of Helen Hooven Santmyer's "....And Ladies Of The Club," to a calmer, more objective depiction of life outside urban locales.

                                             And Jonathan Dee leads the movement.  He brilliantly objectified city life with "The Privileges," now he does the same with the small Massachusetts town in "The Locals."

                                              The title refers both to the citizens of Howland, Massachusetts, and to the Firth family, who seem to embody it.  One thing that puzzled me was its opening.  The novel begins with a nameless narrator who has to keep his identity low profile, because he is a registered sex offender.  I was waiting for the big reveal throughout the book, but none is given.  I was sure either Mark's brother, Gerry, or his work partner, Barrett Taylor, would be the one, but now I am forced to think it was Philip Hadi, as he and his family leave as mysteriously as they arrive.  But no confirmation is given.  This is my one criticism of this book.  Dee should not have left this dangling.  He began the book the way he did for a reason, so he needs to clarify that reason.  Or at least confirm that I am right--or wrong.

                                               As for the dynamics of the Firths, they are universally entertaining--priggish, self-righteous Mark; his resentful wife Karen; their daughter, Haley, who rebels in a way I should have when visiting Hollis House in Louisiana; martyred daughter Candace, and Renee, the unseen sibling, hated by all, because she escaped to Colorado.   I knew these people well, and there are components of myself, and I am guessing all of us, in them.  I couldn't stop reading  this book, wondering how it would end.  Its ending is exactly right.

                                               Jonathan Dee has written one of this year's best books.  But who is the sex offender, John?  I wish he had told us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                "The Locals" will resonate with anyone living, or having lived, in a small town.  With this book, Dee becomes the latest sage chronicler of the hinterland.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Are Rod Serling's "Nightmare As A Child" and "Miriam," by Truman Capote, The Same Story????????????

                                Back when I was doing my post on "Among The Paths To Eden," I came across references to "Miriam," and sought it out.  I have just read it online, and its similarity to Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" episode, "Nightmare As A Child," was so striking, it set me to wondering.

                                  And I am still not completely certain. But consider.

                                 "Nightmare' concerns a spinster named Helen Furley (Janice Rule), into whose life comes a macabre child named Markie, played by Terry Burnham, (not Patty McCormack, though the resemblance is striking) who played the young Sandra Dee in the 1959 "Imitation Of Life."

                                  "Miriam" concerns a widow, Mrs. H.T. Miller, living a widowed existence in the Manhattan of another--maybe Forties or Fifties--era, in an apartment near the East River.  Which is one of the areas I fantasized about living in Manhattan, when I was a child.

                                   Anyway, the woman is intruded upon, first outside, then at home, by a little girl called Miriam, who, if filmed around the same time, Burnham could very well have played.

                                    "Miriam" has the detail Capote is famous for; Miller locks eyes with an old man one day, while strolling by herself.  It was clear to me Miriam had visited him, and he knew Mrs. Miller was now being visited.  But to what end?  And why has Miriam stopped with the old man????

                                      Helen, in 'Nightmare,' is haunted by an adult man, who keeps trailing after her, seeking her out, but she cannot figure why.

                                      Until she does.  She learns through Markie, that the child is her younger self.  She witnessed a man murdering her mother as a child, and now that man has come back to kill the grown up Markie, (Helen 's nickname) but the child is here to protect her, and she does.

                                        "Miriam's" purpose is far more vague.  Only Mrs. Miller sees her.  It has been posed she is a harbinger of Death.  However I disagree.

                                           Both Markie and Miriam are manifestations of the lead characters' minds.  In both cases, they have emerged as protection ; for Helen, from death, for Mrs. Miller, from the insanity of widowed loneliness, though she is so far gone, at this point, unable to accept Miriam, she is unaware of her deep seated, sad need for companionship. In time, I think she will come to accept Miriam.  The delusion will keep her alive.

                                        "Miriam" came first.   Capote's story was first published in the June, 1945 issue, of "Madamoiselle" magazine.  Serling's story came fifteen years later, broadcast on his program on April 29, 1960.

                                           Are they the same story?  Not exactly, but the similarities are strong.  Was Serling influenced by the Capote story?  It is highly possible that he read it.  Maybe "Nightmare' was directly influenced by it.

                                           Or--and this I tend more to believe--was it just a supernatural coincidence of two minds thinking alike, while still apart????????????????????????

                                             Think about it, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Love Nuns! Really, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     What a week it has been!  After having been saved from a near fatal fall by Bernadette and Jennifer Jones riding on my shoulders, you know what TMC ran, the night "American Horror Story: Cult" premiered, to conflict with it?

                                        That is right.  "The Song Of Bernadette."  And I did not watch it.  I truly felt guilty, but, then, that is my Easter film, and one viewing a year is emotionally overwhelming for me.

                                         While reading up on AHS, the morning after the premiere, I found myself wandering, and came upon someone who I thought would make a good Bitch Of The Week.

                                           This is Amanda Krueger, and if the name sounds familiar, it is the reason she has been given The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award.   Not because she is a nun, but because of what she gave to the world--Freddy Krueger.

                                             The funny thing is, I have never been into the whole 'Nightmare' series, though Robert Englund is brilliant as Freddy.  But the more grounded in reality aspects of the story I have always preferred, but then the stories go off the rails.

                                              I like the idea of Freddy having been a maladjusted kid who evolves into a sadistic pedophile/serial killer.  The idea of a janitor luring children to a boiler room, in the school where he lives, has a creepy credibility to it.   And so does the angry parental wrath that results in his physical destruction.

                                              But his mother, Amanda, this week's bitch, was a nun who worked in an asylum, and was said to have been raped, one evening by 100 maniacs!   Which is what some school children call Freddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  "Son of 100 Maniacs!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                               You have to see the scene where she is giving birth, and the little baby Freddy, with a perfectly formed mini Robert Englund head, pops out of the womb, lands, and stands up!   What a hoot!

                                                 You have to wonder about Amanda.  How does someone survive an attack like that?  Let alone give birth!  I think she had a bit of the Devil in her.  Or, at least, she was targeted by him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  But she is the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!  Look what you gave to the world, Amanda!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   Put on that hair shirt, at once, darling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!