Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Been indulging in a little queeny R&B luv...this is some fierce 1980s Luther: the 1988 NAACP Image awards, when "A House Is Not a Home" was well-established in his career (live/recorded) but still newish. Like early skinny Luther new, singin with a recorded track and on a sorta shitty mic, right at Dionne Warwick. It's amazing, even if he does stuff like leaning on opening riffs in the "pretty little darling" verse too much and squidges the endingending which is so much better when it fades. (The genius thing about this song? The way the music and harmonies start all brave and inspired, but then when they get to the end after the caesura...fall apart sadly. Just genius. Is that more Luther/Bacharach or Bacharach? Suddenly shows you that that's all more unreal than you think. It's also just one of the all-time great beggin' songs, down to the metre in the "I'm not meant to live alone" line. Heartbreaking.) Interesting to contrast with this version, which is about three times as slow, with the Luther of the more glitter and and stardom and a little hoarser and stuff, and maybe more musically indulgent, but...maybe a little more masterful in some parts, if not that impossibly smooth young Luther tone that you can't believe is coming out of a human. (Boy, I would love to see footage of him with David Bowie.) I also found a great live version of Lalah Hathaway singing "Forever, For Always, For Love" which I'm startin to like more than the Luther version, I swear. Well, maybe not more, but for the same reasons. The spareness and quietness and control. She has a great voice. Both these singers...you listen to them and there's just not one thing Wrong. So good.

a chair is still a chair
a chair is not a house
a house is not a home
a man's home is his castle
sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
a rose is a rose is a rose
a horse is a horse
a dream is a wish your heart makes
every day is a winding road
the heart is a lonely hunter
the moon is a harsh mistress
love is a battlefield
love is a four-letter word
love is a many-splendored thing
god is a DJ
god is a woman
life is a banquet
life is a cabaret
life is a highway
happiness is a warm gun

Monday, August 27, 2007

Hier ist my new sunhat! The final version. It's marvelously effective, light, has a sturdy 5" brim with dark material underneath to shade the sun, vents in the top bits, great little size-adjusty thing on the crown, fits (this is amazing, I have a huge head; got a big size), and altogether makes me look entirely too much like ELEANOR LAVISH. Ungh. Or perhaps a jolly turn of the century colonial girl guide leader with a mad pash for a fellow lecturer. BLECH. It's just so not the remotest bit glam or cute or sleek or soignee or anything. Although the point is..I'm not sure I care, if the hat works. But just notin.

Jean Johnson...BELATED AND YOOGE HAPPY BIRTHDAYS TO YOU! Also Melissa Front. Just sayin.

Alarming possibilty of aging: that the size of one's brain is something of a zero-sum proposition. Just...sayin. Fairly sure some info got pushed out to make room for a lot of ridiculous crap I don't need. And it goes on.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My cats now use my squeezy stress-reducin balls as their toys. There is a lesson in there.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How I usually behave around men--start at minute 1:37.
Now that's some inspiring news. Go Brian May. It'd be a fine life to both have earned an astronomy doctorate and written "Fat-Bottomed Girls."
I'm new to this world's worst-kept secret, but there was a notice in my building I was reading yesterday about how they are filming all over my neighborhood and my building for a movie called "Rory's First Kiss"...but that's the new Batman, it turns out, duh. I heard them filming the last one quite a bit too, since they used a lot of "Lower" streets for driving sequences and stuff. All I know is...people everywhere today until the rain started pouring down (hope the Batman folks could use that in some fashion...it was downright apocalyptic). My cab had to honk its way through gawkers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another thing insomnia encourages: blasphemy. To wit: it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in posession of a good fortune must be seekin a BIG JUICY ASSSZ. Hahhahahah...*hic*

Favorite movie characters!

Insomnia = lists.

I started compiling a list of favorite movie characters tonight. I tried really hard to think about specific characters, not movies I like--that'd be a different list, but they do overlap. This list is still fairly random and incomplete, otherwise it'd be huge; also, if there was more than one favorite character in a movie I tried to focus on just a couple, except for the section at the top. Plus...favorite characters are often ones you like, so there are characters I really love in films that I don't really like. I mean, who can say they like Robert Mitchum in Cape Fear, or Danny Auteuil in Un couer en hiver, as great as those characters are...

Goes without saying
About every character in The Women, Mildred Pierce, All About Eve, Now, Voyager, The Sweet Smell of Success, Brief Encounter and Diner, but especially--respectively--the Countess (Mary Boland); Ida (Eve Arden); Margo (Bette Davis) and Karen (Celeste Holm); Charlotte (Bette Davis); Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) and Rita (Barbara Nichols); Alec (Trevor Howard); and Eddie/Eddie's mother (Steve Guttenberg/Jessica James)

Chronic favorites, or would pay to read the phonebook
These actors I love so much that I tend to love most of the characters they play, but especially
  • Maggie (Bette Davis--again) in The Man Who Came to Dinner; also Judith in Dark Victory
  • Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) [and John Brown (Billy Connolly)] in Mrs. Brown; also Mistress Quickly in Henry V
  • Stella (Thelma Ritter) in Rear Window; also Mae Swasey in The Model and the Marriage Broker
  • Madge (Agnes Moorehead) in Dark Passage; also Fanny in Magnificent Ambersons

  • Jack Lipnick (Michael Lerner) in Barton Fink
  • Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) in Singin in the Rain
  • Jack (Jerry Orbach) and Lester (Alan Alda) in Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Stella (Kim Hunter) in A Streetcar Named Desire
  • The dad (Darren McGaven) in A Christmas Story
  • Teddy (Mickey Rourke) in Body Heat
  • Etta (Diane Ladd) in Black Widow
  • Pops (Robin Harris) in House Party
  • Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) in Amadeus
  • Paul (Paul Sorvino) in Goodfellas
  • Julien (Gaspard Manesse) in Au Revoir, les enfants
  • Mrs. Croft (Fiona Shaw) and Mary Musgrove (Sophie Thompson) in Persuasion
  • Babette (Stephane Audran) in Babette's Feast
  • Nick and Nora (William Powell and Myrna Loy) in The Thin Man
  • Richard (Billy Bob Thornton) and Libby (Kathy Bates) in Primary Colors
  • Anna (Ingrid Bergman) in Indiscreet
  • Walter (Cary Grant) in His Girl Friday
  • Ella (Judy Holliday) in Bells Are Ringing
  • Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson) in Howard's End
  • Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) in Shadow of a Doubt...yungh
  • Sheila (Catherine O'Hara) in Waiting for Guffman
etc !

oh man oh man

I just read they are filming a new version of Brideshead Revisited. Yoiks. Lady Marchmain? EMMA THOMPSON. Oh MAN. I dunno about this.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Viva las V.

It's my blog and I'll comment, even if 803,000 others already have (I mean, I don't know, but I'm sure they have): Viva Viagra? What the hell. The King and ED. Did Priscilla or somebody need a sudden influx of cash? Why aren't I more shocked? I'm not. It's so....Boomer.

I was actually in Vegas last weekend. And (really really randomly):

* I went to some topless swimming places in Europe, many years ago, but this was the first time I went to a topless pool, if you see what I mean. Partook. Drank from the (non bra) cups of freedom. It felt naughty, at first, but then, frankly, kinda normal. Really normal. It was different to actually inhabit that behavior rather than just defend the right to do it. Left me feeling very what's the big deal? Insouciant.

* I had so much amazing pineapple in Vegas. The produce is so good. Which goes right along with the fact that I took a gas-guzzling plane to the middle of a desert to float in a chlorinated pool and become dehydrated until I bought some imported water to take into the pool with me. At a 3,500-room hotel. In the desert.

* The most depressing place in Vegas: the dark wood and 70s stained glass of (formerly Barnaby Coast) Bill's Gambling Palace, despite the great squishy rolls at the Victorian Room 24-hr diner staffed by hostesses in their high-necked, maxi-skirt 70s/Victorian uniforms. It's also kinda fabulous, as are most depressing places in Vegas, but still. A chic, velvet-rope club stuck in the middle of all this rumpus-room gloom (Drai's) makes it even weirder. Oh were the skirts in that place short. And it wasn't just the 21+older pool (see first item), but man did I see a lot of breasteses this weekend, all-told. Just...acres.

* I have now been to a Margaritaville, one of the chain of Jimmy Buffett experiences. It was...um...it was... The bartenders pump Super-Squishee margaritas from the big machines for a stream of people (boring bar-keeping, I thought) and the whole atmosphere is super-saturated with the Ray-Bans-on-a-Croakie-around-yer-neck, leathery tanned, not really all that mysterious Parrothead mystique. There is a huge screen playing JB songs and JB-like songs, a big gift shop in all neon pinks and yellows selling shirts and drink mix and cookbooks and (this is the best thing) once an hour or so these Margaritaville employees come out for some enforced fun, dancing on stilts and blowing whistles as the song "Margaritaville" itself finally plays, clapping their hands and exhorting the guests while a woman in a bikini slides down the giant exploding volcano into a 15-foot tall glowing green glass of margaritas. Then a huge hook lifts her out and she table dances while people 1/2-eat their nachos and 1/2-watch her and then the frat boys get their pix taken with her and she dries off to do it all again in an hour and wonder about her Juilliard training going to waste. Or something. It was very Itchy and Scratchy Land. And you know? The food wasn't bad. In for a penny. Vegas. BTW I wanted to sit next to the big green margarita. My bad. Like the front row at a Gallagher show.

* I saw some hypnotist dude do his HypNaughty show. Yes, I did. It didn't quite rival the topless Showgirls of Magic show I saw with my friend John at the Hotel San Remo some years ago, but it was pretty....yeah, whatever, yeah. Yeah!

* I have a tacky streak a mile wide in me that lets me enjoy the glare and mercenariness and usury and sounds and addiction/compulsion-enabling without getting cripplingly depressed, but I've never quite had the experience I wanted to in funny ol elusive Vegas. Someday. Maybe there's too much pressure to have fun? I hate to think $ is the cause, but perhaps that's partly it too. I can tell you I lost $1 on the penny slots, and will declare it on my income taxes as required by law.

* All these new condos going up near the strip with gold windows the same color as the mountains and desert around them. They feel bleak and other-wordly, not luxe. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree... Very Dubai school-of-arch. They seem like they're already relics from the bursting of the bubble.

* I had my first really bad fat girl flying experience coming back on the anthropomorphized Ted (formerly United) Airlines. Somewhere there is a meathead, muscle-bound dude in Chicago with a fierce hex hanging over his head from the horrid, unkind way he handled having to sit next to me. NOT GOOD.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Unbelievably good (impulse buy at the Foods That Are Whole). Highly recommend.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I've never read such a steaming pile of horseshit in my life as this recent op-ed piece by Dick Cavett (here is the text of the article--need Times Select to get it from NYTimes site). Yes, I for one really enjoy the "approval" given obesity by showing fat people on TV being compared to the approval given the existence of the KKK or the Nazis (in his words, both "domestic and third Reich") by showing them on TV.

He has no right to decide if he APPROVES of showing fat people, fat people just ARE. People. Not a condition. Not to mention, the numbers of fat people on TV? Don't remotely represent how many fat people there are actually are in the US. We're coming to get you, Dick.

I can't even believe somebody who's wrestled with mental illness all his life would only get this far, which is to say, nowhere at all, in his sympathy for the human condition/recognition of everyone's humanity. Unfucking believable.

Showing a fat person is not a "tacit endorsement" of the fact that "it's OK to be fat." It's an overt endorsement of the fact that IT'S A MOTHERFUCKING PERSON. Would he prefer they are swept out of his sight?

Since the KKK and the Nazis and the Mafioso aren't enough, Cavett also drags up freak shows as a point of comparison. With just slightly more slobbering criticism on his part, I might start to think this dude's a closeted fattie-lover.

As is, I just think he's a fucking asshole and I managed to lose whatever respect I had for him in one fell swoop. And I'm unimpressed with the Times, which usually manages much more even-handed coverage of size issues than this, for printing it. Try, just try, replacing "fat" in his piece with another human adjective. Say....oh, I don't know, completely at random I want to say SHORT. Then how would it sound?

Mr. Cavett would counter by saying short is a state one can't change, fat is. It's often not (short argument: otherwise it would), but even if you don't believe that, what are you going to DO about it? Extinguish the fatties? Keep them off your screen? Hope they don't exist? Do like the Nazis and get rid of them? Do I really need to point out the internal irony in his non-argument here? (It's tired and bad to use the Nazi thing to make a point, but he's the one who brought it up.)

What a fucking idiot.
I don't believe in revenge, myself, not in any conscious way, at least (interesting idea, that; the revenge one exacts without admitting it, but anyhow)--just not built for it. I'm not 100% sure the concept of karma takes the place of revenge, but I do know that there exists...redress. Because Einstein said so. That's how the universe works.

Despite all that, one of my favorite quotes of friend Ali's during one of our many discussions about this is: "Revenge is the Lord's business...and SOMETIMES IT'S GOOD TO BE THE LORD." I don't believe it, but it makes me giggle and grateful for the urge that friends have to kick people's asses on my behalf. And vice versa. Kick kick kick. At the moment in my imagination those are firmly-placed kicks made by pudgy round legs ending in shiny pastel patent-leather Mary Janes. Kickkickkickkickkickkick.

them [our enemies] and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Query: Will Posh & Becks help Americans finally learn the term chav?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Query: Is the actual point of the (dumb) commercial for Sarah Jessica Parker's new perfume, in which she kicks at a glass window from the other side, to showcase the (fashion cachet of her) Louboutins?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

J'ai maintenant des ans de quarante-et-un. Bizarre. As is my French. But I'm glad.

(portrait of the blogger as Mimi Sheraton)