Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Poignant Time Of Year, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   The end of Summer keeps shrinking, as I get older.  It used to be September 20 was the final day, and it is.  But many now consider Labor Day, fast approaching, the season's unofficial end.

                                     As for me, it is very easy to look at today, August 31, as something of an end.  It is the last day of one of the full months of Summer.  September is a partial, because Autumn arrives on the 21st.  Proserpina must be thinking about packing her bags for that trip to Hell, right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    It is also the time the year begins to wind down, because I always say, as soon as we enter the "ber" months, and that begins tomorrow, that is just about it for 2017.

                                    Even though there is lots to come.

                                    And what an August we have had!  The mildest weather for this month I can remember.  The sad passing of Barbara Cook and Tobe Hooper.  The eclipse.  Hurricane Harvey!  I am telling you, it has been more than just dog days.

                                    I have enjoyed sharing this month with you, and I look forward to seeing you here, in September!

                                    Onward to Fall!  And a new cultural season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess What Jessie Mueller Is Up To??????????????????

                     Oh, my God, darlings!  As you know, we cannot wait for March 2018, when Jessie comes to Broadway in that most gorgeous and darkest of  musicals, Rodgers And Hammerstein's "Carousel."  It is worth saying again, she is following the same path as the late Barbara Cook, having played Carrie in the New York Philharmonic rendition, several years back, and now, in 2018, as Julie Jordan, the female lead.  I am getting teary eyed, just thinking about it, now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                     But, wait!  Before that happens, Jessie is making her way further within the Big Time.  She will be appearing on the screen in a film called "The Post," working with no less than Steven Spielberg.

                       The story revolves around the journalistic furor at The Washington Post, when that publication ran the Pentagon Papers.  Jessie is playing the role of real life columnist Judith Martin, who was actually the famous "Miss Manners."

                         I doubt whether she will be singing here, but wait!  Appearing in this film with her are Sarah Paulson and Meryl Streep!

                         Oh, my God!  Jessie!  Sarah!  MERYL!!!!!!!!!!!  Will they have scenes together, and what will that be like???????????  The answers will not be known until December 22, when the film goes into limited release, meaning here in New York City, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

                            Jessie, you are SO amazing!  Keep climbing, dear!  Not even the sky is your limit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Possible Modern Brat Packer????????????????????????

                                 This was a strange experience, because, for me, it was one of my first what is called "senior moments."  I had read Jonathan Dee's book, "A Thousand Pardons," and enjoyed it. I have his latest, "The Locals," waiting to be read.  But I found myself, looking at the cover of "The Privileges," and wondering if I had already read it.  As I began the opening chapter, detailing the wedding of Adam and Cynthia Morey, familiarity swept over me.  I then noted its publication year, and checked my list of books read in 2011.  Sure enough, it was there!

                                  Now, not only was I reading a book I had not really intended to re-read, this was to be my break, my reward, from that tedious paper waster by Lit Brat Packer Jill Eisenstadt, called "Swell."  But, in re-reading "The Privileges," I found myself making fresh discoveries.

                                   This is a real New York novel that skewers its landscape constructively, rather than destructively.  Had "Six Degrees Of Separation" been the great play its idiotic proponents claim it to be, this is how it might have turned out.

                                      Dee calls it a family saga, and it is.  But within that structure, he forces the ask questions about them, and ourselves--Are the Moreys truly good people, or hypocrites?  Does having their volume of money solve all problems?  Does it create others?  How? And why?

                                     Dee shows being privileged is not all it is cracked up to be.  Pressures, obligations, and moral culpabilities that wouldn't figure in a lower financial life style (they don't turn up in mine, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!) do so here, and this family is forced to deal with issues so far off the mainstream they are inconceivable to most of us.   But Dee's fluid narrative skill and gorgeously structured prose--especially after what I came off of!!!!!!!!!--is refreshing, satisfying, and clarifies this type of life for those of us who will never live it.  And may not want to, after reading this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I will leave my answers to questions posed for myself, and you to decide for yourselves.  But, coming to this as an antidote from my Lit Brat Pack project, I think I may have discovered a modern counterpart.

                                      I cannot wait to read "The Locals" now.  And wouldn't it be fun to discuss all this with John Dee, at The Odeon???????????????????????

Three Bitches For The Price Of One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              This should be a fun post to write, girls, because these are fictional bitches, from the Sixties era of DC Comics.  I actually had the issue of "Batman" (or was it "Detective Comics??????????") this panel appeared in.  The purpose of this beginning was to introduce the main villain of the piece, a femme fatale known as "Poison Ivy."  I wish I could show you the green outfit, darlings!!!!!!!  I mean, not since Errol Flynn as Robin Hood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Alas, nothing was done story wise with these three--Dragon Fly, Silken Spider, and Tiger Moth.  So, I have decided to fill in their stories for you, and if my theories are a bit outrageous, well, then,..........they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Bitches, like serial killers, are made, not born.  In both instances the maker is usually the mother, who is some piece of work.  Fathers can play a part too, but, especially in terms of the women, mothers try to shape their daughters.  In these three cases, they went off the rails!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Dragon Fly--Her mother came from a place of hate.  She was trailer trash, who hated her daughter, and would masturbate to the scene when Shelley Winters blinds Elizabeth Hartman, in "A Patch Of Blue."    As a little girl, Dragon Fly would stare at the highway, the world beyond her trailer, longing to get away.  One day, she made her costume, and buzzed off, to wreak havoc on the world.

                             Silken Spider-- A real sexual manipulator.  Her mother was a single worker bee, who labored as a secretary, and hated men.  She instilled hate and ambition in her daughter, who rose to the top and became both a CEO and Woman as Bitch Castrator.  Unbeknownst to her other employees, she kept a large, roped spider web in her executive office.  This was for the purpose of potential male employees she would interview.  She handled them in two ways.  After ensnaring them in the web, spread eagled and naked, she would put on cutting shears to make them like hands on fingers, or legs on a spider, and castrate the rejects.  To the others, the ones she deemed fit, she required that if they wanted to be hired, they had to tolerate her straddling them on the web, while they eat her pussy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These men were so desperate for jobs they would do anything; even this!  Later, she sold the business, and took our her vengeance on men as Silken Spider!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Tiger Moth--This Barbie would be turning tricks, in no time.  After all, her mother was a slutty, low class barmaid, who turned tricks in truck stops, so they could live in a house on the boon docks of town.  The child grew up seeing sex as a means to an end, so it was no surprise she followed suit.  A natural blonde, she coordinated her outfit with her hair color.  A distant cousin of the Leech Woman, she had a ring that would stab men in the neck with a poisoned elixir.  She would get them in a compromising position, a state of arousal, and, then, just at the point of orgasm, stab them, and laugh maniacally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             And that hormonal adolescent, Dick Grayson, could not wait to go out, and try to catch them??????????  Boy, was he clueless!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not only would they have eaten them alive, even they could have told him he was not heterosexual, which could not be revealed, at the time.  Even though he was Bruce Wayne's "young ward."  Heh! Heh! Heh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             These are fun bitches, darlings!  My favorite is Silken Spider!  They are jointly winners of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Don't get caught in their traps, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome A New Reader, Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I see, by my follower count, I have a new reader.  To that person, whose name I do not know, I bid you welcome, and hope you find everything on here at least moderately interesting.

                                  This blog goes great with coffee, which is not far from me, when I am writing it.

                                  It has been a strange Summer, with hardly any decent movies, and topics ranging to the dark side.  But Fall is coming, and, hopefully, that will change.

                                   So, welcome to this blog, on behalf of everyone, and myself!

                                   And, now, to usher you in, with the unofficial theme song!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

There Is Still Something To "Something About Amelia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                           On the evening of January 9, 1984, ABC-TV shook viewers up, with its ground breaking drama about childhood sexual abuse, "Something About Amelia."  It was a career changer for Ted Danson, and even for Glenn Close, who, would have her career irrevocably altered several years later, by a little something called "Fatal Attraction."

                             The good news is nothing is shown.  I mean, this was TV, so thank God.  But Danson's performance, particularly his facial expressions, convey the simultaneous  lust, guilt and torment he must feel in this most horrid of situations.  Glenn Close, in several scenes, gets to unleash some energy constructively, that she would show, years later, in destructive form, as Alex Forrest.

                             Roxana Zal, as the title character is heartbreaking, and it must have taken courage for she to do such a role.  Her fear, self-loathing and blame are palpably visible in every look seen, or every word spoken.  I truly felt for her, but I felt even more for her younger sister Beth, superbly played by Missy Francis.  Once the family is torn apart, and Beth starts by blaming Amelia, it is painful to watch, because Amelia and the viewer can see what Beth cannot--that, with Amelia aging out, she would be next in line for her father's abuse.  If this story had been carried to a point where Amelia had kept quiet, I can almost guarantee poor Beth would be next.

                               Both girls are remarkable in their understanding of these very difficult roles.   Danson's character is aptly creepy, and while he seems to come around, I would not trust him for a second.  The film ends as though the family fabric is going to be mended, but I can tell you it would not last.

                                And Glenn Close is the reason why.  Her character, Gail Bennett, has the largest arc, going from completely unaware (which I believe she was, as opposed to mothers who know what is going on, but just look the other way) to denial, to acceptance, and wanting to do anything to protect her daughters.  I don't care how the ending looks, the woman will eventually file for divorce.  Leopards don't change their spots quickly.

                                 In ensuing years, child abuse has been depicted even more disturbingly; consider the father, played by Dylan Baker in the film "Happiness."    But "Something About Amelia" was a ground breaker, and despite thirty plus years passing, still tells its story well.

                                 I suggest parents watch it with their children, once they reach about Amelia's age.

                                 Because, understand one thing--this is NOT "Amelia Bedelia," darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hang It Up, Jill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Well, girls, it is back to the Literary Brat Packers, and I did not have too good a time with Jill Eisenstadt's "Swell."  Bret Easton Ellis writes a sequel to "Less Than Zero," so Jill has to go ride his coattails, and write a sequel to "Far Rockaway."  Now, that book was no ground breaker either, but at least it had some kind of momentum.  "Swell," for all its title promises, is permanently in stasis.

                               The novel is basically one big joke, revolving around the fact that Rose Imperioli will not vacate the house now lived in by the Glassmans, who were forced to vacate their Tribeca residence, due to 9/11.  Rose steals the show every time she is on, and when she is, the book is lively.  When she is not, forget it.

                                 If this novel were optioned for the movies--but believe me, it will not be--I can see Olympia Dukakis as Rose, basically reprising her "Moonstruck" character, thirty years later.  But, like I said, that won't happen.

                                Jill, hon, what the hell were you doing?  Cramming Rose, the Glassmans, Tim Ray, from the first book, mixing in both the 9/11 and Flight 587 disasters, but to what purpose?  The  novel reads, Jill, like you had to fulfill some contractual obligation, and just wrote anything, not bothering to care, whether it interests the reader, or even yourself.

                                 And yet, she is one of the Literary Brat Pack.  In the case of Jill Eisenstadt, it has to be through association.  "Far Rockaway" demonstrated some potential.  "Swell" indicates that she does not really give a rat's fuck, one way or the other.

                                  Well, neither do we, Jill.  So stop writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meet Sister Margaret Mary, Of The Holy Martyrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      The real Sister Margaret Mary Of The Holy Martyrs was a fictional character in William X. Kienzle's 1979 novel, "The Rosary Murders."  She was portrayed by Anna Minot in the 1987 film version, and spilled the beans on Kathy Javison's death.  She felt, in a way, she was the cause of it--which is true--and sequestered herself from thereon in a cloister, where she took a vow of silence.

                                         So much for reality.  I just loved the sound of the name, and I decided to take a stab at what a real Sister Margaret Mary, Of The Holy Martyrs might be like.

                                          First girls, she would be a REAL, old school nun--fully covered, and a  prune faced scold.

                                           She would teach her girls the way of the Lord,  renouncing Satan, the evils of sex, and the curse of menstrual blood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Like Gladys Cooper, when she asks what the Holy Trinity is, you had better know it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             This is no Rosalind Russell in "The Trouble With Angels"  This is a hellion hell bent on keeping her students from Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               As used to be said, in another era, she was a true Bride OF Christ, because who else would marry her????????????????????

                                                Do what Sister says, now, lambs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, My God!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jennifer Lawrence--From "Cold Case" To "VOGUE!!!!!!!!!!!" How Did She Do It????????

                                    Girls, I am telling you, the rise of Jennifer Lawrence has been meteoric.  Just ten years before, she turned in a youthful, brilliantly promising performance, as teenager Abby Bradford in the "Cold Case" heart breaker, "A Dollar, A Dream."  Next thing she wins an Oscar, for "Silver Lining Playbook," which I now have to see, and then stars in "The Hunger Games" franchise.

                                     She also has what looks like an A-list horror film, coming out next month, called "Mother," and now ANNA--Anna Wintour, that is--has enshrined her on the cover of this years September Issue--the issues of issues--of "VOGUE."

                                       Jen, honey, don't you ever stop to catch your breath???????????????

                                       That she is talented can be seen as early as "Cold Case."  But she must have the hardest working agent in Hollywood, busting their hump to land Jennifer anything she wants.  I should have such an agent.  But, then, I don't look like Jennifer.

                                       The cover gown, and photo shot, I have to admit, are stunning.  So is the moolah she probably got, for it.

                                        Would I question ANNA?  Me?  ANNA?  No one in this town, in their right mind, would.

                                          So, congrats Jen!  You are this town's "It" girl, by virtue of ANNA, and you look good.

                                          Can't wait to see what you do in "Mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                           Grab that "VOGUE," girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The End Of A Horror Era!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   It seems to me we have lost a lot of people, over the summer.  I am still recovering from the death of Barbara Cook, and now, I learn that, on Saturday, Tobe Hopper has died, at his home, in Sherman Oaks, CA.

                                   No one is giving out his cause of death, which is in keeping with the mysteriousness of one of Hollywood's foremost horror makers.  He was 74, so it is anybody's guess, darlings.  But no foul play, or suicide, to be sure.

                                   Who can forget the late Marilyn Burns, screaming at full velocity, as she ran through the arch of tree branches, in the original, 1974, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre?"  Leatherface and clan were horrible enough, but, to me, it is Burns' relentless screaming in that sequence that sets my teeth on edge, whenever I think about this movie.

                                     How about little Heather O'Rourke, as Carol Anne looking at the camera in genuine hysteria, before being sucked through the wall, in the original, 1982 "Poltergeist?"  Not to mention Dominique Dunne's signature scene, where she pulls up in a car, sees the house coming apart, and screams out, hysterically, "Whaaaaaaaat's haaaaaaaaapening??????????"  Who knew that what should have been the beginning of a promising career would become her legacy?

                                    And my favorite, 1981's "The Funhouse."  Kevin Conway plays a sleazy carnival owner, hence the title, and keeps hidden within it his deformed son, who he is both trying to protect and hide, due to his hatred and shame.  He is a widower, so nothing is known about what kind of creature he married to produce such a monstrosity, or if his wife left him, any rate, with no education, no sunlight, and no exposure to people, what else can the kid turn out to be but some deformed monstrosity, who thinks he is helping Daddy's business by menacing visitors in the funhouse??????? But, then, the menacing turns violent, though Daddy feeds and takes care of him.

                                     If that isn't enough, the real scene stealer turns out to be Sylvia Miles--of course!!!!!!!!!!--as fortuneteller and local nymphomaniac Madame Zena.  Forget Maria Ouspenskaya, darlings!   The real horror show here must have been Tobe working with Sylvia, but he got great results from her.  The scene where she consents to have sex with the deformed son, and does, has to be seen to be believed.  Sylvia, really should have gotten an Oscar nomination for her work, here.

                                    Those are my favorite Tobe Hooper moments.  All of them came from him.  I could not, in good conscious, see his remake of the 1953 "Invaders From Mars," out of my loyalty to that classic, but at least he had the genius to pay it homage, by casting Jimmy Hunt, who played the boy, in the minor role of, I think, a police officer.

                                     Tobe Hooper was able to turn the grotesque into art.  His is a loss to horror that can never be duplicated.  Genius never can.

                                       Rest In Peace, Tobe.  The chills you gave us, will live on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Non-Violent "Fatal Attraction".....Or Not????????????????

                                      I have not read a Claire Messud's book, since her dazzling novel, "The Emperor's Children," so, with a new book coming out, this Fall, I felt it was time to catch up with Claire, and "The Woman Upstairs."

                                        Ironic that this story turns out to have a similarity to "Fatal Attraction'--really, more like "Notes On A Scandal'--since it is about spinsterhood, obsession, how one sees or does not see themselves....and turns out to be genuinely creepy.

                                         All without wielding a knife, or boiling a bunny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Actually, "The Woman Upstairs" is more in Patricia Highsmith territory, so  if you love her, girls, grab this one fast.  It is engaging, literate, explorative in its psychological complexity, and altogether satisfying. Its last sentence is a stunner.

                                          This may be the last truly satisfying book I read, for awhile. Because, after this, it is back to the Brat Packers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, I Just Want To Wear That Two Piece Halter Top Outift, And Fire A Gun, Like Sissy Spacek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         "3 Women," one of my favorite Robert Altman films, is a dream of a movie....but just whose dream is it, and what is it a dream of?  Is it Millie Lamm
oreaux's dream, Pinky Rose's, Willie, Millie, Mildred.....or the viewer's?  The whole film has dream imagery, from the compositional shots--brilliant--of Janice Rule painting those murals in the pool, to Shelley Duvall going through her life in television commercial rhythms, completely unaware that everyone around her is oblivious to her presence.

                           Sissy Spacek, looking like she stepped from a regional production of "The Member Of The Wedding," show us that there is more than just that childish exterior to Pinky Rose,  "My name is MILDRED!," she tells Duvall at one point, and never has that name (also my mother's) been used as extensively since Joan Crawford's "Mildred Pierce," in 1945.

                             The lifestyle these two live would kill one.  The sleazy motel-like apartment complex, looking like a California version of Goat Alley, has to be seen to be believed, because this dream is a nightmare.  But Dodge City, where the hangout bar, Janice Rule and  her pool, and target practice is, not to mention a motorcycle course that is one step up from a demolition derby, is the vacation spot I want to go to, especially if I can wear Sissy's outfit.

                             Altman always called this film his version of "Persona," and it is obvious from the get-go.  It is more Americanized, and, while in Bergman, the transition was seamless and fluid, it seems to first come from what seems an attempted suicide, on Sissy Spacek's part.  I love the new Pinky; she is so exciting and fun.  But then, she subtly reverts back to what she was, like in the scene where Willie is having her baby, and, in the final scene, all have morphed into something else--all extensions  of their true selves.

                             As for the disposal of Edgar, Janice Rule's sleazy, sharp shooting husband, I have no doubt Sissy's skill at target practice took care of that obstacle.

                             This is a film where the viewer relates to whom he wants to.  I totally get the childish Pinky, who is smart enough to put her panties in the fridge each night, so that they will be cool, in the morning. I swear, I actually did this for years, when I did not have air conditioning.  It makes a difference, too.  But I love the halter top, pistol packin' Pinky, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            I wish I had the artistry of Janice Rule's Willie.  Because I know how I would paint my pool.  The bottom would be the Yellow Brick Road, extending out, with red in the background,
one length side would be a sepia toned portrait of the tornado descending on the Kansas farm, while the other length side would be the lead-up to the Emerald City.  The widths would both be rainbows against clouded, blue skies.

                             Yes, darlings, my very own "Wizard Of Oz' swimming pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              "3 Women" was neglected at the time, but has gained in stature, over the years.  It is Duvall's best, and most glamorous, performance, and consolidated Spacek's status as an actress of note.

                               What is it about?  That is up to you, darlings!  You bring to it what you want to, which is why I just love it!  Its reality I am entirely in tune with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Not to  mention, cooling off my panties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Pill Not So Hard To Swallow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              I have good and bad news about "Goodbye, Vitamin," by Rachel Khong.

                              The good new is, while it deals with an adult daughter who gives up at least a year of her life, to aid her mother in caring for her father, who is succumbing to Alzheimer's, it is not as wrenching or depressing as Matthew Thomas' "We Are Not Ourselves."  I had feared picking up this book, when I heard the subject matter, only to discover it is laced with humor, sweetness, bits of California history, and Alzheimer information, making it quite encompassing for such a slim volume.

                              The bad new is, while the brevity does not bother me, as it covers a range of subjects, the prose style is entirely in short, staccato sentences, reading like a work fabricated in a Writers Factory, namely an MFA Program.

                               Which it was; not only that, it was at the University Of Florida, where she studied with David Leavitt, whom I once held out to the promising gay writer of my generation, yet has not written a decent book since "The Indian Clerk."  What ever happened to you, Dave?????????????????

                                 At his best, Leavitt's style was never like this, so I do not understand how the writing style of this novel blew anyone away.  Maybe it was the humor and hope held out, compared to the crushing weight of Thomas' book, that captivated literary folks.

                                 It's a strange dichotomy.  I found the characters and story touching, but the prose style tedious.  Miss Khong has to learn to fuse both together, if she hopes to present the genuinely decent work she is probably capable of writing.

                                 Maybe this should have been worked on a bit more, as it is too soon off the assembly line.

                                 It's time some boys and girls learned this lesson--enrolling in a writing program does not guarantee instant publication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sarah Paulson's Hysterics Are The Best Thing About The New "American Horror Story" Trailer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            This moment taps in to what so many of us must have felt when we discovered Trump had actually been elected President!  I am sure Sarah did not have to do much acting here, but believe me, I get where she is coming from!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              But how about her little boy?  And that potentially Mrs. Baylock type nanny, played by Billie Lord?  And the Twisty Clown Doll, she gives him?????????  I am telling you, the hottest toy item this season is going to be the Twisty Doll!  I want to order mine, right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              And how about Evan Peters, looking Mansonesque????????????????????

                              It all starts on Tuesday, September 5!  So set your calendars, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              And, please Lily Rabe, make an appearance, this season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Show's Cast Makes Me Question Culinary Sexuality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Because some projects I am now working on require more reading time, which I certainly do not abhor, my husband gets a little more TV time, and one of the things he likes to relax, watching, is "America's Test Kitchen," which I have come to find fascinating, because the recipes are interesting enough to want to try, and, like all good cooking shows, they make it look easy when it is not, but something eats away at me, every time I watch a segment.

                              What is it with these people on it?  Especially the men?

                               The women are charming; they may have viewed "Julie and Julia," one too many times,  but they are charming, and know what to do.

                                The men are something else. By nature of the subject this should be the FAG Show Of Television.  But, would you believe that at least two of these men are straight?  How is such a thing possible?

                                 Let's take Jack Bishop, the man on the far left.  He is whom I refer to as "the ugly one," because, oh, my God!  He just radiates fag, yet, darlings, he is straight, and actually married to a food writer, Lauren Chattam, who could pass as a stand in for the Anne Archer character in "Fatal Attraction!!!!!!!!!!!!"  They have two daughters, and live in Sag Harbor!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you believe it?  Hope those girls got their mother's looks, or else they are going to resemble the Stepsisters in "Cinderella!!!!!!!!!!!!"  And Jack has no formal food training!!!!!!!!!!  How can this guy be straight?????  His childhood should have been spent trolling on Long Island for Broadway Cast Albums!!!!!!!!!!!!  Like so many of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  At center, and pretty much the dominant force in the show, is Chris Kimball, who. I have to say, looks pretty good for 66.  When I saw how trim he was, and how, well, nerdy, he seemed, my first thought was...FAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Or at least a big closest case!

                                  Except he has been married twice, and has five children!  Five!  After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy, and Columbia University.  With a degree in....Primitive Art!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No wonder he took up cooking!  Another self-taught professional.  Doesn't anyone believe in training anymore??????????????????

                                  And what happened to hotties on TV?  These two are like a couple of damp fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Then, there is Adam Reid, whom I call "the toothless one," because he talks and smiles in a way suggesting he does not have all his teeth.  Though not great looking, he could be the burly type many younger gays look for.  Though he wears a ring on his finger, I wonder if that could be male spousal, because I detect some sexual ambivalence on his part.  He definitely comes off as knowing his Broadway Cast Albums. Bet, out of all of them, he has seen Bette in "Hello, Dolly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                  Now, the two women, Julia Collin Davison, and Bridget Lancaster, are charming.  They may not be modeling for Sears' underwear catalog, but, then, neither is Martha Stewart.  Unlike Martha, their warmth, and enthusiasm is infectious--like Mary Poppins--and so is their delivery and patter.  Martha, even when happy, comes off sounding like someone suffering from bowel blockage.

                                  Chris can be that way, sometimes.  I would love to have Julia or Bridget in the kitchen, cooking for me.


                                    Why doesn't this show try to liven things up by having culinary celebs on??????????  Like Julie Powell, of "Julie And Julia??????????"  What has happened to her?????????

                                      And, to prove what it may seem I am trying to deny on here, but am not--that hot, straight men cannot cook--how about the great Stanley Tucci?????????  I have wanted to have him cook for me, for years, preferably wearing an apron--and nothing else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       If he does come on the show, I want to be his Vanna White!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Some News From The Rialto, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Anyone who acts, at one time or another, has a role they yearn to play.  You all know how I have always wanted to do Fantine, in the musical "Les Miserables," though, while my voice is in great shape, my body is hardly emaciated and vulnerable looking enough to play this role, which could be dangerous for me, anyway.  I have, on occasion sung "I Dreamed A Dream," and, let me tell you, to deliver it convincingly I have had to go to some very dark places, which I did not particularly enjoy, even to get the results I wanted.  Doing this eight times a week?  I could have a nervous breakdown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Realistically, while I am still of age, and have a voice, I would love to tackle Jean Valjean, Javert (because of "Stars) and Sweeney Todd.  We shall see.

                                 So, when I heard, this week, that next March, Denzel Washington will be doing "The Iceman Cometh," I understood where he was coming from.

                                  Except I have to say--Denzel; get over it!

                                  You, along with Vanessa Redgrave, consider yourselves the World's Greatest Actors.  NOT!!!!!!!!!!!  Jason Robards defined Hickey for all time, and I was fortunate enough to see him, so hang it up, Denzel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Though you are as arrogant and egotistical as Bryant Gumbel--and where the hell, now, is he?????????--you will soon be scrambling for those Fred Sanford type Daddy roles, sooner than you expect!!!!!!!!!!!!  You'll be back in the junk yard, like him, honey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Kevin Spacey, a far better actor, attempted the role in 1999, and so did Nathan Lane at the Goodman Theater, that came to BAM, in 2015.  Four hours of nothing, to watch a one hour monologue???????????  Denzel, you are not interesting enough, to me, for that!

                                  You know who would be, dolls?  Antonio Fargas!!!!!!!!!!!!  You remember--he played Huggy Bear on "Starsky And Hutch????????????????"

                                    Now, THAT would be interesting casting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Curl Up With This One, And Enjoy, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        "Final Girls" has two mysteries going for it.  One is on the printed page.  The other I solved right away.

                                          The publicity says this is Riley Sager's first book. True, to a point, but I discovered the name was a pseudonym for another published writer.  As I began reading, I was thinking, maybe, Joyce Carol Oates, or Lauren Weisberger, but I was wrong.

                                            "Final Girls" is written by a man I never heard of, named Todd Andrews.  Nor have I heard of his books.  Curious though I may be, I am afraid to read his books, as they may lack the vitality of Riley.  I cannot begin to guess why he made the decision he did, but I can guess that, when writing as Riley, a persona different from Todd, magically takes over.  Much as when I write this blog.

                                             I get it.  Which is why I may wait on Todd, but cannot wait for the next Riley Sager.

                                              While Wendy Walker, of "Emma In The Night," is far more literary, Riley Sager knows how to deliver driving narrative.  Things begin at a slow pace, then gather speed, until one cannot stop.

                                                 However, I was misled about the book.  An article in "Entertainment Weekly" implied it was about a group of women in a support group, all having survived attacks by different serial killers.  This peaked my interest, but, once I began reading, I discovered something  different.

                                                   Serial killers, and female survivors, figure here, but there is no traditional recovery group, where members are knocked off, which would have been a derivation of Ethan Black's "The Broken Hearts Club."   Which was far too easy to figure out.

                                                       "Final Girls" (the name is film speak for the last survivor in a slasher film) gets one sure of themselves.  I was so convinced I knew what was going on, and who the killer was, that I found other revelations more interesting.  When I found out I was wrong, I was delighted; I had been fooled, though I honestly did not agree with the author's final choice.  But I am not the one, writing this story.

                                                          It may not be the thriller of the year, as it has been touted, but the best I have read in a long time.

                                                 What a time I had, girls!!!!!!!!!!!  Go out, and have yourselves some fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, This Is The Film That Should Not Be Ignored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I swear, I must have been having myself something of a Short Film Fest, during the eclipse the other day, because one film I finally got to watch was James Dearden's 1980 British telefilm, called "Diversion."

                                Why is this so important?  Because, seven years later, it evolved into what so many of us today know as that post-coital horror fest, called "Fatal Attraction."

                                 Yes, this is where it all began, actually started.  And I want to say outright that it is so much better than the actual film, though it runs roughly forty minutes.  What is amazing is how much of what we know from the film is retained, how they are different, and how each work both for and against the other.

                                  The film begins in blackness, with the ringing of a telephone.  The title flashes onto the screen.  The opening has such British reserve, it could be a redo of "Brief Encounter."  The actors, and their surroundings, are more ordinary, less stylized, and hence, more real, than their glamorized Hollywood counterparts.  There is a child, barely out of infancy, named Charlie, who looks like a sweet little boy, and not the frightening, androgynous creature named Ellen in the 1987 film.  Though I suppose the designers and stylists, not the child herself, are to blame for how she looks.  I still question why.

                                  Names are changed.  In "Fatal Attraction," the adults are Dan, Beth, and Alex.  Here, they are Gary, Annie, and Erica.

                                  Two key things happen off screen.  One is the party where Gary and Erica met.  The other is the graphic sex, which was so over the top in the film, reducing Douglas and Close to a couple of over aged adolescents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   The closest this version comes to violence, is the wrist slashing scene, which is revealed with blood on the face, though not as much of it, nor any banging sounds on the soundtrack to accentuate the horror, coupled with Douglas acting like he is running a decathalon, trying to find bandages.  What is shown in "Diversion" is just enough, at this point, for someone in Gary's position to realize his is in something over his head, though he doesn't quite get it, yet.

                                     When does he realize it?  Well, not until the end of this version, which has Erica's menacing nature increase with each phone call answered or not.  The true genius of the work, showing how brilliant "Fatal Attraction" could have been, but is not, is the ambiguous ending.  "Diversion" ends with the viewer and Guy being menaced by a continuously ringing phone, the tension of which is as terrifying as the film.  Here, the viewer, like Gary, knows who is on the other end, but Annie doesn't.  So, she, not knowing, goes to the phone, picks it up, saying "Hello?"

                                        Blackout.  That is it!  Brilliant!

                                        Now, there is no way "Fatal Attraction" could have ended here, but something better than its sell-out paen to Conservative values--even the alternate ending still let Dan  go free!!!!!!!!!!!  It deserved to be far more brilliant than what it became.

                                        One of many reasons I prefer "Diversion" is that the actors play their roles with more credibility.  Michael Douglas, as Dan Gallagher, is the smuggest SOB I have ever seen, and, even when Alex is going for him with the knife, I was rooting for her.  Though she goes too far with the rabbit and the kidnapping of Ellen, which make no sense anyway, because Ellen, while she lacks style, is clearly a child wise enough not to go anywhere with strangers.

As hard as
Glenn Close worked to make Alex sympathetic and credible, succeeding up to the moment when the car is trashed, Cherie Lunghi, who plays Erica, and who I have never heard of, and what a pity, beautifully underplays the craziness in line readings, facial expressions, and body language.  She slowly builds to a realization of Erica being deeply disturbed, whereas Glenn Close's Medusa hair, the too "Come hither" looks reveal an inner wildness just waiting to be unleashed, demonstrating she is crazy from the get go.  Any man smarter than Dan--which is just about anyone--would have known to  avoid her on sight.

                                           Same with Stephen Moore, as Gary.  He is as far from Michael Douglas' smugness as one can get--thank God.  He is an ordinary man, sucked into something he does not deserve, but, by the end, knows he was wrong to take the bait, unlike Dan Gallagher, who felt the whole thing was Alex's fault.  Oh, Erica does not get pregnant here, so the inconsideration, on both characters' parts, for an unborn fetus, is eliminated.  One can sympathize with him, because he gets that he is wrong.

                                           "Diversion" could generate just as much social discussion as "Fatal Attraction" has over the last 30 years.  It's just when I saw it, I justified the faith I had that the final film could have been so much better, if only it had not sold out.

                                            I can still recall seeing the film for the first time, back in 1987, at the now defunct Paramount Theater, which was underground, not far from where I worked, at Lincoln Center.  The film was just beginning to get hot, so I went one night, after work.  I was alone, surrounded by an audience of mostly women.  During the climax, when Anne Archer is in the bathroom, rubs steam off the mirror, and sees Glenn Close standing behind her, the theater went nuts, with all these women, from that point, till Alex was shot, screaming with blood lust.  I was more terrified of them, than the film!  "This is so wrong," I kept thinking, of the turn that the film took.  The most interesting aspect here was having Anne Archer kill Glenn Close; all through the film I kept wondering what if the casting had been reversed?  Anne showed she had the acting chops to tap into the darkness of Alex.  And there are two ways to view this outcome--the Fifties housewife saving American morality, or that it takes a real woman to solve a problem a man should have been able to handle.  What is more interesting is both have merit.

                                           "Fatal Attraction" will always be cinema's greatest Rorschach Test.  But I am urging you to watch "Diversion."  The promise of the first reveals the artistry which could have resided in the other.

                                             Perhaps, in time, I will come to regard "Diversion" as the real thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Yuppie To Muppie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I was all set to write a different post, for this week's Bitch Of the Week column, but, after what happened yesterday, which I will share, I had to set that aside for next week.  Just listen to this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 If you thought the Yuppies were bad, the Muppies (Millennial version of the Yuppie) are worse.  The former, at least cared about their children.  The latter, not so much.

                                  Things began, as they always do, in innocence.  My friend, Chris, and I, were coming from a screening, at the Walter Reade, of Robert Altman's 1977 masterwork, "3 Women."  I will be writing about that on here, but, not yet, as I am still processing it.

                                   We were walking toward the 66th Street Downtown Subway, where I was planning to make my way home, when, suddenly, a toddler on a scooter, or kiddie bike, (at least he wore a helmet) almost slammed into us!  A woman behind us, whom I felt allied with, saw this, and began confronting the child, with the most logical question, "Where is your mother?"  I am not really sure he knew.

                                    But we soon spotted her. She was this petite, dark haired thing, carrying bags from pretentious places, so out of it, she was talking on the phone, and had not been aware of what happened.

                                      Worse, she was a good distance away from the kid, and, if something really bad had happened, like abduction, or the child veering out into traffic, where he surely would have been struck and killed, as this was the  rush hour, she would have no one to blame for this tragedy, but herself, but would she?  Of course not!   She would blame everyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       The unidentified (I never got her name; maybe that is a good thing, for her, at least, because, believe me, if I had, I would have called Children's Services) woman, whom I dub on here Muppie Bitch, is this week's winner of the Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        My ally counterpart confronted the Muppie face to face.  She was in her face, but I was off to the side, by the subway.  This woman read her the riot act--thank God--but the dumb bitch acted (and I believe it WAS an act!!!!!!!!!!) like she did not understand what the woman was talking about, or why she was so upset.  This bitch was so cool and calculated she did not even flinch.  Not even when I--and my voice is pretty resonant--yelled out to her, "Raise your child correctly, you bitch!"  I am sure she heard me.  She just did not care.

                                         On one level, I admire her for keeping her cool, though she is evil.  I pity this kid, but, if things continue in this way, Muppie Bitch will get hers, once this boy reaches adolescence.  Again, she will blame everyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          I only wish Marcia Kramer had been there, to record all this!

                                          Marcia, where were you????????????????????


Now, These Children Are Truly Enfant Terribles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Darlings, remember the 1984 movie, "Children Of The Corn?  The one where Peter Horton and
Linda Hamilton--oh, my God!!!!!!!!--play this dysfunctional married couple, who happen to drive into Midwest Hell, namely the town of Gatlin, Nebraska, and, Hamilton is offered up as a sacrifice in the corn field, that I can tell was meant to replicate the artistry of sacrificial horror, depicted in the film, "The Wicker Man," but here is one big camp fest??????????  And how about John Franklin, then all of 25, as the creepy kid cult leader, Isaac?   He goes through the entire film with one expression on his face, which, after awhile, had me laughing out loud, because, for all his so-called menace, the kid was really such a wuss.  The same with Courtney Gains, who played right hand man, Malachai.

The reason for all this was because the director, Fritz Kiersch, had no idea how to direct children, this story, or film.  Though he does get the opening sequence right--the lead-up, and depiction of the Massacre Of The Adults, which is genuinely creeping, and satisfies one's inner child, who would wish all authority figures to vanish.  Just like Tom Glazer's song, "The Battle Hymn Of The Children," with its classic lyric, "We have tortured all the teachers, and we broke the Golden Rule!!!!!!!!  Heh!  Heh! Heh!

As for this 1984 film--fugeddaboutit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because, just a year before, an aspiring filmmaker named John Woodward, made a half hour short adaptation of Stephen King's work called "Disciples Of The Crow," and, girls, I am telling you, this is the one to see!!!!!!!!!  It blows the 1984 film out of existence!!!!!!!!!!!!

The film retains the basic plot.  The title change is because the cultish children now worship a crow god.  This works better, because the whole He Who Walks Among The Rows thing,  in the 1984 film, was so abysmal, one could tell it was just actors swiftly crawling under burlap tarp!!!!!!!  Come on, now!!!!!!!!!

The short film has more understatement and less violence.  The most violent sequence is when the child trying to escape still runs out in front of the married couple's car--bleeding, disheveled, and with a corn handled knife stuck in him.  That's as grizzly as things get.

The use of crows in this film is the creepiest since Hitchock's 1963 "The Birds," and the film, loaded with atmosphere makes ordinary shots of a corn field, a church, and a plastic toy bird bobbing back and forth into a container of corn, genuinely chilling.

And while no one is sacrificed in the film, and the couple escapes the town, now set in Oklahoma, shots of a skeletal scarecrow, crows flying across a parched sun, and an unknown souvenir the couple has been given, and have no idea about, give this film a more satisfying ending than the camp histrionics of the 1984 film.

It comes down to this--less is more, requiring  viewers to use their imagination, perceiving the horror in terms of what most frightens them.  John Woodward did wonders with this film; I wonder if he went anywhere, because, on the basis of this, he should have.  As for Fritz Kiersch, consign him to the slag heap!!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder how Stephen King feels.  After all, he wrote "Children Of The Corn" in 1977.  To think it first appeared in "Penthouse"--yes, darlings, once upon a time even sex mags were literate, if that can be believed!!!!!!--and then published in his story anthology, "Night Shift."  It is great on the printed page, and I urge you to read it.  As well as view the 1983 short, which can be found on You Tube.

When I started to write this post, I thought back to the Jonestown Massacre, wondering if this story was a reaction to that.  But King had it published in "Penthouse," in 1977, before it took place.

However, I looked up the date of the incident, and was horror struck at what I discovered.

It was committed on November 18, 1978.  What is the big deal?

November 18 is my birthday.  That year, I turned 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Caw! Caw! Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Am I Wrong, For Thinking This???????????????????

                              Readers having been on here many times know that Truman Capote is one of my favorite writers.  One of his more beautiful pieces of writing is a short story he wrote about loss and loneliness, with the beautiful, poetic title, "Among The Paths To Eden."

                               This was dramatized and first telecast, on ABC-TV, back on December, 17, 1967.  It was incorporated into a film called "Trilogy," in 1970, consisting of it and two other Capote dramatizations, "Miriam," and the classic "A Christmas Memory," with Geraldine Page.

                                 Several days ago, I had a chance to see "Among The Paths To Eden."  It is essentially a one-act, two character play.  The two are superbly played by Martin Balsam and Maureen Stapleton.  It is moving, heartbreaking, but not altogether depressing, nothing like "A Dollar, A Dream" on "Cold Case."

                                  The story is simple.  A widower named Ivor Belli (Balsam), who has recently lost his wife, Rose, is putting flowers on her grave, when he meets spinster Mary O' Meaghan (Stapleton), who has recently lost her father. They are in a Queens cemetery.  As the unmarried one of three sisters, she stayed home to care for her father, the mother having passed away.  It was that time, darlings.

                                    A rapport develops between them, and continues into a blossoming friendship. Only a writer of Capote's genius could believably make something like this happen so quickly.  As they get more comfortable, with one another, the loneliness of Stapleton's character becomes wrenching, and the viewer longs for her to find happiness.  Only someone of her stature and technique could make what in lesser hands would be campy, and that is the scene where she flings one leg over a gravestone--I am not kidding, girls!!!!!!!--and does a vocal impersonation of Helen Morgan.  The heartbreak and yearning in this moment is so palpable coming from her, that it works!   Having done that, Mary Meaghan extends to Ivor an open invitation to come to her house for dinner, where she will serve him the best spaghetti and meatballs.  There is no pity in the way Balsam plays the response, replying with a polite, but non-committed, acceptance.  Later, as the viewer might suspect, he turns her down, honestly admitting he just is not ready.  Mary, though disappointed, accepts that, and, Ivor asks her if he can walk her to the entrance gate.  She agrees, and goes on to say how, upon her father passing, her sisters urged her to get married, and she counters it is not easy, having lived so long with her father, never having worked, and the problem of aging out and being unattractive--many of these still valid concerns, but Stapleton wins more sympathy by delivering this dialogue so softly and matter of factly, with no hysteria or anger, that the viewer wishes nothing but the best for this woman.  As should be.

                                But here is where things take a turn.  If "Among The Paths To Eden" had ended with a shot of the two stepping outside the gates, and the camera following them, as they vanish, in separate directions, what I am about to say would not have occurred to me.  I would have been perfectly happy with this ending, but I have a feeling Capote might have been going for something else, though not what I came up with.

                                They get to the gate, and, as they are saying farewell, another man, an unknown actor, is seen walking into the cemetery.  Mary bids farewell, Ivor walks away, and disappears, but the last shot shows Mary, a good distance from the other guy, following him into the cemetery, where, presumably, the story will repeat itself.

                                 I do think Capote was going for something darker.  The story could have been set anywhere; the South, for sure, but takes place in a cemetery in Queens.  Capote spent a lot of time in New York, so he probably came to know what many of us do--Brooklyn is the Borough Of Churches, while Queens is the Borough Of Cemeteries.  It also has more loneliness and isolation, per capita, and, having lived there, myself, I refer to it as the Borough Of Despair.

                                  I am sure Capote was trying to mine this, ending with the desperation of Mary, following another man into the cemetery.  I should add that in her parting monologue, she says two of her friends suggested this method; that they, or friends of theirs, met husbands, while visiting a cemetery.

                                   Sweeties, I read this story when young, and later, as an adult, and during my spinsterhood, I never thought this an option.  Now, here is the other grabber, which I wonder if it would have occurred to me, had I viewed it back in 1967, even if I were the age I am now.

                                     As I watched Mary follow the man from behind,  I thought, "My God, is she stalking him?"  Is she?  Is Mary stalking?  Stapleton makes Mary a genuinely moving figure, with no underlying signs of overt pathology, so why would I think this?  Is it because of post-"Fatal Attraction?"  Have I become so jaded??????? I hope not, because I still came away, holding out hope for Mary.

                                      What do you think, girls?  Stalking has been going on long before Capote wrote this story, though I don't recall the phrase really being coined until around the time Theresa Saldana was attacked.

                                        I still came away, with hope for Mary.  There are, after all, many paths to Eden.  But what does it say about our culture, or myself, that this other thought crossed my mind?

                                        You tell me, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Get It Together, Wendy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I loved Wendy Walker's first novel, All Is Not Forgotten."  Somewhere, on this blog, is a glowing review of it.    My assessment of "Emma In The Night," is not so glowing.  But this does not mean I was absorbed, and engaged.  It just was not the page turner the first book was, and, of course, I was expecting it to be.

                                 Too often, in stories of this type, I complain about authors not exploring the perpetrator's pathology.  Here, almost everyone in this book has their pathology up for grabs.  I was particularly fascinated with Bill and Lucy, a childless couple, with hidden criminal pasts, whose ostensibly sympathetic misfortune goes and pushes them beyond sympathetic and into the pathological, with their agenda, regarding children, and what they feel is their entitlement to them.  Then there is the heroine, Cass, and her mother.  The mother, Judy Martin gets my vote for this year's Mother From Hell, and through mostly her, is explored Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which she has in spades.

                                 But Judy is not the only one suffering.  So is someone else, less aware than Judy. The twists and turns along this psychological path makes up most of what makes the novel genuinely interesting.  But not great.  Because the surrounding story--the disappearance of the siblings Cass and Emma Tanner, has just been done, too often.

                                  Maybe Wendy Walker was trying out my earlier suggestion here.  She succeeds, but with it, she loses the narrative thread of the story.  Is there a way to combine the two?  There is--works like "Rosemary's Baby," "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?" and "The Other" come first to my mind.

                                    But these works are gold standards in themselves.  "Emma In The Night" may be reaching for that, but fails to get there.  Yet the writing is good enough, especial when exploring the pathology, not to give up on Wendy Walker.  She is said to be working on a new novel, and I, for one, cannot wait.

                                     Keep going, Wendy.  But give readers a story, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, I Survived The Eclipse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             As crazy as it may seem, I was terrified of this event.  I knew it was not the Miracle Of The Sun, like at Fatima, so I did not expect apparitions of Jacinta and Francisco Marto to appear.  Now, that would have been something to see.

                              The whole thing about the eclipse, one's eyes, and how to look at it while protecting them, freaked me out.  I was so terrified, I thought just looking out a window, during the eclipse, would blind me.  I stared the whole time at the computer screen, watching some gems that I promise I will share with everyone.

                               And really, with everyone obsessed about this, I began to wonder?  Was this the Apocalypse?  The Rapture, for those who believe in that?  Were we all going to disintegrate?  Was this "The Twilight Zone?"  If so, then where the hell was Lois Nettleton?

                                You can imagine my relief, when it was over.  Now, we have to face another one in seven years?

                                  The one thing I should have done is listen to Carly Simon, because in "You're So Vain," there is that wonderful line, "Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia/To see the total eclipse of the sun."

                                     Be here with us, Carly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In seven years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!