Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Things are really beginning to speed up, dolls, what with October rushing by. It was a memorable one in many ways, but not one particularly endearing considering the closeness of two sudden deaths of two beloved colleagues and fronts. Not to mention another one the month before, and my childhood friend, in April.
Nothing to see at the movies but trash horror--not that that is not fun, but give us an A-lister once in awhile. As for the theater--like, nothing new is happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And now November is nipping at my heels! Gasp!
It was an uneasy October, made fun by "AHS": Cult," and the loving of my David, and my animal friends, Cloe, Seamus, Cujo, Roxie, Nya, and Bacci. Not to mention Indiana Jones, and Mellow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The month was unsettling, but I am glad I had these, and all you out there, to share it with!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still haven't decided about my birthday, so we are getting down to the wire!!!!!!!!!
See you in November, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is no way I cannot talk about Kevin Spacey on here, but the whole issue raises questions, because I also have to talk about Anthony Rapp.
Kevin Spacey is one of the most brilliant actors out there, no denying. But it is no secret he has always been a Great Big Old Closet Case, denying his sexuality at every turn. Taking your mom to the Academy Awards, once, OK!!!!!!!!!!!! But every year????????? Kevin, dear, don't you realize Clifton Webb did the same thing?????????? And he fooled no one either; in fact, he made an entire career of playing the gay aesthete.
Now, about Anthony Rapp. He started out very young in the business. Did you know he played one half of the title roles in "The Little Prince And The Aviator," the flop musical that played at the Alvin Theatre, back in 198l????????? Ten years later, or thereabouts, I saw first saw him, as one of the obnoxious children, in the original production of John Guare's "Six Degrees Of Separation." And then, about five years later, along came "RENT."
And there is no question that a 14-year-old boy should not be sexually pursued, by a 26-year-old man. Kevin, dear, what is your game? Do you like chicken, or are you just so sexually desperate?????????????
But I also have a question about Anthony. I know his parents divorced, that the mother, he and brother Adam, moved to New York City. And, supposedly, Kevin and Anthony were appearing on Broadway, back in 1986-whether together or separately is not clear--which is how Rapp netted the invitation to Spacey's party.
Fine. But where was Rapp's mother? As a minor, didn't she have to shepherd him along his career path??????????? Why would a 14-year-old boy be allowed to go to a party with party animal adult theater types?????????????????
Let me emphasize here, I am not defending Spacey. I have a feeling, if things come out as they do, Rapp was not the first, or last, young fellow Spacey pulled this act on.
But why was someone that young permitted to go to an adult party? The parenting here must be questioned.
Spacey's being in the closet has disgusted me. Such a brilliant actor, and he cannot handle a way to come out, graciously???????????????" Hey, Kevin, is Mom still alive? How convenient, if she is not! "There'll be days like this, Mama said!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Now, his career is tanking. What I fear is people will perceive that his coming out is the reason for the downfall. It is not. It is his predatory behavior, and reinforcing the negative notion that all homosexuals are sexual predators. Putting us back to the days of "Boys Beware," in 1961!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats, Kev! You just set the LGBQT Community back several decades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Coming as this all does, on the tail of Harvey Weinstein, I have to wonder, has everyone in show biz been sexually abused? Who will be next??????????????
Go play with others age appropriate, Kevin! No post-Millennial kid would be interested in you anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hell, he wouldn't even know who you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday, with my mind on the macabre, I went on a Black Dahlia trope. And I came upon this fascinating documentary called "Feast Of Death." It features crime author James Ellroy, sitting around with some Los Angeles detective associates, dining and chatting about deathly matters, chiefly those of Ellroy's mother, and its almost counterpart, Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia.
I have to say Ellroy is one scary dude. Tall, looming, and having the eyes of a serial killer, he is someone I would love to have dinner with--the things we could discuss, darlings!!!!!!!!--but, having heard he is a big, raging homophobe, why would I want to?
Because, as I realized, sitting across from him, or wherever, I could scare the shit out of him, with my presence. Homophobes are terrified of us gays, so Ellroy would be paralyzed with fear. And unlike closet cases, whom, I have maintained, are worse, one knows what one is dealing with, up front.
In the documentary, Ellroy fantasizes about having dinner with Short, and grilling her with questions. So do I; let's do it, together. As well as other famous serial killers of history. And he talks about finding our answers to questions in the afterlife--like who killed the Black Dahlia?
Or, how about the most popular one, next to that--who was really Jack, The Ripper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
James, honey, you and I have GOT to talk. Now, the only book of his I have read happens to be "The Black Dahlia," and he does provide, the most credible, and poetically prosaic, way of how and where the torture and killing might have been done. I have got to read some of his other books; maybe that will be my next project, once The Brat Pack is finished.
The mind of James Ellroy must be a scary place. But it is, also, oh so fascinating!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is always being advertised in our area. It is not really on a mountain, and you can see where you are going, unlike the very terrifying Space Mountain, at Walt Disney World, which I will never ride on again, but this coaster, which is outdoors among trees, in the mountain air, does not seem to be high, so I think I could handle it.
I like the idea of whizzing through the woods and trees. And, during Halloween season, it is somehow decked out to become Monster Mountain Coaster. I want to go on both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wonder if I really would. Because, once you are strapped in, there is no turning back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Another Halloween thought, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Halloween, Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today is the day many have been awaiting. I almost went for charm, but, when this pumpkin face appeared, I knew it would be perfect for this blog.
Which brings me to my Halloween story, for today. Or "Halloween." John Carpenter's classic, which introduced us to Jamie Lee Curtis, came out in 1978, and I just happened to see it on this day, 39 years ago.
I was 23, still a suburban kid, and driving the family car. "Halloween" was playing at one of the theaters at what was the Middlesex Mall, on Stelton Road, off of Route 27. I had been driven to there my whole life, as friends of ours were on that route, so it was familiar to me.
When I parked, it was still daylight. I walked in, saw the film--my first viewing--and haven't bee the same, since. Has anyone, after seeing this film?
I loved it, but I walked out into an empty parking lot, in darkness. I looked every which way, till I got to the car, unlocked it, and got in, fearing a killer would get me.
This is my fevered memory, but the way I remember it is I locked myself in, started the ignition, and then gunned the petal all the way home. I cannot recall a single traffic light en route, or if I went through some. In any case, I wasn't stopped.
The climax was I drove up our driveway--it was on a hill-- so fast I sailed into our yard, and through the adjoining neighbors' bushes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got out of the car, freaked. My parents came running out, in hysterics. Somehow the car was put in its right place, thanks to my father. I don't recall the neighbors saying a thing. I guess by now they knew I was off the grid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As for a song/video, what else would do for today, but....the "Monster Mash!"
Have a great Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 30, 2017
I do hope ID reruns episodes of "Horror At The Cecil Hotel." Of course, when I visit Los Angeles, darlings, I will stay at the Chateau Marmont, but I will certainly visit the Cecil Hotel. Elizabeth Short, according to legend, was last seen alive at the bar, before being tortured and killed elsewhere, and turned up, mutilated and dead, in that lot, on January 15, 1947.
It isn't too far fetched an idea that she hung out there. She had the looks, but not the talent, and so, to get ahead, she did what many good looking small townees, who were never going to be Gene Tierney did--trafficked in prostitution.
Elizabeth became the most famous of them all, but not in a way even she would have wanted. No one deserved what she got, and no one conclusively knows how. The only things I am sure about is she was killed elsewhere, and supported by this excellent possibility posed by James Elroy in his novel, "The Black Dahlia," as she was tortured for quite awhile before being killed, it had to be done where her screams would not be heard or noticed. In Elroy's novel, that locale, which was plausible enough, were the abandoned bungalows in the hills beneath the giant HOLLYWOOD sign. Poetic, too.
The Cecil, of course, was the inspiration for the Hotel Cortez, on "AHS: Hotel." I wonder if drag queens go there now, hanging out at the bar, dressed as Short? With Halloween looming, it should be a riot, there! I still have the legs; with make-up, the right dress, and a wig, I could pull it off!
I bet her ghost still haunts the place. If I get there, and encounter it, I want answers to some questions--fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even loose girls knew how to dress better, back then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the most famous sluts in literature is Mildred Rogers, the venal waitress in W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage." Mildred was no heart of gold-er, like Fantine, nor did she generate much sympathy. She was an out and out slut who took on the world, and made no bones about it. She did not generate pity, nor did she ask for it.
Which is pretty much how Bette played it in the brilliant 1935 film. It has been said that her Oscar that year for "Dangerous" was actually for "Of Human Bondage." Having seen the film, I agree. Davis literally tears the screen to pieces, with her portrayal. I think both the role, and what Mildred was, became a matter of controversy for the Academy.
Now, take a close look at this picture. Doesn't it suggest Madonna?????? I am telling you, Madonna modeled herself after Bette here. She was a pretty smart cookie; she knew damn well what she was doing! She never had the talent of Davis, but it cannot be denied her career has been meteoric.
As Davis' did become, as a result of this role. This was seven years before she frumped herself up as a repressed spinster in "Now, Voyager."
Mildred, in true fashion, dies a true prostitute's death, from either consumption or syphilis. Probably both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You have to hear her Cockney accent, and see the scene where she tears apart Leslie Howard's medical books.
Brilliance and Camp at their best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Oh, my God, girls, I cannot wait to see what has got to be the Catholic movie of the year. All right, maybe it is the only Catholic movie of the year, but it is far removed from the territory of "The Trouble With Angels."
"Novitiate" is set in 1964, when I was 9, and the Catholic Church was in flux. I am demanding right now a commission of some percentage for the screenplay, because I am convinced someone connected to the film has read my blog posts on "The Song Of Bernadette," and bodies being "pain wracked, from stone floors!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Melissa Leo, as Reverend Mother, is setting herself out to be the scariest example of a nun, since Gladys Cooper as Sister Marie Therese Vazous, in "The Song Of Bernadette."
She runs the convent of the Sisters Of The Blessed Rose, where the young women not only have to scrub those stone floors, but crawl across them, torturing their bodies, while reciting "Hail Mary's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
This has to be seen to be believed. The reviews do not suggest camp, but come on--one young woman is inspired by Audrey Hepburn in "The Nun's Story?" Doesn't she recall how that film ends?--Audrey chooses to leave the convent, and the film closes with a long shot of her walking into the distance, and presumably hell, but actually into the arms of Jack L. Warner, who would eventually cast her in "My Fair Lady," with the sound of her shoes hitting the cobblestones with each distancing step. Bet this novice will not last, either. The one who should have inspired her is Jennifer Jones, in "The Song Of Bernadette."
Catholics are going to eat up this film, like candy! I cannot wait to learn all of Melissa Leo's lines, and try them out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That Melissa! She is building for herself a reputation as the Louise Fletcher Of Her Generation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I shall SO look forward to reporting back to you on this one, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone seems to be recalling memories of Hurricane (now Super Storm) Sandy on this day, five years before, but what both David and I also recollect is this was the day or our housewarming.
It turned out to be shorter than expected.
Initially, we had no idea that Sandy would turn out to be what it was. So, we went ahead with our plans, ordering food, drink, and receiving guests for what turned out to be a fun filled event, Our furniture had arrived, and all was finally in place, so it was the time to hold the event.
But then came those dire reports. And once it was announced the subways would shut down at a certain time--I think it might have been 5:30PM--all hell broke loose, as a mass exodus of guests practically ran out the door to avoid the melee. Except for our wildest, and oldest of friends, Florence, who was having such a good time, we had to practically push her out the door!
It was a housewarming never to forget. Who knows if we will have another, but may we never have another storm, like Sandy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She was no Sandra Dee, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, October 28, 2017
We are all in this together, darlings, so please bear with me! If you are out there, continue reading, as some of us bloggers are having problems, not so much with formatting, as with our Followers lists disappearing. Also, as far as comments are concerned, I can answer mine, but I am not sure if readers are able to post. My email address is posted atop the blog most of the time, so if you need to reach and/or comment, then do so there. I need you girls, so I feel I have someone to write for. Not that it would stop me--it did not stop the Brontes--but they got the word out, eventually. Please bear with me. A tech savvy friend said this could take awhile. I know the Eblogger and Google teams are looking at it, because others have, as stated experienced the same thing.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Both David and I always need laughter, before going to sleep, so we turn to "Judge Judy," which never fails to deliver, every time.
But this week was something else. Like the fat, overweight thing, dressed in black stripes, looking totally out of place for a TV show, going on about a photo shoot involving her child. I swear, Mama June, before her transformation, was not this ugly and stupid! Why do such people exist? And why must they parade themselves on television? What's worse is, whether they know or not they are making fools of themselves, they do not care; just so long as they are seen and heard, on TV?
In another era, people wanted to be seen on shows like "Queen For A Day," "Art Linklater's House Party," and "Romper Room." Oh, and do not forget "Wonderama."
There was no trash featured on these shows. What have we come to that the exemplar for this country is dumb, White trash?????????????
It may be entertaining, but it is exploitative of the mentally challenged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or an insight into what is wrong with our society!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You know, my last post reminded me that, sometime, I have to tell you more about the Kramers. They were quite a story, and so were their daughters, Judy and Joy. I wonder where they are, today? I have no idea. Dotty and Don, sadly, are gone.
This book my mother actually brought me, though I recall my cover being blue. I had all sorts of these books, plus Scrabble, and Scribbage, lying around the house, so I was a "wordy" child. Reading was second nature to me. And, I swear, some of it was by osmosis, because, in lots of cases, especially when younger, I would use these books as coloring books, as well. I would color in the pictures, while unconsciously absorbing what was being taught.
How I ended up in the public system is something I had nothing to do with.
By first grade, I realized--man, these cats are just too dumb for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think this book was given to me, by my mother, thanks to her friend, Dotty Kramer, (pronounced Krah-mer) who was a third grade teacher, at the time. As young as I was, I could tell it was an antiquated book, but the look of the pictures, and the tone fascinated me. Today, I would find them hilarious. Wish I still had the book.
The idea of children taking care of themselves was conveyed in a year in the lives of two siblings, Jack and Dorothy. They were a scream. Jack dressed in suspenders, with his hair styled so that he looked like a prematurely middle aged man. Dorothy was almost the opposite; she looked, and dressed, like Shirley Temple, on the cusp of puberty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Their mother would take them to lunch in town, where, for health's sake, they had lunch somewhere, dining on soup, fruit salad, and milk, Their mother paid the bill, and I am convinced, healthy as this meal might be for me, an oldster, today, it was too little for growing children. I think selection here was more a matter of budgetary constraints.
Then there was Aunt May, who, of course, was a spinster. When invited to the house, for dinner, she always brought a bag of big sugar cookies, for Jack and Dorothy. She said she did it because of the children's good eating habits; ie; table manners. I think she did it because those kids were not getting enough to eat.
During Summer vacation, Jack and Dorothy never went anywhere but home. More budgetary constraints, but also being groomed for a life of domestic conformity. And before puberty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish there had been a follow up to Jack and Dorothy once they hit puberty. Bet Jack ended up smoking, and wearing a black leather jacket, while Dorothy hiked up her skirts, exposed her garters, smoked, wore make-up, and went all the way with the boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aunt May, by then would have been in a convent, with a bunch of closeted, lesbian nuns.
And the mother would have no idea how this all came about!
See what our childhood books can teach us????????????????
Thursday, October 26, 2017
It certainly looks like it, because, even from the trailer, I recognized what was going on. To call this episode "Complicated" is to insult it. But then, no one, least of all, the writers, seem to care.
Let me say that sometimes reworking can result in a valid, and different take. The best example I can think of is "Uncivilized," first aired on November 15, 1999, evolving into "Lost Traveler," aired November 30, 2011, which was the show's treatment of the then notorious Leiby Kletzsky murder case.
"Complicated," aired on October 25, 2017, was an inferior reworking of "Stranger," first aired on January 6, 2009. I guess the writers think viewers are so dumb they will not catch on.
I have a surprise for you guys--we have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Stranger," the better of the two, went like this--
Ellen Woglon, impersonating the Hallander family's missing daughter, Heather, walks into this family's life, claiming to be her. What is not known, at first, but becomes apparent on a second viewing, is that two members of the household know she is not Heather--and why they know is part of the big reveal. While the impersonator was abducted, abused and escaped, she turns out to be one Kristen Vucelik, imprisoned and abused by her father, who told her her mother was dead, which is why, when she read about Heather's case, and notices her resemblance, she decides to go to the Hallanders. But it turns out middle daughter Nikki, brilliantly played by Natalia Payne, and Mother Hallander, wonderfully played by Tess Harper, knew Heather had been killed years before, by Nikki. Heather had caught troubled older sister with drugs, threatened to tell on her, so Nikki lured her to this rooftop, where she pushed her into this chimney. She was arrested for trying to do the same thing to Kristen, to cover up Heather, and reveal her hidden secret. Her last line is brilliant, and displays no remorse. As she is lead away, she turns to Kristen and says, "Why did you have to pick us?" Because criminals get caught eventually, Nikki. And I thought Mother Hallander should have been charged.
"Complicated," except for Brooke Shields' guest appearance in the Noah subplot, is pretty much the same. Into the lives of the Lawrence family--mother Karen, father Bill, and older brother, Glenn, walks one who is thought to be their missing daughter, Emma. Like Heather, "Emma" turns out to be Brittany Taylor, 21, and a con artist, fleeing from an abusive, drug addicted family, aged out of the kids shelters, and dreading the adult ones. Can you blame her? The story keeps coming up that "Emma" was abducted in the park by a man who called himself, Steve. She and older brother, Glenn, were playing in the park--Prospect, in Brooklyn, not Central, in Manhattan--when she was abducted, and he could not protect Emma. But, for the SVU team, something about this does not all add up. I could have saved them the trouble of investigating. Because, as in "Stranger," two members of the Lawrence household, know this is not Emma. Those turn out to be father Bill, and son Glenn. When Emma was six years old, she liked to dance in front of the TV. Normal enough. Nine-year-old Glenn did not like this, and so he smothered her to death, Desdemona style, with a pillow, to "keep her quiet." Whether he tells the father, or the father discovers the truth is not clear, but he helps Glenn by taking Emma's body, burying it outside the city, and claiming she went missing. The difference here is both father and son are charged, which is how it should be. And the actors who play them, Paul Schulze (Bill) and Mike Faist (Glenn) enact sociopathic monsters. Emma/Brittany, once the mystery is solved, becomes useless fodder for the writers, and so is tossed into the world, the system, the workforce, like Lara, at the close of "Doctor Zhivago." I care about where she ends up, but apparently no one else does.
I do not know who played Karen Lawrence, but I felt the most sorry for her. She says to the SVU team, "I wish you had never found her. Because, before I had hope. Now, I have nothing." If the episode had ended right there, it would have been impacting, and redeemed itself. But no, we get all fuzzy with Olivia, Noah, and Sheila. It is no surprise that the actor playing Noah takes to Brooke instantly--hell, who wouldn't?--leaving Olivia gloomy and neglected. Meaning while things may now seem hunky dory, eventually they are not going to be.
Which brings me now to what I have seen of next week's episode, which has the potential of being another reworking. It concerns a home for troubled girls--Drugs? Pregnancy? All of the above, most likely!!!!!!!!!--and seems, so far, to be a reworking of an episode, from a much better show, "Cold Case," entitled "The Goodbye Room." Much of that episode was set in 1964; 'SVU," I am sure, will stick to the present day. Reworking an episode from an earlier one of your own shows may work, sometimes, as I have pointed out, but borrowing from a much better show????? How about getting some better guest stars? When, in recent years, have we gotten to see the likes of Tess Harper? Or the brilliance of someone like Natalia Payne???????????
One last thing about "Complicated." Once the secret is out, I kept wondering about "The Bad Seed." Didn't Bill Lawrence realize what his son was? Didn't he fear what he and his wife were living with? I am glad he was charged, because, while he says it was to protect his son, it was to cover his own ass. And the other way he did that was denying him the psychiatric treatment Glenn needed. He had Glenn's number, but unlike Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark in "The Bad Seed," Bill acted selfishly.
And I have exhausted a lot of space on an episode that wasn't worth it. Except I am so pissed about how the show is being permitted to go down the tubes, this season?
To quote John Adams from "!776"--"Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Does anybody see what I see?"
I guess not.
Well, not quite. Yes, Gerald Lesk, and his wife, Kristen Shuman, were arts oriented, had performed, danced, and cared deeply about the arts and all they represent. They were not the Lunts, but as professional as non-professionals could get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kris, whom I met in 1981, when I began working at LPA, is, happily still with us. The sadness is that her husband left us way too early, at, I think, 68, and that his departure came all too, soon (after just five days) following the departure of our beloved George Mayer.
This is the fourth tribute I have written this year to someone I know who has died. I want you to know it does not get any easier.
As I got to know Kris, I got to know Gerry, whose humor and wit were refreshing. There was no denying he had good looks--you had to be blind, darlings, not to notice--but his personality and sparkling wit overshadowed all. In time, he became a part of the beloved Mermaid Parade Group, and it is sad to me, how slowly this little contingent is breaking up. Coney Island will still go on, the Parachute Jump will stand in all its glory, but, for me, the place will never be quite the same.
Even when we went to Child's this past September, I remarked how funny it was Kris and Gerry were not here. They were missed, as they should have been there. Besides, I would love to hear what Gerry would have thought of the renovated--but not too appealing--Child's.
I cannot get over Gerry's passing, and feel so deeply for Kris at this time. My fondest wish for them both is for them to return to the happiness shown in this photo.
Gerry brought humor and happiness wherever he went. May he rest in peace.
And may you find comfort, Kris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hate bashing Jill--no, I really don't--but Emma Straub's "Modern Lovers" kept reminding me of the kind of material Eisenstadt writes--only Straub is so much better at it.
Liz and Andrew, Zoe and Jane, Ruby and Harry...no this is not a Paul Mazursky film, but a saga of sorts, about college friends gravitating to Ditmas Park, and Ditmars Street, in Brooklyn, raising their children, and coping with their adult lives. Andrews whole trope with the Yoga Studio almost was a real life mirror of "AHS: Cult," and I thought he was extremely gullible. Elizabeth here kept me thinking of Elizabeth in "The Help," only not quite as damaging, but still she wants that illusion of perfection SO much. My God, she becomes a real estate agent.
As for Lydia, and the song--well, darlings, if there is a movie I want to play her!
The children, Ruby and Harry, were so endearing and wild they also could have fit right in to the world of Garth Risk Halberg's "City On Fire," had the grown up in the Seventies. They were refreshingly individualistic, and non-Millennial. At least, I thought so.
Even the business side of Zoe and Jane's lives--the restaurant, (Hyacinth) the bakery (Hot and Sweet)--is so Brooklyn it made me want to start up something. Trouble with me is, I don't know what, and I am not skilled enough to hang out my shingle as a Tarot reader. But, with time, who knows.
There is no question that Emma is Peter's daughter. There is just too much of a resemblance. Her venue of choice--personal relations--belongs as much to her as horror did and does to her father. There are hidden domestic horrors here, but none as morbid as reality or what her father creates. Though Emma's book is part of my Brat Pack project, it was the least bratty of the lot. It has a youthful vibrancy, minus the snarkiness of the earlier Brat Pack authors, and, I am telling you, she can write rings around Jill Eisenstadt. And within the same venue, too.
I was intrigued by "Modern Lovers," and Emma as a writer, when the book first came out, but I put off so much time in finally getting to it. I am so glad I did.
Thoughtful, insightful, well written, fun!
Thank you, Emma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Peyton, of course, was memorably played by Rebecca DeMornay twenty-five--can you believe it???????????--years ago, in "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle." She actually was a nanny, but she seemed to do, before actually menacing the Bartels, anything Claire wished her to do.
Yes, Peyton was a bitch. But the first ten minutes of the film, which gives her back story, was enough to generate some sympathy toward her, from me. I am not saying what she did to the Bartels was justified, but the woman, having been through too much over time, needed mental help, not a nanny job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No such sympathy exists for 45-year-old Suzette Troutmann, who is this week's winner of The Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award. Those living in the Metropolitan area, and even those who don't, for I believe this story has gone national, has heard about the tragic home invasion of this older couple, Waldiman Thompson, 91, and his wife, Ethlin, aged 100, at their home in their Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn home.
The experience turned out to be so traumatic for the Thompsons, who were menaced, then tied up, that it led to Waldiman, dying of cardiac arrest, shortly after, But Ethlin, at 100, is one tough cookie, honey, and she is all about moving on and forgiveness! At 100! Can you believe it! Go, Ethlin!
But that Suzette! She is no crepe, let me tell you! She is a creep! Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The robbery was done by four men, one of whom, Dwayne Blackwood, 27, has been arrested. The others are being pursued. The made off with fifty thousand dollars!!!!!!!!
Suzette gets the award, because she masterminded the whole thing! Bitch earns the couples' trust, then goes and steals from them! Two defenseless oldsters. Wait, I take that back. I wouldn't call Ethlin defenseless. She survived this, and it is a good thing she has a spiritual and forgiving nature, because otherwise she might have slapped Suzette to kingdom come!
It may happen yet, when Suzette gets to prison. Harming a defenseless older couple is the other end of harming a child, and inmates do not like those who do that.
Even some criminals draw the line, somewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The ingredients are all there for an absorbing narrative novel, but Lucy Ives, better known for her poetry, is a first time novelist here, and it shows. Though her disparate plot elements include an insider look at corruption and administration, from the curatorial perspective, of a New York City art museum that is obviously a stand in for The Metropolitan, a troubled mother-daughter relationship, marital problems, and a curator who mysteriously vanishes, Ives fails to evoke any kind of liveliness with any of these. Her book has an overt pedantic quality that shows she can write, but does not allow her to soar.
The curatorial world of the art museum, with its insights into denizens of the art world, is what she excels at, to the point I felt maybe she should have written a non-fiction book.
I know, I have been having too much fun lately, reading about fun things, like serial killers, so "Impossible Views Of The World" represented my return to the cerebral, which I was eager to get back to. Alas, this was not a triumphant return. Not a slog, but a disappointing read, in that it could and should have been so much more.
Better luck next time, Lucy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
It has been over two weeks since the unexpected death of former colleague and friend, George Louis Mayer, and I am now ready to do tribute to him.
Yes, his middle name was Louis. And when he headed LPA's Circulation Department, where I began, in 1981, it was like working on the Freed Unit.
Mr. Mayer was a man of many talents, and an array of cultural tastes. He was a great administrator, but, unlike today's climate, he cared deeply about the arts, and those of us who, in whatever form, pledged our lives to them.
While still under his auspices, I remember him investing in a somewhat hit musical, called "The Tap Dance Kid." Which, by the way, put a kid named Savion Glover, on the map. As an investor, Mr. Mayer got the staff tickets one evening, we dined at a Theater Row restaurant (I cannot recall, and, besides, it is probably gone!!!!) and we saw this wonderful show! I cannot think of anyone, save my beloved David, who would share such good fortune with colleagues.
When he retired, around 1988, he worked here and there, until he got tired of it. It was not due to age, because that was a thing that never stopped him.
For at least twenty years, a group of us, George included, went each year to Coney Island, dined at this wonderful nearby Italian restaurant, Carolina's. Things changed slowly, over the years--we got older, Carolina's closed, we switched to Fiorentino's, where it became more about a social lunch, than a parade. And, then, even Fiorentino's closed. You might say things were never the same after Carolina's, though the tradition continued, but the real game changer for me, and I would bet George, too, was the disappearance of the Naked Devil. Several years at the Mermaid Parade, there would be this young, slender guy, dressed in a G-String, and nothing else, who put on horns, and painted his entire body (hopefully not his feet) red, and scampered around, daring people to catch him. And in his bare feet!!!!!! Girls, I am telling you, whomever he was, he had the tightest, and reddest, butt cheeks! George and I always looked forward to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like me, he was a native of New Jersey--Somerville, in fact.
Of course, with age, came health issues. Diabetes, and later artery and anemic issues. However, I am proud to say, and I hope someone shows this blog to Bette Midler--that, just three days, after having a stent placed in his carotid artery, he climbed the steps to his mezzanine seat in the Shubert, to see Miss Midler in "Hello, Dolly!" I am so glad he got to this!
Our last time with him, as a group, I recounted in my post about Child's, again at Coney Island. Like me, the place meant something to him, which is why I shall always remember his wanting to remain by himself for awhile, that September day, just before his 88th birthday. I wonder if he knew?
I didn't, because his passing was unexpected. But he left in style, en route to a concert he never heard.
My signature greeting to him always was, "Mr. Maaaaaaaaayyyyyyer! You Look faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I am sure you still will, George!
And imagine--just imagine--the array of designers to choose from, in the Celestial Realms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rest In Peace, George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This poster that you are seeing for the film version of "The Snowman," turns out to be more compelling than the finished film product. I am sad to say that all the juice has been removed from Jo Nesbo's novel, and no amount of good casting can save it.
It also seems done on the cheap. The opening sequence, explaining how the child evolved into a serial killer, gives the kid the name (Jonas) of another character. And he does not kill his mother, as in the novel. Rather, she dies from cracked ice, in a way similar to Susan Smith wanting to drown her children and herself.
The movie is reduced to an over extended treatment of a third rate TV show episode. The big set piece inside Rakel's house, the iconic ski jump where the killer does himself in, does not even exist in this watered down mess.
Who cares about the actors? The only one who seems to rise to the occasion is J. K. Simmons, as a wealthy philanthropist. He is the only one to tries his best to undertake some kind of European accent. Without his efforts, one would think this was shot on a back lot in Hollywood, with computer generated set backdrops.
Even Simmons' character is compromised. In the novel, he is a sleazy gossip columnist, and it would have been fun to see him take on this role. I had even suspected him as the killer, at one point, but that turned out to be a red herring. Still, there was no reason to clean up this script. It wasn't for Disney, was it? And even Disney got daring, with Hayley Mills (Love Her Always!!!!!!!) in "The Moon-Spinners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
This "Snowman" deserves to melt! Sooner done, sooner forgotten!!!!!!!!!!
Last night's episode, number 8, of "American Horror Story: Cult," entitled "Winter Of Our Discontent," was both fun and disappointing. The disappointment was minor--Frances Conroy and Lena Dunham did not appear again. Both deserve more than one spot, and, as my husband, David, said, he has a feeling, considering how last week's episode ended, that Frances may very well return. I hope so.
Billie Lourd is turning out to be so interesting, as Winter. And, yes, I still say there is an incestuous component to her relationship with Kai. Her haunting eyes, combined with her Lolita look, make her compelling. So much so, that, as I watched her, I wished she had been around when that awful remake of "The Omen" was being done. She might have equaled Holly Palance's bravura turn as the suicidal nanny, or she would have made a younger, though more spot on, Mrs. Baylock. Mia Farrow??????????? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still, last night was very informative. The girls are getting restless, which means some sexist showdown is coming up. Speaking of showdown, I am SO looking forward to the one between Ally and Ivy. Sarah has found her mojo in the role; that screaming hysteria was just a deception, and, when she pulled off the clown mask, and I saw the look on Ivy's (Allison Pill) face, I am telling you, get ready for the biggest femme showdown since Anne Bancroft and Shirley Maclaine went at each other, in "The Turning Point." Or maybe even Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge in "Johnny Guitar."
Actually, that second showdown is more likely to be between Kai and Beverly Hope (the always great Adina Porter). She may have been kidnapped and hauled off to isolation, but, I am telling you, we are not through with seeing her, yet. She, Ally, and Winter are all at the breaking point, and it is anyone's guess who will snap first, and what will happen when one does. For sure, there will be hell to pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I did not like seeing Kai manipulating Oz in the preview for next week! That could, indeed be the catalyst for all hell to break lose! It could either reunite or tear apart Ally and Ivy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am fascinated by the direction this show is going in. You know that game that Kai and Winter were playing on the Internet? I have to confess, I have done things like that! So, what does that make me?
Just a provocateur. Because my idea of a cult is we all go to our closets, examine them, and then compare the designers in our respective wardrobes. Harmless fun!
Coco Chanel, anyone??????????????????????
No, I am not writing my Bitch Of The Week column, earlier, though I very well could. This shot comes from a video where this woman was mad dogging this guy to the point where he just slapped her across the face!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, I am telling you, she deserved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Monday, I had to do a Manhattan run, for a doctor visit and prescription. Which is one way of explaining why I have not been on here, lately.
Anyway, I was seated in the front of my car, reading my current book, which happens to be "Modern Lovers," by Emma Straub (Peter's daughter!) when I heard a verbal exchange that went from loud to raucous.
As best as I know, this is what happened--
In the back of the car, sitting across from one another, was an Hispanic woman and her child, who was toddler age, and a man--I am not sure what ethnicity, but he was in his 30's or 40's. Something was said, and it had to be the man, because the woman was the one who yelled back at him, "Mind your own fucking business!" He tried to quietly explain his viewpoint, but she kept screaming that phrase, coupled with the "f" word, with the kid, beside her! Great example for a child! Things got worse when the man, trapped in his seat, kept getting furiously hit by the woman, with what I believe was her purse. At this point, people in my area stood up; one moved down to try and intervene. I even yelled out, "Hey, lady, that's assault, you know!" but she was so into her own rant she did not hear me or anyone. I don't recall when things settled down, but they did, though not before many in the back of the car moved to the front! I could not blame them!
I kept praying for these two to just get off the train. They must, at some point, but I could not say where. And they were deadly quiet after that. Maybe someone had threatened, or actually did, call the cops!
More and more, I see stuff like this happening on trains! What is wrong with these people? I used to ride the trains at all hours, never feeling unsafe. Today, though it is true I am much older, I fear going into Manhattan, because who knows what kind of outbreak there will be??????????
I don't mind the homeless, or the do-wop quartets. The latter are friendly and quite refreshing. But I am sick of these street mamas, probably crack ho's who parade about mad dogging guys, and cursing in front of their child.
They should have their own separate car. What used to be called a paddy wagon!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now Tell Me, Honestly, Girls! Is It Worth Spending Close To $300 On A Dinner For Two, Just To Have A Chocolate Brooklyn Bridge, For Desert????????????
This may end up being my longest blog headline, yet, but it is important. With October speeding away faster than I can keep up with, and November, my birthday month, approaching, plans have to be made. Like what are we going to do, and where are we going to dine.
Over the past several years, we have done Chadwick's, in Brooklyn, as there is no question we will have an excellent dining experience. But, as my birthday falls fairly close to Thanksgiving, we are usually back there, within a week, for their Thanksgiving Special.
So, this year we have decided to do something different, but finding a venue is something of a problem. The old standby of my youth, save La Grenouille, are gone, and even there men do not have to wear ties anymore. Just jackets. They must be desperate for clientele. Still, it is a possibility.
When I saw the above desert, I was all psyched for The River Café, which features it, and is in Brooklyn. But when I saw the $130 price, I balked. Just to have this stunning looking desert? No way! I know prices have risen since my haute dining days, but, honestly!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have always wanted to dine at Harry Cipriani. The one in the Sherry Netherland, in the East Fifties. That is a distinct possibility, because Italian cuisine suits me.
Little Italy is gone. All the places I loved have vanished, and those left are low class, if not lower tier. Did you know that SPQR has closed? I just found it out, yesterday.
So, it is anyone's guess where I end up for my birthday. Not some dive, like that cheap White Rose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The same problem surrounds how to celebrate the day. The tradition always has been to see a Broadway show. Last year I subjected poor David to "Heisenberg," because I wanted to experience the technical magic of Mary-Louise Parker. She and Denis Arndt were brilliant, but Stephen Simon did not write much of a play--more of an actors workshop. Great for theater folk, such as I, but not for David.
And, of course, I would like to see a musical. There are plenty out there I have not seen--"Aladdin," "Kinky Boots," "School Of Rock"--but why spend moolah on something I am not particularly drawn to?
Any suggestions? You tell me! I have a feeling this birthday will be a distinctly different and unusual one! Stay tuned, for more!
Don't light those candles, yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, October 20, 2017
Amy Adams is unquestionably stunning, and never takes a bad photo, but I thought this shot of her, the way she is posed and lit, extremely striking, recalling the glamour of 1940's Hollywood. It just takes your breath away, so I thought I would end my blog day on a beautiful note.
The photo, and others, accompany a Times article, praising Adams for her versatility and beauty, and independence of mind. And, of course, wondering, as I have for years, when the hell she is ever going to that Oscar she has coming to her. It took Kate Winslet long enough, so I guess Amy is on the slow track, too. She has already been nominated five times. She is too good an actress not to get one.
It has been quite awhile, since I have posted anything on Amy, so I am very happy to do so.
This is the look I try for every morning, as I emerge from the shower, with my hair dripping.
Let's go, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This past Wednesday's 'SVU' episode, entitled "No Good Reason," had the potential to be something, and go places, but once again, the writers and Mariska did themselves in, again. Thank God for that black humored, witty cameo of Brooke Shields, going into the courtroom. In just a couple of seconds, she livened things up.
I haven't the slightest idea who Brighton Sharbino is, nor do I care, but she gave a moving performance as victim Mandy Fowler, who recounts her life and observations on video, as assiduously as I do mine on print here, but who goes to the dark place, when she reveals she is a rape victim. I think on here somewhere, I have recounted my sexual molestation by a neighbor, six days before my sixteenth birthday, which would have been--I can never forget--November 12, 1970.
I certainly felt for Mandy. Three boys are suspected, and I thought it would turn out to be one of the other two. But it turns out to be Andrew, a predator in the making. He and Mandy were friends, he wanted to go to the next level, she did not, so he stepped in and--sicko!!!!!--made the decision for her. He was played by Colton Ryan, soon to understudy (or maybe doing so, now) "Dear Evan Hansen" on Broadway. A good performance, the remorse seemed genuine, but he is still a sicko. One problem I had with him is that I think the script did not give him enough of a comeuppance. Though he appeared in court to allocute, the whole thing was treated like a slap on the wrists.
This was because everything was heading for the big, set piece scene, that turned my stomach. Mandy invites Olivia Benson to her school, for an assembly, inviting an open discussion on her situation and bullying. A good idea. But it turns into a nonentity, when the scene is tossed to Olivia--of course, it is all about her!!!!!!!!--and Hargitay delivers what should be an impassioned monologue, and it is written as such, in the manner of someone in an acting class who knows they do not want to be there, and behave accordingly. Undermining what the scene was trying to do. Why couldn't Kelli Giddish, or Peter Scanavino have done this scene? They could have handled it better; they are more skilled actors. So is Sharbino, as Mandy. But, no it is All About Olivia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bullying has been examined better on this show, in episodes like "Lost Traveler," "Mean," and, most recently "Bully," which has Kate Burton lashing out at everyone, including herself, as Annette Cole, that bitch, Corinne getting hers, and Justin having to shove wine bottles up his opera singer mother's ass, so she can preserve her voice. Oh, boy! Everyone was getting it from all sides!
Now, THAT was an episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I feel sorry for Kelli and Peter, who have to put up with what they must know is crap. Why can't Dick Wolf and staff throw some acting bones to them?????????? Maybe things would improve. Because it is clear now that Olivia has ceased to become a character.
Both she and Mariska have become the Office Dinosaur, who refuses to let go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A Black and White soda. Or milkshake. I haven't had either in years.
Not that I expect either to look like Lana Turner, here. Can you believe she was only fifteen when this shot was taken? Did any of us look that good, at fifteen?????????? I sure as hell didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The story is, I have cravings. I also have Type 2 Diabetes. I take my meds, and while my A1C has gone down some, both the doctor and I would like it more. I am not a sugar junkie; I don't pour it onto cereal, or shovel it into my coffee. I have been drinking coffee black for more than twenty years.
So, would ONE Black and White soda kill me? Of course, I will ask my endocrinologist when I see him in December, but the taste and texture I crave so much!
Of course, if the answer is yes, I won't do it. But would one, really hurt?
And, yes, I could stop at one. Too much goo eventually nauseates me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, October 19, 2017
I was no naïve I thought Nesbo was a woman, (Remember Jo March, in "Little Women?" And Katherine Hepburn playing her, in George Cukor's still definitive 1933 version?) and I had no idea the stories are set in Norway. At least, "The Snowman" was. And, for the record, before some yokels out there start cracking some vulgar jokes, the surname of the lead character, detective Harry Hole, is pronounced "holy," not the way one would first think.
"The Snowman" is a nice, relaxing, for me, serial killer type story, that covers all the bases, in a compelling, can't-take-your-eyes-from-the-page way. I sort of understood the killer's trauma and motive, but, honestly, wouldn't charity work have been a better solution to the problem? It worked wonders, in Dickens' day.
That said, the book is fascinating, and I look forward to reading more of Nesbo. I do think there were a few overdone red herrings, and that the story might have been shortened by about thirty pages, but I understood the author's reasoning, as my desire to get at the answer to things, kept ratcheting up by his splendid skill at building suspense. And that is what it is all about.
Now, "The Snowman" opens in movies, tomorrow. I will see it, but the word is already out that if one has read the book, one is going to be disappointed. And with such an A-list cast, too. Chloe Sevigny will be worth it.
The actor playing the killer I never heard of, so who knows how he will be? Or if he will get the required screen time needed. One thing I can almost guarantee. On the printed page, where it works best, a lot of emphasis is put on medical science, immunology, and rare, inherited diseases. Reading this book almost compensates for not having taken Advanced Placement Biology. It will make one feel they have. But a lot has to be processed and understood. Movies do not have the time for that. Nor do standard, mainstream audiences have the intellectual capacity to understand it.
So, I am approaching this movie now, with relatively jaundiced eyes. If I turn out to be surprised, so much the better.
But, really, when it comes to snowmen, darlings, stick to "Meet Me In St. Louis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"