Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It Was Short, But What A Month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     So short, I almost forgot to write this farewell.  I mean, my first month of retirement and marriage, our celebratory party, and all the drama attendant, family travails--routine ones; I am not talking "Manchester By The Sea" here--and, then just this day alone.

                                      Today was both my sister's birthday (unreal, as she is a Leap Year baby), and my cousin  Robert's (real).  I was supposed to have a therapist appointment, and catch an early morning screening of "Moonlight," but the therapist cancelled due to illness, I made plans with a friend to see "La La Land," only he could not get there, because of train problems.  Meanwhile, I was suffering free floating anxiety.  I made it through the day, my only success being "La La Land."  Girls, you will have to wait till tomorrow for my assessment of it.

                                       Fastest February I have been through.  March I always looked upon as a month of Hope.  May it follow all of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Until next month, dears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Still Thought Provoking, In Spite Of Some Narrative Flaws!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I cannot believe I have never written on here about "The Rosary Murders," book or movie.  I have the nagging suspicion still that I have, so forgive me, readers, if I am repeating myself.  And for those who wish to read the book or see the movie, then read no further, because key aspects of the story will be discussed.

                                        I first read William X. Kienzle's novel, the year it was published, in 1979.  That was a life changing year, for me.  My mother died, and barely a month later, Etan Patz disappeared.  Wow!

                                         Kienzle, an ex-priest, who left to get married, became a writer.  This was the first of a total of twenty Father Koessler (pronounced "Kessler") mysteries, and I have read them all.  It is one of my favorite books, and remains so.  In some ways, it works better in print than it does on film.  I had not seen the film in years; it was not commercially successful, and is, as yet, unavailable on DVD.  You can see it on You Tube. It has a fine cast, headed by Donald Sutherland, Belinda Bauer, Charles Durning, Josef Sommer, and, in a chilling and moving performance, character actor James Murtaugh.  And there is some minor work by actors in pivotal scenes that stand out from the otherwise plodding and predictable pace of the story.  Every time there is to be a killing, it is telegraphed to us, via ominous chanting and spiritual music.  Koessler not only risks violating the killer's confidence in the confessional, the sacrament takes place during a Mass, and I know of no such thing in my years of being raised Catholic.  The whole purpose of the confessional is confidentiality, so why during a Mass, when fellow parishioners can see who is lining up for sin telling?????  I mean, come on!  Second, Koessler risks being charged by the killer himself, for breaking and entering into the killer's own home.  The charge would be justified, and, in so doing, the killer might very well have gotten away with the murders.  But he does not press charges, and, knowing the story as I do, I understand why.  He wants to end his own torment.

                                          This film is now thirty years old--a good decade and a half before "Spotlight" explored Catholic investigatory issues.  "The Rosary Murders" was ahead of its time, but were audiences, and Catholics, in general, ready for it?  Are they, even now?  Let's find out, as "The Rosary Murders" is explored.

                                             What is its story?  There are several going on, at once.

                                              Between Ash Wednesday--which this year is this week; how timely am I darlings?--and Holy Week, a series of murders begins, against priests and nuns, by a serial killer, with an as yet unrevealed agenda.  Before discovering what that is, a person the killer holds especially in blame shall be killed.

                                                 It is clever how the Ten Commandments is carefully worked into the killer's agenda, which matches up clues in the names of those being murdered.  The killer is sending a message--against the commandments, against the Church--what????

                                                This is also the story of Robert Javison, beautifully played by James Murtaugh.  While not on screen much, his time there is impacting.  One can almost construct his back story.  A good Catholic, he tried, in good faith, to remain so.  He married his wife, Edna, at the right time, their late 20's, and had a beautiful only child, named Katherine, who died at the age of 16, for which he blames the Catholic church.  But this is his pathology.  He cannot deal with himself being responsible. Though it is not explored, there has to be some abuse in Javison's background.  Because, when his daughter reaches the nubile age of sixteen, while his wife sleeps, Javison begins abusing the child.  This goes on for some time.  Kathy even reaches out to her advisor at school, Sister Margaret Mary Of The Holy Martyrs.  The inflexible nun, in a move that will cost her dearly, chastises the girl for impure thoughts, saying her father could never do something so unspeakable, calling her a liar.  Kathy withdraws further, and, a month later, unable to go on, she hangs herself, one evening, in her room.

                                                I had to wonder if the mother knew.  It was a small house, and just the three of them, living there.  She could have been  a Catholic of her time, and looked the other way.  But I don't think that was the case; once her daughter took her own life. Which was three years before the story now being told starts.

                                                The mother had to know.  And Javison's compulsivity caused him to lose all he loved.  But he directs this anger outward.  It becomes apparent he wants to kill himself, too, that he is still mourning and lusting after his daughter, and is deeply remorseful about it.  So he sets the killings in motion, causing him to be apprehended, in what I came to realize, at this recent viewing, was suicide by cop.

                                                  However, others were effected by Katherine's death.  Two key scenes reveal this.

                                                  The first, when Koessler sees the principal at the girl's school, St. Gene's, in Detroit,(the film was shot in and around Holy Redeemer Church, in South Detroit)  and learns the nun does not know much more than he about the girl's death.  She goes on to deliver a classic monologue I myself use, when needing to enhance my acting technique--

                                         I remember Kathy Javison very well. What a difference.
                                         I don't know what happened to her, over that last Summer.
                                         She'd been a sweet girl, warm, affectionate; a good student.
                                         But, when she returned to us, in the Fall--she was completely
                                         changed.  She was moody, troubled; her grades fell.

                                          Have you any idea of the change?

                                          You might ask Sister Margaret Mary, Of The
                                           Holy Martyrs; she was Kathy's advisor that
                                           last year.

                                           Sister Margaret Mary--

                                            --Of The Holy Martyrs.

                                            Does she teach, here at the school?

                                             Oh no. She left after that year....and hasn't kept
                                              in touch with anyone here, after more than twenty
                                              years of teaching.  I'm sure she is still somewhere
                                              in the Sisterhood.

                                              Thank you.

                                               Not at all.  You know, often you hear about teenagers
                                               getting into  drugs and alcohol...and that's how these
                                               tragedies occur.  But Kathy wasn't into that.  It was
                                               something else, something else, entirely.

                                                What tragedies do you mean, Sister?

                                                  Don't you know?  Kathy Javison committed suicide!"

                                   Quite powerful, when first viewed.  But, things get more dicey, when Koessler questions Sister Margaret Mary, Of The Holy Martyrs.  You see, Katherine's death, and her subsequent guilt over it, so unnerved her, she retreated into a cloistered nunnery, where she has taken a vow of silence, speaking not a word to anyone, save God.

                                     This scene is quite pivotal, and shocking, in its own way.  As Koessler questions her, the distraught nun answers with a series of written responses, culminating with her questioning him, "Why do you want to know?"  Koessler gets testy, reminding her she bas been absolved of her vow for this one interview.  She scrawls back to him twice, on a piece of paper, the word "INCEST."  In another piercing monologue, she explains to the priest--

                                       "SISTER MARGARET MARY
                                         With her father!  With...her...FATHER!
                                          She came to me.  I was the only one she
                                          would come to, not for awhile, not for a
                                          long time, but finally, she came to me.
                                          She told me her father had been committing
                                          incest with her.  She wanted it to stop.
                                          I called her a liar, and chastised her severely,
                                          for having foul thoughts.  I told her her father
                                          could not do something, which was so
                                          unspeakable.  She wouldn't talk to me, after
                                          that...for shame.  A month later, she killed
                                          herself...and I knew she was telling the truth."

                                   Poor Sister Margaret Mary.  To have to live with that guilt and regret.  Of course, Javison gets to her.  Obviously, Kathy's death had an effect on her, as well.  As is subtly
raised here, and in tandem with some conflict between Koessler, and his superior, Father Nabors,
(gamely played by Charles Durning) the need for more forward thinking is needed within the Church, to prevent such incidents taking place.  But there is more to come.

                                    As Good Friday ends, and police protection loosens, there is a knock on the rectory door.  Koessler hears Nabors answer, and sees a gentleman, who, Nabors says has lost his daughter.  Koessler knows by sight--a sudden encounter in the home, and his voice, from the confessional-- this is Robert Javison.  He knows that he is here to kill.  Trying to stay in the same room with Nabors, Koessler listens as the man explains, with emphasis on the "f" word, that he was "fucking my daughter" in her room, while his wife slept.  Nabors can barely stand to hear this, asking only if he saw a priest.  Javison replies he did, but the priest turns out to have been Nabors himself, whose platitudes really offered no help for himself or his daughter.  As Javison reaches for his gun to shoot Nabors, he is shot first--hence, suicide by cop.

                                      The film closes, with Koessler reading the suicide note Kathy wrote to her father, which the now dead parent always carried with him.  The voiceover is by Janet M. Smith. It ends, "Forgive me, Father, as I now forgive you."

                                 This is all very sad and disturbing.  So many lives ruined by one man's pathological lust.  And something Javison says disturbs me.  When Koessler pleads with him not to do this, for Kathy's soul, he replies, "Her soul is in Hell!"

                                   Is it?  Is it, really?  Here is where this otherwise flawed film and story (What are the odds of finding, within a diocese, a group of clerics and nuns, whose names are so in tandem with the Ten Commandments????) makes one think.  Is Kathy's soul in Hell?  I believe not! First, her suicide was driven by what her father was doing to her--and that is not her fault! Yes, she could have made better choices, but at sixteen, she felt cornered.  She was young, unaware, and too trusting of a world she had been taught to trust that turned on her.

                                    And, this film made me think of the other Kathy Javisons out there.  The suicides I have known--two, to be exact--or Tyler Clementi, and the recently deceased Daniel Fitzpatrick, last summer, who attended Holy Angels Academy in my neighborhood.  Like Kathy, he could not stand his abuse--in this case physical and psychological taunting by his peers--and  also felt he had no other recourse.  He was just 13.  Is his soul in Hell?  NO!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I don't think "The Rosary Murders" tries to blame any one, or any particular dogma.  It does make a plea for more non-linear interpretation, which is always welcome, but which, I am not sure, even now, in light of Daniel, if so-called Catholics are ready for.  I wonder what Sister Camille would think of all this?  Or if she has read the book, or seen the film?

                                       I think this film should be seen, as the ideas it throws out still merit our consideration.

                                       Who could imagine a "serial killer story" could have such conviction?

When The Oscars Screw Up, They Do It BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I know all my readers out there expect me to talk about "it."  But, before I do, let me talk about some other aspects of the Oscar show, good and bad.

                                 Jimmy Kimmel self-prophesied.  He screwed up, and is never coming back.  There was never a moment, when he was good!

                                  MERYL, of course, had the best gown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Viola Davis' was not bad either, and her deserved win--such a fine actress!!!!!!--and speech-- were glorious!

                                     Emma Stone--how could that Miss Thing win an Oscar?  How can she be called an actress!  She can't be camouflaged; underneath all that make-up was still the face of a low
class Woolworth's waitress!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       That fine young actor, Lucas Hedges, wuz robbed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Nice the Best Director set a precedent as the youngest winner, in that category!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Now--let me set the scene for the end.

                                       David and I rested in a half stupor, our minds reeling with boredom over another overlong--can they ever get it in under three-and-a half-hours?????????--Oscars show.  We knew it was time for Best Picture, so I sat up.  Out marched Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.  All us queens wanted to see what Faye looked like--why the hell doesn't she do "Sunset Boulevard????"--and I correctly guessed why they were chosen--the 50th Anniversary of "Bonnie And Clyde."

                                      So, Faye and Warren chit and chat, read off the nominees, and then Warren struggles to open the envelope, and looks at it nervously.  I just thought he was prolonging the suspense.  When Faye jumped in, and said "La La Land," I arose from the bed, and went to the kitchen to take my medicine, thinking that was that.  The expected had happened.

                                      Except it had not.  While I was taking my medicine, David calls, from the bedroom, "Oh, my God!  Come here!"  Thinking something had happened with him, I rushed in there, only to be told that "Moonlight," not "La La Land," had won Best Picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I couldn't believe it!  An on air mistake???????????  And in THE major category!!!!!!!!!!!!   I still could not process, not even after seeing it for myself, on the post-Oscar newscast.  It is only after this morning that I have processed it.
 Never , in the Academy's eighty-nine years has there been such a goof!   Who knew when this show started, we would be witnessing history?????

                                         Whose head is rolling?  Not Faye's or Warren's, because, I am telling you, this happened before they walked out on stage.  I felt happy for the "Moonlight" crew, and sad for those working for "La La Land!"  To have something given and snatched in front of rapid succession in front of hundreds of million people around the world will not be soon forgotten, and hard to live down!

                                             Mother of Mercy!  Is this the end of Oscar???????????????

Congratulations To Casey Affleck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I am telling you, if it hadn't been for this, and the final screw up--more on that, later--the Oscar broadcast would have been a waste of time.  I was rooting for two young men--Casey and Lucas Hedges--to win, but I am glad Casey did, because, first, he is a better actor than his brother, Ben--always has been!!!!!!!--and second the kind of modulated, internalized performance he gives as Lee Chandler in "Manchester By The Sea is very difficult for actors, men especially, come by.  Not since Jennifer Jones in "The Song Of Bernadette" have I seen this level of acting.

                                 So, I had no idea, until this morning, that his Oscar win was so controversial.  Like, no actor in Hollywood has skeletons hidden somewhere?????  Or he deprived poor Denzel of this third Oscar?  Come on; Casey won the Golden Globe, and the New York Film Critics Award!  It is inevitable, given his work here, he should be a Triple Crown winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Get off Casey's case, everyone!  He is a genuinely fine actor, and deserves recognition for it!

                                  He's not like that skank ho'--and killer--Casey Anthony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Charles Isherwood And Ben Brantley Should Be The New Bette And Joan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I am telling you, darlings, not since the days of Hedda and Louella--which were WELL before my time!!!!!!!!!--has their been such a journalistic ruckus as that over Charles Isherwood, at The New York Times.

                                  I have to side with Charles.  Not that I always agreed with him--he did "discover" and laud that overrated piece of trash called "Spring Awakening," which sought to be the "HAIR" of its day, but will never mark the same passage of time as that older, classic musical.

                                    Charles Isherwood wrote better than Brantley.  His reviews, especially the praiseworthy ones, read like plain, old fashioned ass kissing.  And you can tell just by looking at him that he is intellectually lacking, a big bottom feeder, a brown noser, and a star fucker!  Oh, my God, Ben, you saw the original "Chorus Line" as a college student?  Honey, get over it!  A lot of us your age--as am I--out there, did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Isherwood's writing was less pithy.  Less politically correct, and more what he really thought.  As The Times keeps saying, "The truth is hard."  They certainly can't have that, can they?  Not in their Arts department!  They want to give readers what they want to hear.

                                       Isherwood realized the sometime value of controversy, of not taking the popular stand.  Just like yours truly.  He should not be fired.  He should be lauded.

                                        The Times should hire Isherwood back, and slap that dizzy queen, Brantley!

                                         Hang it up, Ben!  You're through!

                                         Honey, as far as I am concerned, you were never there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can You Beleive It, Girls????????????? Shelley Plimpton Is 70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I don't know if this marks the official end of the Aquarius age, but today does happen to be the 70th birthday of Shelley Plimpton, who, as Crissy, in the original production and cast of "HAIR," took center stage, delivering what is still, and will always be, her signature song, "Frank Mills!"

                                   Later, Shelley went on to another important accomplishment--her daughter, the gifted actress, Martha Plimpton!

                                    It is as inconceivable for me to accept Shelley has reached this age as it has that I have reached retirement!  But, there you are!

                                     Happy Birthday, Shelley, and many more!  You remain my role model for my reality performance,  each September 12, in front of the Waverly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Catch me again, this year, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Now, here is Shelley in the Off-Broadway production. Note the difference
in tempo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Looking good, Shelley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hunter's Steak And Ale House Is In A Tough Position!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Following the circus, darlings, we returned to our neighborhood, slightly beyond where we live, in Bay Ridge, in the 90's, to dine here, thanks to a gift certificate from our lovely friend, Donna.

                                I should come back, and do a gig!  Hey, Hunter's, can you hire me?  I would love to do a set with the pianist who was there this past Friday night.  I almost did, because he played so many tunes I knew, I just could not help myself.  And, short of sotto voce, my voice carries!

                                 Which is not to say the meal was not delicious. We both had the T-Bone steak, which was luscious.  David had a baked potato, while I had saffron rice.  Very satisfying.  As was his shrimp cocktail.  I opted for a lighter tomato and mozzarella, which was fine, but I am telling you--and remember, this is me, talking--they went a little overboard with the balsamic dressing.  And for ME to say that........well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Desert was nice.  David had a ice cream, while I had apple strudel with vanilla ice cream.  We did not have coffee.  The staff was friendly and accommodating.

                                   The problem is, this is, sadly, the stepchild of Chadwick's.  Meaning if Chadwick's was not nearby, this might reign supreme.   But anyplace competing with Chadwick's will have its bar lowered, because Chadwick's sets its gold standard so high.

                                     The clientele was fascinating--a mixture of "The Iceman Cometh," and "Anna Christie."  I loved seeing the dissipated Irish spinsters, imbibing and most likely eating the one good meal they have had that week; so much so, I could hear the strains of the Henry Mancini classic, "Dear Heart," in my head.  "A single room.........a table for one!"

                                       But nothing stopped these dowagers from having as good a time as they could have.  Which means you will, too.  It may not be Chadwick's, but what is???????????

                                        And, should I appear there in the future, I will let you know, and take requests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Bit Of DeMille, Mixed In With A Little "Star Wars," And Just A Dash Of "Starlight Express!!!!!!!!!!!"

                              My parents first took me to the Ringling Bros., Barnum And Bailey Circus, in the Spring of 1960, when I was just five years old.  It was at the old Madison Square Garden.  Then, when I was older, in the fourth grade, I went again. In the newer Garden!  My last trip to the circus was in 1974, about ten years after.  And that is now 43 years ago.

                               With the end of an era of American artistry in sight, David and I wanted to take it in, one final time.  And we did, this past Friday, at Brooklyn's Barclay Center.

                                Personally, darlings, I just LOVED Cashmere, the tiger!  A real trouper, that one!  All the animals were!  Which is why I liked them the best.  But how the circus has changed.  An inter galactic concept show?  Ice skating?  Speeding cycles inside a sphere?  This seemed more like "Starlight Express" to me, instead of the circus, as I remembered it.  I know times have changed, but does the circus have to be marred by this, too?????????????

                                 Maybe that is why it is folding.  The smell of popcorn and animals was gone, and so was the magical lure that made us all, in our younger day, Toby Tylers, who wanted to join the circus.  Even I, while watching the aerialists, was reminded of the brief time when I wanted to do this.
Can you imagine?  Now, I wouldn't make it down a slide in a children's park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 The circus was a touchstone in the lives of many of us, when children.   Now, future generations will be deprived of this. Since they will have no basis of comparison, it may not be lost on them, but on the generations before them.

                                 How sad, being reduced from touchstone to touch tone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"The Lonely Night Discloses......................"

                              This, the final moment, with Lee Remick walking into the night, the bar sign flickering for seeming eternity, was what made "Days Of Wine And Roses" click, for me.  I did not want to end up like that, but, then, there was really no fear, as I did not go near the bottle, that much.  I mean, for my whole adolescence, even childhood, I knew where my parents kept the liquor in the house, but  did I ever go after it?  Not at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Scout's honor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             A terrifying spectacle, which happened last week, made me think back to this moment.  Because of the incident, I saw what happens to people like Lee's character, after the film stops rolling.

                              They continue, enslaved to the bottle, blithely unaware of what is happening to them.  They feel young, they feel eternal, that nothing will stop that ride on the merry-go-round.

                               Until it does.  Until debilitating diseases--like diabetes and depression--set in.  Until the person refuses to eat, take meds, losing hair, teeth, and all sense of reason.

                                 This is happening, right now, to someone I know.  And it is infinitely more painful than the final shot of Lee Remick.  Because that was just a movie.  This is the sad reality.

                                   Which is what I wish the person in question would see.  While he is still alive.
While he can still get help.

                                     Before the time arrives, when he can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, The 'Baby Jane' Recreation Scenes Will Be A Riot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 For those like myself, for whom "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?" was a seminal film, epitomizing the childhood I really wanted to have, rather than the actual one I had, Ryan Murphy's "Feud" is sure to be a camp delight!

                                  Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis!  Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford!  And how about--Alfred Molina, as Robert Aldrich?  Stanley Tucci, as Jack Warner?  Judy Davis, as Hedda Hopper?  Sarah Paulson, as Geraldine Page?  And....oh, my God.....Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia De Havilland????????????  Oh, and Kathy Bates, as Joan Blondell?????????

                                    Who can believe this cast?  Even more, who can believe this camp?  I cannot wait to see it, but it better not tarnish my memory of the artistry of "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?," a movie that, like "Valley Of The Dolls," defines who I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       You know, I have always wanted to play Baby Jane.  Some might say I have been doing it all my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         "Oh, really?  But will we like it?"

                                          We BETTER like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

All You Need Is A Dollar (Oh, All Right, Twenty Million!!!!!!!!!) And A Dream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 We certainly have the dream, darlings!  At least I have!

                                  How many gay men out there have dreamed--aspired, really--to living at Grey Gardens, in the Hamptons, and being their own iconoclastic version of Little Edie??????  I know I have!

                                    Well, girls. I have just heard that Sally Quinn, herself, has put it on the market for someone lucky enough to buy it.  When she bought it, in 1979, she paid $220K.  Today, Sally is asking $20 million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      She will get it, too, due to the house's history and reputation.  So, girls, break open those piggy banks, and cash in those investment portfolios if one of you wants to own the home of your dreams.

                                      Of course, I would love it.  And, if not, you know what my dream house is--a replica of Tara!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       What does one serve at a party, at Grey Gardens?????????  Why, corn on the cob, of course!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           "Edie, this corn is delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Why Monte's Last Word Is "Mildred!" At The Start Of "Mildred Pierce!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                  If you've been on here, long enough, dolls, you know how it goes.

                                  "Mildred Pierce" opens with an exterior, noir shot of an elegant California beach house in the dark.  From it issue the sounds of six bullets being fired from the gun.  The shooter is not seen, but the victim is--an elegant man who, shall come to be known as Monte Beragon, clutches his chest, and dies the most elegant balletic screen death, falling, rolling over, and crying out a feeble, "Mildred!"  A door slams, and the shooter takes off.

                                    Next is seen a deserted boardwalk, dark and rain streaked, filled with seafood shanties.  From out of these shadows, Joan Crawford, as Mildred, makes her triumphant entrance, in that gorgeous fur coat.  She is bereft, intent on suicide.  But, then................

                                    Of course, if one happens to be watching the film for the first time, what has just been described clues one in to Mildred having shot the man in the beach house!

                                     But my girls and I know better.....don't we?

                                     And this is where any of you who have never seen this classic--but MUST--should stop reading, or else its impact will be marred.

                                     After countless viewings, I always wondered about Monte's last word, and its meaning.  I used to think it was some sort of tragic declaration of love, but, on a recent viewing, I do not think so.

                                       As the film reveals, the shooter is Veda, Mildred's sociopathic daughter, played with relish by Ann Blyth as a bitch we just LOVE!  Especially when she  sings "The Oceana Roll" in the nightclub!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The same club, in the opening, where we hear a REAL Veda (Ann Borg!!!!!!!) sing "You Must've Been A Beautiful Baby."  It is Ann's Veda, who slams the door, then drives off in the car.

                                      I think Monte, with what last bit of strength he had left, was trying to warn Mildred about how dangerous Veda truly is.  Up till now, she has not committed murder; just been a Class A bitch.  But Monte now knows how heinous Veda is.  He tries to warn Mildred, but his efforts are powerless.  And Mildred finds out about Veda, anyway.

                                       Poor Monte.  He might have been an cad, an aristocratic bottom feeder, willing to live off Mildred.  But did he really deserve bullets from Veda??????????  No.

                                        You have to hand it to Ann, for stealing this picture from under so many professionals' noses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Maybe she understood Veda, after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've Already Seen Beyonce At Burger King!!!!!! Now, We Gotta Drink Lemonade????????????

                                  Beyoncé, girl friend, what is up with you?  Did you ever listen to Liza/Christine Pedi, when she told you Billy Stritch should do your arrangements?  Where you gone, girl???????????  From a camp Burger King icon, to some lemonade thing?  And, to think, you were really good as Deena in "Dreamgirls!!!!!!!!!!"  But that was back in 2006--11 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Actually, girls, "Lemonade," which I have not heard, and won't, is the title of Beyoncé's sixth, and latest album!  Now, those mad for camp will be guzzling the beverage with those Burgers!  Uh huh!  Beyoncé, eatin' and drinkin'!!!!!!!!!  Oh.

                                   I am telling you, what has the world come to?  From glamour to anger!

                                   Get back on track, Beyoncé, girl, or else you are gonna end where you look--in the prison bullpen, batting your average! 

                                    Wake up, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's Talk About The New Mama June!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          OK, OK, girls, on one level it is impressive.  Mama June, at her most Mama June, weighed in at 460 pounds.  Through diet, exercise, and several surgeries, she lost 150 pounds, which puts her at 310.  As you can see, there has been some improvement, but I have a question.

                          Mama June, why stop there?  You can go much further, hon, if you want to look the way the media and ads have been over-hyping you.  When I saw the first pics, I was shocked.  She was still fat!!!!!!!!!!!  From the hype, I expected nothing short of a miracle.  I expected her to look like Blythe Danner!  Or close to it!

                           Instead, we get a first step!  Meanwhile, the bigger shock is Honey Boo Boo! At 11, she is already sprouting boobs, losing those cute childish features, and evolving into a young woman.
She--or someone--knows how to put her together.  But, sadly, as Mama June contracts, Honey Boo Boo expands!!!!!!!!!!!  I am afraid she is headed for the same direction as Mama June, and will morph into a younger version of her.  Sad for an ex-Beauty Queen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Mama June has a way to go, and I want her to go all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Meanwhile, what has happened to Sugar Bear?????????????????

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What Could Be Better Than Afternoon Tea At The Pierre????????????

                           Fewer things are more elegant than afternoon tea.  And fewer afternoon teas are more elegant than the one at The Pierre.

                            The minute I walked through the lobby, with my Raving Queen bearing, I felt like Gene Tierney.  The best thing about their tearoom is that its elegance is understated.  Which is why, when I first walked into it, I thought of "Brown's" in London.  Stately, but no pretentious.  Just the way I like it.

                             If only Hayley Mills could have joined us!  At least now, when she comes to town, I know where I can take her, for tea.  If she hasn't been there already, which would not surprise me.

                             The tea was scrumptious--mine was an Earl Grey mixed.  And I love the clear glass pot it came in.  The three-tiered tray, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries, was luscious.  But the Unlimited Champagne!  My poor David, he does not get out much--he thought the entire tea was unlimited.  Are you kidding?  The only thing unlimited was the champagne.  Hey, I had a taste, but don't get me wrong, darlings, none of us are drinkers, to begin with, and with me a recently diagnosed diabetic, and with the passing of Mary Tyler Moore, I have to watch myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             But, for a day, it was a lovely indulgence, topped off by a visit to St. Patrick's, where I lit a candle at the altar of St. Jude, for a troubled friend, and then strolled along Fifth shopping (all right, window shopping) at all my favorite spots--Harry Winston, Prada, and Givenchy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Now, where in the world was Balenciaga??????????????

Girls, I Could Just LIVE At The Frick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                If ever a home was designed just for your truly, girls, it is The Frick, in Manhattan.  Yesterday, my husband surprised me with what he called an "Elegant Wednesday."  It started out with a visit to The Frick, which, of course, the minute I stepped inside, made me feel like Gene Tierney in "Laura."  Just think of me, perusing my volumes in the stately library, while waiting to receive visitors, whom I watch approaching the front door from along Fifth Avenue--as I deign to receive them, or not.

                              And those period wall panelings, in the style of Marie Antoinette--a role model for all US Queens, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!--and those sky filled backgrounds,  with flying cherubs.  I could bring my own furniture and books with me, yes, but for the most part, the place is already decorated in my style, so the transition would not be much.  If only I could have gotten in touch with Lee (Radziwill) yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              The last time I remember being in The Frick was to see the Victorian Fairies Paintings Exhibit.  Imagine my shock when I discovered that had been way back in 1998--almost twenty years!!!!!!!!!!!!  How Time moves, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I saved the best for last.  Pictured next, is my favorite spot in the place.  One where I would more likely to be found reading than the library, as it is more tranquil.
                                Yes, I should live at The Frick!  May all our days be so elegant, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Slaughter On The South Side, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Well, not really a slaughter, darlings--more like a mauling.                                 Imagine my surprise the other night.  There I am, lambs, watching the CBS News at 11PM, waiting for that hot weather forecaster, Lonnie Quinn, when I bolted upright in bed, at the mention of the town I was born and raised in--Highland Park, New Jersey!  I mean, when this otherwise non-descript suburban burg hits the news, it has to be something important.

                                  It was--and disturbing, at the same time.  On Saturday, February 19th, 2017, at 5:30 PM, a 36-year-old woman was walking with her baby, when a Black man, in his twenties, approached her at gunpoint, on the corner of Harper Street and South First Avenue.  He grabbed her, dragged her into the basement of the Harper House apartment building, punched her repeatedly, and then raped her. Nice, huh???????????

                                  There is so much of this story that I question.  It would have been disturbing, had it happened in my time in HP, way back when, but the sad thing is, it would have been more likely, then.  Because there were still those projects along Memorial Parkway, where everyone knew knife fights, rapes and bodily functions took place in the hallways.  Then there was that trashy strip along Commercial Avenue, where the worst kind of ghetto scum resided.  Had this happened then, it would have made an odd kind of sense.  But things have been so cleaned up, since I left the borough, in 1983, that this incident today is even more disturbing.

                                    Now, the South Side was always the lesser part of town, but even within it there were divisions.  Coming over the Raritan River bridge, from New Brunswick, spanning South Adelaide to South Fifth Avenue, the South Side there was respectable.  The more reputable Black families lived there, in contrast to South Sixth and up, which formed Goat Alley, and where disreputables of all diversities resided.  Just think--one block separates a whole social class. But that is the way things were in Highland Park.

                                      The North Side--where I resided, darlings, was always better, and wasn't I made to know it!  Separating our street was North Eleventh Avenue, which from there on, going toward Edison, was a kind of Northern Goat Alley.  Those who lived on the REAL North Side--Tenth Avenue on down--were considered fortunate, and then, of course, there were the President Streets, where those of privilege, whose perfect lives were mapped out for them--at least, while they remained in Highland Park-- dwelt.

                                      You can bet the perp is most likely not from Highland Park, but either across the Raritan, or in Edison, which has its trashy sections, too.  I know I sound like the worst sort of snob, but, darlings, when one grows up in an insulated community such as Highland Park, this is what one learns, outside of school.  School was where social discrimination was practiced--by the students, teachers, and administrators.

                                        But don't get me started.  This was an unfortunate event that once more blemishes the community I was raised in.  If only something positive would appear about it, on the news.

                                         I am telling you, girls, David Lynch got it SO right, with "Blue Velvet!"



A Book Deserving A Place On The Times' Ten Best List!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I had not even heard of "The Association Of Small Bombs," until it made The New York Times Ten Best Books Of 2016 List."  So, I decided to give it a try.  So far, the only selection I disagree with is "The Vegetarian."

                                        The title is double edged.  It refers to an organization of support for those having been victimized--whether directly or through survival--by bombings in New Delhi, and it relates to a kind of "six degrees" connection of all the principle characters.  The time span is from 1996 to the present, so, yes 9/11 is detailed.

                                          It is also a family saga, both of bombing victims, and the perps who cause such tragedies.  The author's remarkable sense of objectivity is astonishing; while he does not make a case for terrorism, he makes plain the psychology behind those who practice it.

                                           The most poignant story is that of the Khuranas--Vikas and Deepa.  The first is a documentary filmmaker turned accountant, the second a housewife and talented baker. The tragic deaths of their young sons, 13 and 11, in a market, sets the novel's course, as their lives cross over to others, and they evolve from tragic victims to humanitarian activists.  Their characters are especially inspirational to this work, which is tremendous in scope, yet tautly written for maximum impact.  Seldom has what I would call "a political novel" absorbed me, like this one, and I want to see what this skilled author follows this up with.

                                             "The Association Of Small Bombs" is a must for lovers of serious literature, and those wishing to get in touch with the tenor of our times.

                                                And "The New York Times" was right about this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Bitch Will Either Revolutionize, Or Destroy, Nursing Home Care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            What is wrong with this bitch, girls??????????  Let's start with the fact she looks exactly like Gwyneth Paltrow, after a bender!  Her name is Brittany Fultz.  She is twenty-six years old, and a health care worker at The Commons In Providence, in the Erie County of Ohio.  She is also this week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award.

                              Why???????????  Well, how about this, dears, she sexually harassed a 100-year-old man.

                                That's right!  The man was suffering from dementia, and, on video, which someone had either the stupidity or good fortune to film--at least it nailed Fultz--she is seen on it touching his thigh, straddling him like a lap dancer, and saying "I can show you new things.   You gonna buy me some."

                                 I mean, what kind of bitch sickness is this?  Getting her jollies by abusing the elderly and helpless.  Or, hey, Brittany, is this the best you can do, regarding getting some man action???????  You pathetic slut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I know there are more than cracks in our health care system, but Brittany raises the bar that much higher.  My father, who will 102, on April 30, is in Villa St. Martha, in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, an ostensibly Catholic-centric facility, and I do not want him being serviced and manhandled by tramps who would have done better not to have crawled out of whatever version of Goat Alley they came from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Brittany sets a new low, even for this column!  But I have a worst fear.

                                 Gwyneth Paltrow is pretty much washed up.  What if this is really her?????????????

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Finally, A New York Eatery That Gives Many Gay Men What They Have Always Wanted--A Chance To Feel Like Rue McClanahan!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Girls, let me tell you, since I have retired, and am now on the traditional fixed income, those evenings at Cipriani's have had to be curtailed.

                                However, there is a new eatery, way uptown.  It is called "Rue La Rue," and is devoted to the memory of actress, and former "Golden Girl," Rue McClanahan.  It is co-owned by her son, and the estate's handler, Michael LaRue, and darlings, I cannot wait to go.  Rue has always been one of my models; I mean, Blanche was the only one who knew how to dress!

                                 I could see them having a Special Night, where patrons come dressed as their favorite characters.  I wonder how many butch things will show up, as Bea Arthur?????????????

                                 Located at 4394 Broadway, in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, this is destination must for all my girls!!!!!!!!!!!  You can bet I will be seen there--holding card, just as Rue would have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Be there, or be square.  With a card attached, saying "Thank you, Rue!!!!!!!!!!!"