31 May 2006

a little easy

I'm not a fisherman so I never knew that halibut had cheeks. but there it was on the menu last nite: halibut cheeks. so I had to order it. & it was good.

Rita & Phil & I went to LeMoyne's Landing. this is one of those New Orleans restaurants which relocatd. so we wantd to give it a try. & it gets a mixd review. my cheeky dinner was superb but Rita's fried shrimp a disappointment. the lemon meringue pie was tasty but the creole chocolate cake dry as my backyard.

I'll return but not sure Rita ever will.

30 May 2006

the perils of everyday life

on my walk home from the gym just now a bug flew into my mouth. luckily I was able to spit it out. but I kept imagining where that insect mite have been.

29 May 2006

it's not over till it's over

Jamie Cullum brought his current American tour to a close in Santa Fe last nite. as much as he was looking forward to flying to Hawaii today for r&r   it was clear he didn't want it to end. he performd for nearly 2 & a half hours with the kind of energy that comes with youth.

Cullum is the size of a Munchkin but his talent is so tall he seems a giant on stage. he often attacks his songs. he climbs all over the piano & hits its keys with fists & feet & butt & piano bench. then he calms down & sings a standard ballad with all the intimacy of a lounge act. his career will last because he's not just a pop star. his roots are in jazz. & the ability of a jazz performer to riff enables him to change his set to his mood. & his mood last nite was one of wanting to go on & on. his almost final song was "I Could Have Danced All Night."

& how exciting to see such a young performer display generosity. when Tom Richards did a sax solo Jamie boltd into an empty seat in the audience & became a fan. & toward the end of his set he brought out the opening act Raul Midon for a sweet duet.

I'm so glad I was able to see him this early in his career. I had 5th row seats in a fairly small outdoor venue. it was a nite to remember.

28 May 2006

arroz camisole

forget Canada. blame it on Tom Beckett. something he bloggd on foggd my circuitry & in that dizzy spin I rememberd the paper dress craze of the '60s. the one I particularly recall featurd Campbell Soup. or maybe I'm simply bringing back the one that was on "Antiques Roadshow." memory in the elderly is like that.

I did a search & found that both Kimberly-Clark & Scott producd such items.

better call Cuppa. she has so much in her closet I bet she cd mount an exhibition of paper dresses.

25 May 2006

selfportrait in a Zagar wall

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my correspondence with CA began with his Neglectorino project. he's been a friend of Jim's for years. even catsits for him. so it was easy making contact.

during a falafel lunch we had a lively conversation which jumpd from character actress Sudie Bond to poet Stephen Jonas with visitations to architects & drag queens.

CA was sporting black fingernails a la Juliette Greco & they dancd as he spoke. he is a man of opinions which he's happy to share but not meanly. & his topics come from a deep well.

Soft Skull has just publishd his exciting collection Deviant Propulsions.

in Rittenhouse Square Posted by Picasa

24 May 2006

Jim Cory

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his energy is tornadic. he's probably the only person I know who walks faster than I do. & his conversation is as rapid. always a new idea or recollection of an old memory bursting forth. Jim's rather like those mirrord walls Isaiah Zagar constructs in Philadelphia. flashes of light. fragments of the past. colliding with now.

& he's a generous host. not many wd invite someone known only thru corrspondence to spend a week at their home. & what a tour guide. my scattering of visits to Philadelphia over the decades never gave me a sense of the city but Jim did.

thx Jim. so when are you coming to Santa Fe?

at the Academy of the Arts Posted by Picasa

17 May 2006

off to Philadelphia

I've been corresponding with poet Jim Cory for nearly a year. it began with an interest in Karl Tierney. we discoverd we had James Broughton & Jonathan Williams in common. as well as enough other things to make for a lively correspondence.

now I'm off to meet him.

16 May 2006

congrats Eric

last nite the Village Voice presentd Eric Bentley the Obie for lifetime achievement.

Jean-Claude van Itallie introducd me to Eric at the Village Vanguard in 1968. Jean-Claude had written a short piece for "The DMZ"   Eric's anti-war cabaret. I publishd that work   "Take a Deep Breath"   alongside Eric's "Three Songs from The DMZ" in a special supplement to Toucan.

many years later Eric wrote this for Gildzen at 50: A Celebration :

For Alex is a man
Whose life began
In 1943
How old's he gonna be?
He don't give a damn 'cause he knows right now
It isn't how long. It's how.

Eric at 90 has been focusing on the how in a rich life. from this distance I cd hear last nite's applause.

15 May 2006

the passing scene

in my morning phone chat with Cuppa I askd her if she'd be watching the president's speech tonite.

"why in the world wd I watch that man when Judy Garland is on TCM?"

13 May 2006

pin-ups past

it was a time when one cdn't download thousands of images in an hour. so we encounterd some photographs in newspapers or magazines which enterd our psyches & remain ageless. the historical ones everyone knows because they continue to be reproducd. but each one of us growing up in the '50s has private images that don't die.

that feeling came flooding back this afternoon as I weatchd Mary Harron's "The Notorious Bettie Page." I have only a vestigial memory of Page. when she was attracting attention I was more interestd in the physique poses of Richard Harrison & Bob Hover. no one calld those pin-ups but of course for many young men they were.

Harron does a terrific job in invoking that era. she's chosen a crackerjack cast & paid close attention to details.

hard to believe

29% of Americans think the president is doing a good job.

12 May 2006

regal menus

Regality puts me to shame with his menus. so when I returnd from the gym I felt like creating a superior lunch.

I put olive oil in a pan with some hot pepper & oregano. next came chunks of garlic & onion. I took the knife to a tomato & some mushrooms & a broccoli stalk. these were thrown into the sizzling pan. next came organic fusili followd by lumps of feta. finally a whisper of balsamic vinegar made at a farm outside Truth or Consequences.

I devourd this delightful mix outside. on the blue swing.

11 May 2006

movie heaven

some wd argue that the greatest actresses of the first 2 decades of Hollywood talkies were Barbara Stanwyck & Bette Davis. these two titans appeard opposite each other only once. that was in William Wellman"s "So Big" (1932). I never expectd to see it. in his 1984 Stanwyck book Homer Dickens wrote: "Much of the film has deteriorated and the Library of Congress is still trying to put it back together again. It has not been shown commercially for years."

so I was amazd to see that it was on TCM last nite. the print wasn't complete but most of it was there & appeard in good condition. it's Stanwyck's picture. she's the star. Davis appears briefly at the end. their characters have no real interaction & in this surviving print they're on screen at the same time for a matter of seconds. but for the true cinephile that's better than nothing & is enough to cause palpitations.

Stanwyck's art was so skillful she often didn't appear to be acting. on the other hand Davis was often so over-the-top that impersonators of both sexes have been "doing" her for decades. both actresses had long careers. altho Davis toild harder on the legend thing Stanwyck workd with more important directors & leading men.

& during their precious few seconds on screen together I broke out in tingles.

10 May 2006

what Tru left in Santa Fe

as a former rare book librarian I'm endlessly fascinatd by tales of literary papers. the only Henry James work that ever appeald to me was The Aspern Papers. & when I wore the librarian's cap I was always on the chase for papers.

in his diary in the current Vanity Fair Dominick Dunne tells a new story. the friend of a friend of his inheritd a house here. it turns out that exactly 30 summers ago Truman Capote rentd that house with his then boyfriend. however they had a spat & Capote boltd. while cleaning out the house the woman who inheritd it found a cache of Capote letters & manuscripts on a closet shelf. what will become of them has yet to be determind.

09 May 2006

in the bowl

because I chronicle pop culture I figurd I had to see David Blaine's stunt last nite. after all he is the Houdini of our time. what I found myself doing was focusing on his blond assistant. the man's name is Martin Stepanek. turns out he's a world class athelete.

08 May 2006

goosestepping at CIA

as Cuppa Meringue brought out the warm cinnamon buns her earrings swayd in the spring breeze. she'd made them from nit combs.

"you know I can't resist a man in uniform"   she sd as she pourd roast so dark its aroma permeatd the apartment.

"but this General Hayden worries me. his hat's too big. I know he's bald which probably makes it look bigger. but I never trust a general whose hat is too big. makes him look like one of those operetta buffoons."

Cuppa began to inhale her cinnamon bun but came up for enough air to voice another opinion: "& did you hear what our noble president told the German press? he feels the most important accomplishment of his reign was catching some fish." she began one of those giggles which soon erupts into a belly laugh way off the Richter Scale.

"the vice president shoots one of his hunting buddies & the president wets himself over a fish. too bad Laurel & Hardy aren't still around for the film version." Cuppa's laugh will carry me thru the week.

07 May 2006

"Brown Cow"

that's what my mother calld a root beer float. it was one of her favorites. I don't rememebr having had one in decades.

today is so scrumptious I took a long walk. on the way home I stoppd at Delectables for some lemonade. once inside I saw for the first time that they make ice cream floats. in keeping with this morning's nostalgia I optd for a root beer one. more memories.

words amid ashes

I haven't seen "The Glass Slipper" since my initial viewing exactly 51 years ago. at that time I was totally taken by Leslie Caron & saw her in everything. I vaguely recall being fascinatd by the padding in Michael Wilding's tights. but my special memory was of Estelle Winwood as the Fairy Godmother.

this morning I finally saw MGM's retelling of the Cinderella story again. & Winwood remains magical. she was the consummate example of that certain type of classically-traind British stage actress. but she always put her own eccentric spin on her roles. perhaps part of my adoration of her in this part was her character's fondness for words. among those she found joy in repeating were windowsill & elbow.

so it was an enchanting morning   remembering the boy who liked to go to the movies & was beginning to find happiness in wordplay.

06 May 2006

"Iraq: Get Out Now"

the most e-maild story currently at the LA Times is this piece by retired general & current Yale prof William Odom.

04 May 2006

"Dialogue Project"

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San Franciscan Mike Garibaldi (the guy in the long pants) brought his traveling piece to the plaza yesterday. it's an odd assortment of quotations -- from Whitman & Melville to Fats Domino & Bette Davis.

02 May 2006

black borders

I suspect I got it from Mother. the first thing she does of a morning -- even before coffee -- is to spread open the newspaper to the obituary page. in my case it's the online obit pages of the Times of both NY & LA.

today I read of the death of Heinz Poll. altho I never got to know him or his partner Tom Skelton   they were around. & I did know one of his dancers David Bondio. & reading of his passing brought back memories of Ohio's dance world of 2 decades ago. I remember going to Ohio Ballet productions with visitors such as Coburn Britton & William Como.

then there was the Kent dance scene with Connie May & Genie Schoettler & Michael Milligan. who cd ever forget Michael's brash solo on pointe? future Broadway star Alice Ripley took her turn in one university dance recital. & then there were all those boys in tights: Paul Ludick   Timothy Green   David Shearrow.

nothing like a death to grease the memory machine.

01 May 2006

a day sans immigrants

Cuppa Meringue never ceases to amaze me. she claims to be apolitical but I think she simply adores yanking my chain. when I happend on today's parade of dishwashers & maids who shd be smack in the middle? yup   the divine Miss M. she had fashiond a halter from a Mexican & an American flag. her huge wig was desert beige with a significant part symbolizing the border. on one side were little toy soldiers playing Minutemen with rifles. on the other side were immigrants-in-waiting.