Friday, September 29, 2017

A Cyber Related Horror Film That Actually Works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            One of the benefits for someone like me, who will see any piece of horror trash that comes along, is to point at the screen, muttering to myself which other movie is being referenced.  "Friend Request," which is no masterpiece, but has more thought and substance than I expected, is not the altogether trash I was expecting, and that, I feel, is satisfying.

                              As for what is referenced, well, I found "Single White Female," "Burnt Offerings," "The Blair Witch Project," and a bit of "The Ring" thrown into the mix.  Plus a tiny dose of "Final Destination." And a dash of "The Sentinel."

                              So, yes, it is fun to play along with what the filmmakers are toying with, to get an idea of their knowledge about where they are going. Which turns out to be considerable.

                              Unlike "Final Destination," which none of the actors in that franchise went anywhere, there is one here who might.  That is Liesl Ahlers, as Marina, who is to this movie what Samara is to "The Ring," and Jennifer Jason Leigh to "Single White Female."  Ahlers work here is on the level of Leigh and Daveigh Chase, and it is when she is on screen, no matter what she is doing, that the film truly comes to life.  Her computer imagery is dazzling, and a device lifted from "The Ring," but compelling, and the ensuing blend of chase, pursuit and witch folklore is in strictly 'Blair Witch' territory.  Including the almost climactic shock, which is straight out of the film.

                              I am not even going to mention the actual climax, or what film it references, for fear of giving too much away.

                              I will say that the film injects a bit of social realism into the mix.  Its opening is chilling.  A professor walks into a college classroom, to presumably begin a lecture.  Instead, he sadly reports that, over the weekend, one of their fellow students, Marina Nedifar, took her own life.  The camera immediately flashes to a close-up of Laura Woodson (Alycia Denham-Carey).  Once done, the viewer knows she knows something, and the film is off and running, but takes one to unexpected places.  And though I could see the climax coming, the final shot is the perfect way to end this film.

                             I mean, if you have tickets to Bette in "Hello, Dolly!" or, hell, tickets to anything else, don't change plans for this.  But if the film fits into your plans it is more than worth your while to see.

                              Which, coming from me, darlings, about a trash horror film, is quite a compliment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A Book About Death That Does Not Turn Out To Be So Depressing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              As I get older, and my mortality draws near, the less I am drawn to stories about terminal illness.  Were "Terms Of Endearment" released today, I am not sure I would go see it, as good it actually was.

                              Now, I love Kent Haruf.  I had forgotten he had died in 2014.  So, when I saw "Benediction," the title and his name drew me in.  When I began the first sentence, which states a man being diagnosed with terminal cancer, I put the book down, thinking, "Oh, great; what am I in for now?"

                                Well, I have good news.  The book is not all gloom and doom, like Joan Didion's "The Year Of Magical Thinking," which I would never recommend to anyone in those circumstances. Haruf's book I would recommend. Because it ventures from the terminal patient, to his past life, troubled relations with his children, especially his son, as well as various members of the community. By the time Dad Lewis breathes his last, with his wife and daughter by his hand, I came to grasp the meaning of the title, that the comfortable, gradual, way of easing out of the world is a kind of blessing, especially for someone who has led a basically good life.

                                Kent Haruf is a kind of Southwestern  Richard Russo.  Both are narrative and character driven, but with a sensitivity to language and feeling that draws readers in.  It is sad no more books will be forthcoming from Haruf, but there are others of his I have still yet to read, so that is, in itself, a kind of blessing.

                                If this was a brand new book this year, I could see it going on my Ten Best List, at year's end.  Make sure it goes on your reading list for this year, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why Are These T-Shirts Met With Such Different Responses??????????????????????

                                       I admit it, I have an eclectic collection of T-Shirts, as much as anyone else out there.  But these two, in particular, elicit the most responses, and believe me, those are as different as can  be.

                                        This morning, for example, I was wearing my "Saving Anna" T-Shirt.  Anna is, of course, Anna Wintour, the editor of VOGUE, and, unlike Mayor DeBlasio, the most powerful figure in town.  Whenever I wear this, I am met with such derision.  Not homophobia, but disgust that I would support Anna Wintour.  What is so hateful about Anna?  Thank God for the taste and culture she brings to this town.   Sometimes, I feel, if it weren't for the two of us, there would not be any.

                                           Now, with "Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman," I get a different response.  Straight guys go crazy over the sexiness of the image, while sci-fi buffs stop to discuss the film with me, and its inherent campiness.  Which is a better response than Anna gets, but why should she get such a raw deal????????????????

                                           I am telling you.  At some point, I will get a Karen Cooper T-Shirt.  You know, the little girl from "Night Of The Living Dead," who stabs her mother with a garden spade?????  I can't wait to see the look on people's faces, when I wear that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Next Stop On My Bookstore Exploration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I have been long overdue, to write about a bookstore, and since I was in the neighborhood of this one--and seldom am--I decided to take full advantage of this one.

                                 Many of us who live outside it do not like trekking up to the Upper East Side, unless it is for a reason.  Well, this is a reason.  The exterior of this store is so perfect it is like "The Shop Around The Corner," or "She Loves Me!," where one expects the late Margaret Sullivan, or Barbara Cook, to come out and help patrons.

                                 The staff who are there are informative, and engaging.

                                  But, first, picture, all you confirmed book readers,  a studio apartment, or at least one room in your larger than studio apartment, where the walls are nothing but bookshelves, covered with books.  That is what greets one upon walking inside, and is enough to make one scream with delight.  There are tables with the latest selections, and not so new fiction up against a left wall.

                                    Best of all, for those who like to collect them, if you are looking for works that are part of The New York Review Of Books Classics, this is the place to come to!

                                     Of course, I perused.  And, of course I did not come away empty handed.  I bought the new Julia Glass, "A House Among The Trees," and "What To Do About The Solomons," by Bethany Ball.  I cannot wait to read them.

                                      The guy who helped me was not only personable, but knowledgeable.  I happened to be wearing my "Runaways" T-Shirt, when the musical was done one summer at the ENCORES Summer Shows.  It turned out he had been working down at the Public when the original was getting on its feet, and saw it there many times.  As soon as I mentioned Josie De Guzman, and Trini Alvarado, he knew exactly who they were.  Which impressed me to the max.

                                       And gives me an extra incentive to recommend this bookstore.  It is a literary gem on the Upper East Side.

                                        Stop there, before checking in at The Carlyle, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, This Could Be Manhattan's Next Hottest Cruising Spot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Thursday was doctor's day for both of us.  I had to visit my neurologist, and David had to see his lung doctor, up at Mount Sinai.  So, though I don't let going all the way up there on the East Side--I am afraid of beyond the designer shops on Madison, of course--we met there, and had lunch in the cafeteria.

                                 Girls, I am telling you, you have to go.  If your mother's fantasy for you, or even your own, has been to marry a gorgeous doctor, this is the one place, where you will stand a chance.

                                   The place is just teeming with cute young guys in green scrubs--yummy!!!!!!--and handsome, lucrative physicians, in those white coats.

                                     I am ashamed I never thought of this, during my spinster days.  But, back then, I do not think the hospital was as built up, and the neighborhood was probably more dicey.

                                     But for those who may be seeking that special someone, this is a viable option!

                                      All for the price of a subway ride, and a meal.

                                      Cheaper than those dating websites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Is Joan Didion Secretly Writing 'SVU' Scripts?????????????????????

                                 It sure seems like it to me, because last night's opener of Season 19, was a real doggie downer.

                                  Thank God for Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino, and guest stars Dean Winter and Will Chase.  They breathed some life into this show, when it deigned to focus away from Olivia.  And I loved the knife twist Winters gives Olivia, at the close of their scene.

                                   Yep, this season is going to be All About Olivia, and I could see it coming, right away.  As soon as Noah is almost struck by a car--he is going to kindergarten, now; can you believe it?  Next year, he will be off to college--and he inadvertently tells school officials that his mother gave him bruises on his arm, without explaining it was preventing him from being struck down by a taxi--the authorities are all over Olivia, like a plague of locusts.

                                     The reason no one will believe Olivia, and, as been shown, she is going to be investigated for child endangerment, and almost losing Noah, is that Mariska Hargatay does not have the acting chops for it.  When she plays against someone, like Giddish or Scanavino, not to mention Chris Meloni, it helped cover up her acting deficiencies.  But now, with the producers unwisely choosing to focus the show on her, her lack of ability is glaringly apparent.  Were Kathryn Morris, Jenny Bacon, or Marcia Gay Harden in this role, it would work, because they are such brilliant actresses; even if the scripts are sub par, they could use their skills to make them interesting.

                                      From the moment it premiered, Mariska demonstrated she was no world beater as an actress.  Remember the episode, when Ellen Burstyn played Meloni's bipolar mother?
She blew everyone away on screen, but Meloni could hold his own with her.  Burstyn, with her experience as an actress, easily recognized Hargitay's limitations, and graciously played it down, throwing the scene to her--though who could honestly take one's eyes off Ellen Burstyn, for a second???????

                                      In my post on "AHS:  Cult, I spoke of mojo.  If this show does not develop some, it will not make it to Season 20.

                                        Lighten up. Liv!  This material is old and tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not Ivy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            All right, girls, let's get to the fun, and macabre hilarity, of "American Horror Story: Cult."  Tuesday night's episode, entitled "11/9," demonstrated the show seems to have found itself, especially from the point, last week, when Sarah Paulson's Ally found her confrontational mojo!!!!!!!

                            The mojo flowed from everyone last night, especially from Evan Peters, who is finally coming into his own as this season's truly great actor.  Not to mention the brilliant cameo by Emma Roberts, which I will talk about, at length,

                              Sadly, though, I have to confess something.  My husband, David, has been convinced that Ivy (so sweetly played by Alison Pill) is a part of the cult, and I have to say, after what I saw this week, I have to say he is right.

                               Attending a political rally on her own, Ally is sexually assaulted by some pro-Trumper, who, literally, grabs her pussy!  Who should rush in to defend her, by crusading Winter Anderson, and the two form a fast friendship.  So, thinking back, that means when Winter first applied for the nanny job, Ivy already knew her!!!!!!!!!!  Hmm.....................

                               Now, as for Evan Peters, he was simply brilliant in his performance.  Though I thought he overdid the loudness, jerking off in the shower.  But seeing him in action is scary; he plays on the fears and anxieties of the most vulnerable, and offers them the possibility of overcoming adversity without actually telling them how, though viewers know it involves violence.  His manipulative techniques are not unlike real life cults, like the Landmark Forum, to whom I lost a good friend.  Let me tell Kai something, you could not manipulate me, fucker, because I am too strong willed, and you have nothing to work with, regarding me!  These White Trash ass holes think they are hot shit, but they are really dumb puke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Emma Roberts, as Serena Belinda, delivered the best line of the show--"There is no dick I would not suck to be on 'The Today Show'."  She is an exponent of the Deborah Norville School Of Journalism, where a girl has to get ahead by giving head, illustrating this is still a world run by straight men who want blow jobs.  Now, where does that leave lesbians and gays?  Marginalized, to the point of being allowed to work for organizations, just not being acknowledged a part of them.  Emma's appearance, while telling, is all too brief.

                                Poor Ally was the least of it, last night.  Even Chaz Bono, as Gary, got more screen time.  His back story is pretty much that of these typical red neck yokels!

                                 But back to Ivy.  OK, if she is in on it, then she must know Kai.  How did he rope her in?  And what about her great love for Ozymandias, the little boy?  I still think Kai is the biological father, and that Ally carried him, but I am beginning to suspect it was Ivy who chose the donor.  And now it is known who, and why!

                                  I still could be wrong on some of these points, but the truth is becoming clearer.
Meanwhile, girls, in real live, please do NOT blow your way to the top.

                                   The bad taste in your mouth is not only the pig's jizz, but the loss of one's self-respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Dead Bitch Deserved To Hear His Victim's Impact Stement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Dennis Earl Bradford, this week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, is a mystery, which is why I always want to know the back story of killers.

                                 On August 20, 1990, the then 20-year-old loser, was driving about town, and came upon this not so great apartment complex.  Peering into the open window of one of the first floor places, he saw then eight-year-old Jennifer Schuett.  He abducted her; when the child came to, frightened, in his arms, he told her he was an undercover police officer.  This kid was not dumb enough to believe that.  And she was right.

                                  Because this sick fuck took this kid to an open field, near Dickinson, Texas, where he raped her, slit her throat, and left her for dead.

                                   The good news is that Jennifer survived, and went on to live as full and satisfying a life, given her earlier circumstances.

                                     For twenty years, police did not catch this guy, and Jennifer desperately wanted them to.  Twenty years later, thanks to DNA advances, Dennis was apprehended at his home in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  The now forty-year-old welder, was married, with three stepsons.
What a pig!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       It gets better.  Under interrogation, Bradford delivers an Oscar worthy performance of breaking down in remorse, and relief at the news that Jennifer was alive.  By the way, a year before Jennifer, he had been apprehended for abducting, sexually assaulting, and almost killing a young woman in Arkansas.  This helped lead to Dennis' conviction for Jennifer.

                                       I suppose there must have been some kind of remorse, on his part, because, before Jennifer could deliver her impact statement, Bradford hanged himself in his cell.  This was back in 2010.

                                       What I want to know is--where were his parents?  why did no one talk to them?  And how about his upbringing?  Education, or lack of it?  And, if he had done this to the Arkansas woman in 1996, and Jennifer, a year later, I am almost certain he had done this to others.
Who are now out there, unknown victims.

                                         Thanks to suicide, these answer may never be known.  What is known is that Dennis Earl Bradford was one sick bitch!  This is you last distinction, Dennis!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          And, I, for one, do not buy your crocodile tears act!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Book Actually Made Me Laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   It is not often a book does this, but, then, as I have come to discover, Tama Janowitz is a pretty amazing writer.  My final work of hers, in my Brat Pack project, "A Cannibal In Manhattan," is a satiric mixture of Voltaire's "Candide," Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe," and Tama, herself.

                                   Yes, I am convinced that heiress or grafter, Maria Fishburn, is a self-parody of, if not exactly Tama, then how she feels the media perceives her.  Party girl, social climbing, using everyone in her path, including the title character, I had to hand it to Tama for creating this character.

                                   It is also a brilliant commentary on how displaced non-New Yorkers feel, when they are here.  I am not talking about Jersey, or the Midwest, though the city intimidates them.  I am talking about someone from a fictitious, isolated island, where cannibalism rules, and then this poor thing is set down in Manhattan, which exposes all his naivete and vulnerability.

                                   And the galaxy of hilarious characters encountered--a dwarf, a gangster, hotel clerks; a museum curator, wedding guests at Tavern On The Green--the full spectrum of a Manhattan that, this novel now being 30 years old, does not quite exist anymore, yet would still offer enough challenges for this titled visitor.

                                    I just love Tama.  I may go back to her other books later, when I am finished this project.  But one thing you are about to hear now, and will be used in the article I eventually write.

                                    The Literary Brat Book may have been nothing more than an extended White Straight Boys Club.  But it was the girls (Tama and Donna Tartt) who ran the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

And Now, A Bit Of Rialto Reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Girls, guess what?  That fine young man, and scion of an acting dynasty, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, is engaged!  To be married!

                                As one who simply adores Andrew and his talented siblings, allow The Raving Queen to congratulate you.  As one who was married, myself, on January 10 of this year, I can tell you two things.  No one here is knocked up--that ship has sailed, honey!  And marriage is not a bit like Sondheim; rather, it soars more into the Romantic realm of Rudolf Friml!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Andrew is engaged to a wonderful man named Scott Bixby.  He happens to be the weekend editor of The Daily Beast!"  Hey, Scott, need a Raving Queen columnist?  The things I can unearth about this town, darling!  Hell,  my life is a gold mine!

                                   Anyway, in keeping with the Keenan-Bolger tradition, this spouse, like Celia's, John Ellison Conlee, is cute, and has killer hair!  The last is very important, because ALL the Keenan-Bolgers have killer hair--where do they get it done?--so it follows suit their spouses better have it, too!

                                   I have no idea when the wedding is, and they probably don't either, but I can tell you, it will be the glamour event of the season!  I would even sing Amy's part in "Getting Married Today," if given enough time to practice!

                                    And take some breaths!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Happy Engagement, Andrew and Scott!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Female Gorilla To Play Madame Defarge In Stage Version Of "A Tale Of Two Cities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                  Remember, the girls in "Up The Down Staircase" always called it "Sale Of Two Titties."

                                  This may be false, this may be true.  I can't deny it all.  But, with all the bizarre casting out there, the thought crossed my mind.  What if the role of Madame Defarge, on stage, was cast, with a female gorilla?  I mean, a real one, not the costumed one, like in "Cabaret."  Lots of simians wanted that job, I can tell you!  Especially to work with Joel Grey!

                                     So....I had this idea, and what do I find, but someone on the same page as I!!!!!!!!!!!  This gorilla looks like she is waiting for her casting call, preparing for that audition. More prep than I have seen some actors do, believe me.

                                      If she gets cast, and comes to Broadway, I predict this will be the next hot ticket!

                                       And maybe, possibly, a TONY Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybelline Has Always Meant Beautiful Eyes!!!!!!!!!!!! But What If You Are A Saucer Man??????????

                         Darlings, if you thought Nicole Kidman went through tons of eye make-up, while making "The Beguiled," as her Botoxed face no longer has any expression, think of what a time there must have been on the set of the 1957 AIP classic, "Invasion Of The Saucer Men!"

                          Look at those eyes!  There were a whole group of these creatures on screen, so lots of mascara, shadow, and liner, were required.

                           The film was in black and white, so I am not sure what the color design in make-up would have been.  I see the one on the left, with some nice aqua green color under the lid, and black coal around the bottom.   Contrast the companion, with pink lid liner, and red mascara, and you have two rather stylish Saucer Men!

                             Now, the make-up was ingenious, but I have to say someone at the studio must have been influenced by Universal's sci-fi epic of 1955, "This Island Earth."  Those monsters, or aliens, if you will, had their brains outside their heads.  Only not as large as the saucer men.

                              And why are they called Saucer Men?  Their brains are bigger than anything else!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               What did Roger Corman care?  He just wanted to make a buck!

                                Besides, the AIP makeup department hit the jackpot with cute Cucumbo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We're Still Here, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            So much for the sayers of Doom.  Those who felt we would explode like Krypton, yesterday, must be relieved to find themselves up and about.  I know I am.  Jacinta and Company came through for us, after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             I mean, I have to read the new Jennifer Egan novel, and that does not come out until October 5!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              But, really, no one knows when the Apocalypse will arrive.  Not even Barbra Streisand, though I bet she thinks she does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              So, stay tuned, dolls!  I am not through yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Not "Puff, The Magic Dragon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                As I was reading Sarah Perry's novel, "The Essex Serpent," I was reminded of Sara Gruen's disappointing "At Water's Edge."  For a good part of Perry's novel, I felt it was inching toward what Gruen's book was trying so desperately to be, but was not.  Although better written, this novel, unfortunately turns out to be smoke and mirrors.

                               Which is a shame, because there really is an Essex serpent legend.  And Perry's prose style, and the way she weaves science with fiction recalls Elizabeth Gilbert's "The Signature Of All Things."  So I felt this novel was going for something much more than it turns out to be.

                                 I almost wish the serpent mystery had not been revealed.  Remember the sea monster movies of the 1950's? And "Jaws," which was pretty much the same thing?  The best part of those films was the tension they generated.  Whenever the camera panned to the water, or a ripple appeared, I would always wonder what would come out--and when?  And how about the opening of "Jaws," still one of the most frightening sequences on film?

                                The novel teasers the reader the same way these films did.  The trouble is, reality has to set in, and that is when things stop being fun.  "The Essex Serpent" is a fun, and wonderfully written novel, but fizzles out in the reality of what is revealed.  Had Perry gone with something actually monstrous, she might have earned herself some fans.

                                  This will hardly make Book Of The Year.  But take a look at the book's cover.  This is sure to make Book Cover Of The Year.  It speaks of Perry's beautifully textured writing style.
Now, she needs to work on driving narrative.

                                   Poor Gojira!  He was hoping to be cast in "The Essex Serpent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

A Special Blog Post To Our Beloved Seamus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             If you live in Bay Ridge, as I do, you know Seamus.  Now, Deirdre and Michael Williams may operate the pet supply store, Paws Truly, on Third Avenue, but Seamus is the one they really work for.  Also known as Famous Seamus, and Mr. Bay Ridge, he brings joy and love to everyone who comes through the store.  He is a real social ambassador.

                              I just love Seamus, as I am sure many out there do.  Well, the lovable Labradoodle needs our wishes and prayers.

                               It seems Seamus has been nursing a discomforting mouth infection for awhile, and, noticing his movements, his owners took him in for an exam, and to have the infection treated.  When I inquired the other day, I am told he was going to be fine.

                               But he may be out of the store for awhile, so I want all of  you who love Seamus--in Bay Ridge, and beyond, to stop by Paws Truly, and wish him the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Seamus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 16, 2017

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

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

                                 The first question is, who cares?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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