May 29, 2007

"It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. You know what I mean? It's awfully difficult."


Last night I had a dream that I was in Grey Gardens, the house, that is, not the film. The details are a bit hazy, but I was there with Michael and a group of young college age people. They were preparing to put on a production of the new musical there at Grey Gardens itself. We were in the kitchen, where Tom Logan apparently died, and it was haunted. It wasn't nearly as spooky as it sounds however.

There was a traffic light on the floor that lit up green, red or yellow depending upon whether a ghost was nearby. Red was the signal for there being a ghost. The light would go from green to yellow to red periodically.
Michael and I were watching the students busily bringing in props, while we recited scenes from the movie.

Anyway, maybe what was in my mind was this. Michael had sent me a snippet of a book he's reading by Lois, the friend of the Edies:

--------------
Page 6
Thursday May 8, 1975

I started the water boiling for coffee on the little gas stove that Little Edie wouldn't use, and took a couple of slices of bread out of the metal box as nothing could be left out. Above all, the bar soap had to be kept ina a can with a tight lid. Someting in the house adored soap, and if I left the room for only a few minutes, it would disappear. Some kind of animal intended to keep clean, it would seem. Or, one of the real ghosts of Grey Gardens delighted in removing the Ivory Soap bar. Big Edie told me that Tom Logan liked scissors and would usually take them, later returning the scissors to another room. Poor Tom died in the kitchen in 1964 and I attended his burial with Little Edie on a cold winter day. We were the only ones there except for Reverend Davis. Anyway, I knew Little Edie liked scissors also, so I tried to keep them "under cover" in my room.


------------------
The other day he also sent me a wonderful link showing pages from an old Movieland tabloid, from the 70's I believe, of Lee Radizwill's and Jackie's intervention in the Edies' lives.
I love also how Big Edie is descibed as "the original hippy."

I also love the way Little Edie manages to pose in every frame. Check out the before and after. Of course within a few years the house was back to its former racoon infested glory and the Maysles showed up to document it.

The whole tabloid story here

Tales from the trenches (part 20)

A few days ago, someone answered an ad I have (does this sound familiar? Sorry.)
with a picture and an (infuriatingly vague) "hi"
I thought I recognized the picture as an acquaintance (I think) of a friend.
How's that for 6.34 degrees of separation?

That said, I knew a bit about him already. So, I wrote back. Politely.
He asked for a picture. I sent one. Politely.
And poof.
That was that.
No word. Nada.
Of course, don't think this is the first time this has happened, far from it.
It's more like the straw-that's-making-the-camel's-back-really-want-to-throw-someone-to-the-ground-and-stomp-on-his-bloody-corpse.

Sorry, I meant "break"

Of the two most recent such rejections, I'm not sure which is worse, but, yeah, I think this one is
here

Maybe it's just bad karma from my avoiding you-know-who-down-there the other day. (Though to my defense, I did meet him, never once said anything that was not completely complimentary to him, and I gave a very polite and reasonable reason for why I couldn't see him for a while(ok, ever).

But I'm not out of the fight just yet.
I have two tentative leads right now. God help me.

May 26, 2007

Hookie and pie


The other day I played hookie. Bad, I know, but I don't care. I took myself to see a movie: "Waitress."

It was cute.

Carlos asked me just today how it was, and that was the best description I could think of: "cute." That about sums it up.

I got there exactly on time, expecting to be the only soul there, but I was wrong. The theater was packed, mostly with older couples and a few lonely girls.

I had to sit about 20 feet away from the screen. I came out with a splitting migraine, but the movie still managed to almost charm me.
I read one review saying that the movie was "pie porn," which is as good a description as any. The long, lingering shots of delectable chocolate being poured into pie shells are certainly titilating.

The acting was good. I've always liked Keri Russell. The story is admittedly a bit hokey. And of course there's that whole tragic backstory.
Whatever.
The crowd loved it. It was cute.
If you like southern-fried cute....and pie, this is the movie for you. (and secretly, I do.)

Before the movie, however, I edged another toe into the sad little kiddie pool of single dining. I had lunch at Le Madeleine....solo.

I know it's really just a glorified Francophile cafeteria, but it counts as a restaurant...almost, right?

I ate there alone, no book, no laptop, nothing.
Baby steps.

This city is too damned small.


Just a few minutes ago, I got myself dressed, ready for a nice day by the banks of the bayou. There's a festival going on today. It looks nice.

On my way, walking jauntily along, what do I see just a few feet ahead of me?
Him.
None other.
Now, I'm not proud to admit that since my meeting with him, I've sort of put of all of his attempts at meeting me again. Partially because I have been legitimately busy, but, ok, well....primarily because I just can't do it. Is that so wrong?
I've been nothing but evasively polite, and he seems to have gotten the message.
But I just can't be seeing him at all right now....certainly not with his cadre of friends.
So I turned right back around and went home. I just hope he didn't see me. Thank God I was alert, but what sucks is that my whole day is now ruined. argh.

Update: Carlos and Marshall (with Lloyd) found themselves at my doorway, just a few minutes after I posted this. I figured I'd venture out again....this time with a hat and glasses and a few friends to hide behind if need be. It seemed to have worked. I saw him a few time again, but I think I managed to disappear. One close call however. All in all, the fest turned out nice.

May 23, 2007

Eating alone



It's a fact I'm a bit ashamed of, but I have never eaten alone in a restaurant. I've been trying to work up the courage to do it, but just can't seem to do it. I don't know why it's so hard. I admire anyone who does, however.

I'm tired of eating alone at home. I'm tired of fast food....and cooking for one is no fun.
I called a few friends up to ask them out for lunch recently, but no luck. As you might expect, they were either too busy or had other plans. One of them (ironically) had plans for lunch with a huge group of coworkers (something she said she was dreading).

Typically, I'll either use the drive through window of a fast food restaurant, or I will sometimes go inside and eat there. I've eaten many times alone in fast food restaurants, but that doesn't seem to count.
I'm always eating alone there.
A wait staff makes a restaurant in my mind I suppose. Still, even when I'm eating in a McDonald's alone, I feel a bit out of place. I'm usually the only one eating alone there too.

Since most of my life is spent alone, I guess I should be used to it, but I'm not.
I've gotten used to going to the movies alone, after all when you're in a movie, it's practically like you're alone anyway, but eating is inherently social I think.
I'm working my way up to it, however.

May 22, 2007

Worn out soles



I put on my favorite pair of Steve Madden slip-ons the other day, only to feel the undeniable sensation of the floor on my foot. I'd worn a hole in the soles.
These were the first shoes I bought to replace my favorite pair of black shoes lost in Katrina. I've worn them out.
I'd searched every store in the city I could for them. I'd even searched online for them. In fact when looking for a picture of them online, I couldn't even find one. The picture above is a reasonable facsimile, same brand, but without the white stitching.

Today however, by pure happenstance I found a pair...identical to the ones that have worn out. Very exciting!
They were a bit pricey, but what the hell, right?

May 15, 2007

The most fabulous place in the universe



Book your flight now to the most fabulous planet around:
FABULON
Just be prepared to spend some time being ravished by the sheer fabulousness there. You might never come back.

May 13, 2007

Gelato and Comet

I managed to get my mother off of the westbank today...that makes five times so far this year (a minor miracle).
It was too hot for her to walk, so we spent most of the time indoors. Instead of our traditional mother's day in the quarter, I took her down to Magazine street.

We had Indian at Nirvana, and then I took her to Sucre, the new dessert "boutique."

She had a lemon curd gelato, and I had a bittersweet chocolate.
It's very nice there, but a bit chi chi.
The decor is quite nice, however. There's an employee there whose sole job seems to be to Windex the miles and miles of glass and white tile.
The sales girl, a tall Gwyneth Paltrowish blonde, was kind of snooty, but my mother cut her down to size.

"Happy Mother's day," she told my mother awkwardly, as I paid.
"Thank you," my mother belts out, with a grin. "I'd tell you happy mother's day too, but I didn't see a ring.
I looked."
ahem

Of course, no day with Mom would be complete without at least one minor mortification.
All in all, not too bad.

The gelato was really good, but, to tell the truth I think I enjoyed the other Gelateria a few feet away better, but not really for the gelato.

Michael, Paul and I went there a few weeks back and had gelato there...and a ride on the Italian rubber dogs.
(That's not a euphemism, either, I swear)

I think I liked it there better because the cute girl at their counter (a brunette) complimented me on my Italian pronunciation. A spoonful of sugar....
you know.

After that, we very anti-climatically ended up at the Dollar Tree
(she insisted....even pulled out the "today is mother's day" card, so I had to oblige)
There I bought Comet cleanser and some steel wool. I've just finished scrubbing the sink a few minutes ago. She would definitely approve.

May 12, 2007

Glamorous moustaches



I used to really hate Fergie. It's a well known fact, but I have to admit her songs have sort of grown on me. Not proud of it. I'm just being honest here.

And all this spelling!

She's doing more than Akeelah to increase its popularity with my students.
Got to give her props for that.

Still, there's a line in "Glamorous" that I keep singing wrong.

Somewhere after her paean to Taco Bell, she belts out this line:
"sippin', reminiscin' on days when I had a..."

The next word is "Mustang,"
but I can't help anticipating (and singing)
"moustache" instead.

I think I might be closer to the truth anyway, don't you?

May 11, 2007

schadenfreude


Everything about P. Hilton makes me mad. I know I am hardly alone in this, but still.
Like many people, I felt a little thrill when I heard that she might be going to jail. It was short lived, however. I don't think anyone can hope for her to really "be reformed" there in any sense of the word. What I fear most is that she'll get out only to be more talked about than ever, suddenly "cool" for her "street cred" now.

I could just gag.

Let's hope I'm wrong.

What makes me most mad about her is that I know so much about her...without ever having wanted to. It just sort of happened. She's parasitically taken up lodging in my brain, like some sort of mental tapeworm.

I guess the best we can hope for is that we'll maybe get 45 days of non-P H media while (if) she's in the pokey.

May 10, 2007

"So I ate it, and tried not to think about where it had been..."

In the last email my friend Mark (up in Toronto) sent me, he detailed a frustrating encounter with McDonalds and shortchanging.
I wrote back letting him know that I was earnestly supporting his boycott. (Well, you know, until I can't go on any longer without their fries that is.)

Now he ends his latest email with this:

- and now for a Wendy's disaster:

Today I went to Wendy's for lunch and ordered their
new sandwich thing. As I'm waiting I can see the woman
in the back preparing my sandwich, which is on the
counter in front of her. Then I see her reach
forward... and her boob squashes my sandwich! Now this
is not something I want to see. She was a short-ish
woman and the counter was high, and literally my
sandwich was pressed by her boobs. I didn't know what
to do. Could I send it back and say, I'd like another
sandwich... this one has boob marks? So I ate it, and
tried not to think about where it had been.

Why do these things happen to me?


Ahem
I can't answer his question.

But I'm just saying, I can't be giving up Wendy's too. I just can't.
Besides, a bit of boob pressure never hurt anyone, right?

May 7, 2007

"Now we are here, in Xanadu..."



I'd heard rumblings that "Xanadu" might be finding its way to Broadway,
but now it seems official

I remember well my first viewing of "Xanadu".
I was 12 or 13, and did not want to go.
That much I remember.

Back then, I was often in the company of my next door neighbor's daughters, Julie and Erin, with whom I had become friends, despite the fact that they were 5 or so years younger than I was at the time...a nearly unbridgeable gulf when you're 13.

But I managed to bridge it.

My friends, throughout my life, come to think of it, have always seemed to be either younger or older than I am.

That day, however, I remember distinctly not wanting to see some stupid "girl" movie,
certainly not "Xanadu". I didn't much like Olivia Newton John to begin with.

I hadn't forgotten the nasty fact that she'd begun in country music and was from Australia the way everyone else had.
Nosirree.
I didn't like Miss Newton John at all.
Not at all.
My favorite part of "Grease" in fact had been gleefully sneering along with Stockard Channing with her "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" number.
(Genius!)

Ok, ok, so ONJ had been all right in "Grease," I had to admit, (which I had seen with the same group of girls by the way).
But this was different. I was older. I was (trying to be) less interested in all these "girly" things.

Julie and Erin's mother would drive us to the theater.
Before the movie, I remember, we had had pizza at a now defunct pizza parlor which has become, among other things, a martial arts studio and a "hair college" in the past nearly 30 years.

My mother and their mother would go to the mall while we were diverted. I and their cousin would be the younger girls' chaperones. That was the plan.

Their cousin was only a year or so younger than I was, and had something of a crush on me, a crush needless to say,that was not returned.

If I didn't go, they wouldn't get to go.
I was the lynchpin. With five females pressuring me to go. I didn't stand a chance.

As reluctant as I was to join the Olivia Newton John bandwagon, I have to admit I was intrigued by a at least a few things about the movie:

ELO, Gene Kelly, art deco sets, a cute guy in a late 70's brown vest and feathered hair I had seen in the ads, very vague references to Greek mythology and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and most of all, Roller Disco.

All 5 of these things were major preoccupations of my 13 year old brain (except ELO, whom I simply sort of liked)

Reluctant as I was, I went.

Two hours later, my 13 year old body emerged from a hallucinogenic dream.....just like something from Coleridge in fact.

It was fantastically cheesy, even I could see that at my age, ONJ never really won me over, the movie was a terrible failure...and I have not seen it since without feeling a bit ashamed of how entranced I was then, but it didn't matter at all.

The sheer wonder of it all was so dazzling then that I distinctly remember walking out into the blazing sun, all four of us in awed silence. We sat there as if we'd just been spit back down to earth from some fantasical roller-disco flying saucer.

May 1, 2007