30 January 2007


I haven't seen her perform in a few years. so it was a bit of a shock when she turnd up on "Law & Order" tonite. it's not that she's older. that happens to us all. but her face is different. perhaps plumper. but also softer.

29 January 2007


I've been an Almodovar fan for some time. & this is one of his best.

28 January 2007

a star is born

Lysacek was super   Weir a mess. but the surprise winner of the silver -- Ryan Bradley -- had one of those electrifying performances that skating enthusiasts will be talking abt for years.

27 January 2007

after the fall

2 weeks ago Billy & I went to Santa Monica Playhouse to see Evelyn Rudie in a backstage musical she wrote. back in the days of "Playhouse 90" Kay Thompson pickd 7-year-old Evelyn to become the original Eloise. she soon became the highest paid child star of her time. by age 14 she'd become an extra in "Bye Bye Birdie" & retired. however she became involvd in theater. her work at the playhouse over the decades has made her one of the important names in the community as well as in the history of the boards in LA.

the most touching moment in her current musical is when she calls out the names of child stars who endurd varying degrees of tragedy. it's a long & painful list. I rememberd Evelyn today when I saw "Little Children." so few child stars have a second act in the lights. but now we can add another.

little Jackie Earle Haley was big. his roles in "Day of the Locust" & "Breaking Away" assurd him of at least a footnote in Hollywood history. then like so many others he disappeard. we now know that he delived pizzas & drove a limo. but he made it back onto the big screen. & his performance in "Little Children" is complex & deep & compelling. it qualifies him for a long career as a character actor.

26 January 2007

remembering Steve

I have yet to see an official obituary but the blogosphere is paying tribute.

Kimberly wrote a touching piece & includ'd this photo I hadn't seen before. it was taken at the party Steve had for me at the Beat after my reading. he's showing me & 2 friends who drove all the way from Las Vegas some Burroughs material.

there are also tributes from Ruby Montana & MJ.

25 January 2007

shocking news

this morning I got an e from Kimberly Nichols informing me of the death of Steve Lowe.

24 January 2007

progress indeed

so I was upset enuf that I kept looking into my problem. & then I discoverd that now it's easier than ever to publish a photo on the blog w/o even having to use an outside source. yes I'm slow. yes I know nothing abt how computers work. but I'm also an obstinate old cuss & I'm glad I kept after this.

so here's a picture my pal Billy took of me at Musso & Frank. it's the oldest restaurant in Hollywood & I've been going there since 1978. I love that you see the wonderful wooden booths & one of the cadre of ancient waiters that give the place such ambiance.

more progress

wantd to load a picture to the blog & clickd on Hello. well it tells me "bloggerbot is dead." I have no idea what that means. for a while now Hello has been telling me it's going out of business. so I suppose that's what this is all abt.

23 January 2007

WORDS instead of ROSES

word:   recipient:   occasion:  ' date:

azoth   Ilona Klein   dinner   3 may 00
burgoo   Sidney Coates   party   2 jun 00
clinquant   Jesse Wood   private preview   1 aug 00
divagation   Alicia Metcalf Miller   party   14 dec 00
embouchure   Robert Nott   birthday   30 dec 00
febrifuge   Cookie Jordan   housewarming   8 may 01
glebe   Guy & Kate   garden party   17 jun 01
hexenbesen   R. B. Sprague   birthday   12 sept 01
indult   Craig Eadie   first meeting   20 nov 01
jactitation   Bill Berger   house gift   13 mar 02
khamsin   Alfred Cavaretta   party &nsbp; 17 may 02
limbate   Dan Bernard   house gift   10 aug 02
machicolation   Garold Gardner   Thxgiving   28 nov 02
nelumbo   Bryan Ockert   house gift   17 jan 03
octamerism   Pooka Glidden   party   12 sept 03
puncheon   David Meredith   Thxgiving   27 nov 03
quercine   Rita Wood   Xmas   25 dec 03
ravelin   Gary Sielaff   housewarming   4 jan 04
shalloon   Regina Yando   house gift   8 jul 04
tufaceous   Kimberly Nichols   first meeting   9 dec 04
ubiety   Todd Moore   reading   10 may 05
vang   Phil Andrews   New Year’s Eve  31 dec 05
wappenschaw   Darryl Grimm   housewarming   12 feb 06
xebec   Jim Cory   first meeting  17 may 06
yashmak   Richard Balthazar   Thxgiving   23 nov 06
zedoary   Monica Meehan   first meeting   23 jan 07

22 January 2007

every day a little death

I didn't stop there every time I went to the gym. but at least once a week for years I'd walk into an unassuming little spot calld Desert Desserts. they made a luscious cookie calld The Double-Dippd. & their lemon squares weren't bad. over the holidays I bought a cherry pie & eventually ate the whole thing.

today I stoppd & the door was lockd. no lights were on. & then I saw the sign "out of business."

20 January 2007

sweet dreams Denny

"California Dreamin' " came out in nov 1965. I'm not certain when I first heard it. but I do have a clear memory of hearing it over the radio the only time I ever lived in a trailer.

fellow grad student George Smullen & his wife got a job working at an off-campus apartment building which requird they live on site. so until they sold their trailer I rentd it from them   living just outside of Kent at the State Trailer Park from jan thru april 1966. & I have a definite memory of hearing the Mamas & the Papas sing that song one wintry day.

yesterday Denny Doherty died   the third member of the quartet to exit. I never heard the Mamas & the Papas live. I did hear the male half of the group in a musical Andy Warhol producd in 1974. but I still have & treasure 4 of their Dunhill albums on vinyl. they were as much the voice of the 60s as the Andrews Sisters were of the 40s. & I never tire of hearing their perfect harmonizing.

19 January 2007

an aside

much has been made of the ubiquity of del Toro's notebook. yes he had it on his lap during the panel. & at one point -- I think Donnersmarck was speaking -- he opend it & made a jotting.

today's screening

I prefer not to read reviews because (a) they give too much away & I like approaching things fresh (b) I rarely agree with critics. so I didn't know what "Pan's Labyrinth" was abt. I was so enthralld by Guillermo del Toro at the panel the other day that I made sure I was at the first local screening this afternoon.

del Toro is such a funny man I wasn't quite expecting what I saw. this is one of the darkest movies ever made. Sergi Lopez becomes one of the screen's great villains   a man as cold as Dick Cheney.

18 January 2007

wearable art

I just put in my order for several Ira Joel Haber items. yes the artist now has a line of products from things you can wear to mugs & cards.

check out his site.

17 January 2007

American Cinemateque directors panel

Guillermo del Toro (left) being interviewd upon his arrival at the Egyptian Posted by Picasa

Clint Eastwood Posted by Picasa

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck Posted by Picasa

more change

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another recent renovation in LA was at Getty Villa. it's been many years since I was last there. but you can tell which areas have been redone. the current exhibition   "Stories in Stone"   is smashing. mosaics. I was particularly excitd at how contemporary "Unswept Floor" looks.

Billy passes a naked boy sunbathing in the cold Posted by Picasa


this was a weekend in which the past & present had frequent collisions &nsbp; in which associations bouncd off each other. the crime bus went past the spot on Wilshire & Crenshaw where the Getty Mansion once was. built in the 20s & demolishd in 1957   the residence was used by Wilder as Norma Desmond's house & a few years later by Ray for "Rebel."

16 January 2007

things change

when I first visitd Griffith Observatory in 1988 I made a beeline to that area where Nicholas Ray shot the knife fight in "Rebel Without a Cause." it's essential James Dean territory.

on friday my pal Billy & I took the shuttle from Hollywood & Highland to Griffith Park. it's the first time we'd seen the observatory since its multi-million dollar renovation. I was startld to discover that the knife fight area was completely destroyd. at its location the redesigners put up this Dean memorial:

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at Hollywood & Vine

15 January 2007

a body was found here

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60 years ago today.

this well-manicurd lawn in a pleasant Japanese neighborhood on Norton Ave in LA was then a vacant lot full of weeds & the parts of a woman. police learnd it was the remains of Elizabeth Short but no one still knows why or where she was killd   who killd her   how she got to Norton. the photographs taken that day have enterd not just the annals of True Crime but the collective consciousness of the nation. the crime continues to fascinate & disturb as much today as it did 6 decades ago.

I can't say exactly when I was first aware of the Black Dahlia -- the name given to Beth. there's an allusion to her in "Sunset Blvd" which came out when I was 7. but she's been on my mind for years. to observe the anniversary of her death I flew to LA so I cd go on Project 1947's 5 & a half hour bus tour of sites associatd with her & the various suspects authors have put forth over the years.

10 January 2007

Yvonne De Carlo (1922-2007)

Rumba Atrevida!


& so the Hollywood whose streets
I’ve been walking for decades
gets bigger & bigger

it stretches out to Westwood
where I visit Percy’s tomb
& to Silverlake
where Antonio Moreno glistend
in afternoon sun
& over to Culver City
where Munchkins playd

Hollywood becomes bigger
than Ohio
bigger than a banana republic
Carmen Miranda flew over
on her last trip to Rio

Hollywood stretches
to the corners of my queen-size bed
where I give Burt Lancaster
a secret kiss
siddle past Yvonne De Carlo
dancing with Tony Curtis
stop at the bar
where Percy squints at me

I squint back
& say
“hit me again”

09 January 2007

"the gay Ed Wood"

Jim Tushinski did a crack-up job with his documentary on Peter Berlin. now he's working on a bio of forgotten filmmaker Tom Graeff.
I confess I don't recall having ever seen "Teenagers from Outer Space." but I'm a sucker for a compelling story abt forgotten Hollywood figures. & this sounds like a lulu. I can almost see Richard Lopez salivating.

06 January 2007

"guardian of the safety of the world"

the death of character actor Frank Campanella brings back an early television memory. he playd Mook on "Captain Video and His Video Rangers." I no longer have specific moments from the series in mind but I do recall it being an early must-see.

I don't know who had the first television in the neighborhood but everyone wd gather around it to watch Milton Berle. I suspect we got our first set around 1950. my favortite shows were "Howdy Dowdy" & "Captain Video."

the title role was playd by Al Hodge who grew up in Ravenna   the town next to Kent where I spent most of my life. he had been radio's Green Hornet. after the popularity of the series he had trouble being cast in other kinds of roles. he became an alcoholic who died alone in a seedy Manhattan hotel. but when I was a kid he was a dashing hero.

Captain Video saved the world with the assistance of his rangers. one of them was Colt who was playd by Kenneth Nelson. he also was one of several actors to portray Henry Aldrich on tv. eventually Nelson enterd theatrical history by creating a pair of important roles -- The Boy in "The Fantasticks" & Michael in "Boys in the Band." he died of AIDS in 1993.

another theater great who appeard on the series was Ruth White. altho she did movies & Broadway   White is best rememberd for appearing in plays of Beckett   Pinter & van Itallie.

one of the sponsors of the show was Powerhouse candy bars. if you sent in a couple of candy wrappers with some dimes you cd get a Captain Video ring. that was the first piece of jewelry I ever wore. wish I still had it today.

Hodge as the Captain

05 January 2007

bless you Molly Ivins

she begins today's column:

The president of the United States does not have the sense God gave a duck ...


a state I enjoy. however I just drank Naked. no I'm not back in Palm Springs lolling at my resort. that's a brand name. it's an "all natural" smoothie. mine was Mighty Mango.

04 January 2007

things must be better

2 of the 4 neighborhood cats who come to the back portal to feast at Melina's bowl have returnd.

02 January 2007

blindingly beautiful

there comes a time to say fuck the icicles & go out & play. so I put on my sunglasses & took a long walk in the white.

the landscape of the southwest is magisterial. it's a reason we come to live here. to see miles of it in this pristine quilt halts breath. so I went away from paths & snow angels to walk in our beauty.

on my return I forsook the foot bridge over the arroyo to walk in still-fresh often-kneedeep snow to my house. & there I made snowballs for the first time in decades & threw them quite madly into the air.

still digging out

one friend who lives near the opera has been strand'd in her house since thur.

as soon as I fell icicles they seem to grow back.

I don't like this at all.

01 January 2007

vicious icicles

& so with the coming of the sun begins the meltdown. the side of the house which doesn't get sun is dangerous. massive icicles hang from the roof & slowly melt   forming a sheet of ice against my backdoor & along the house where I walk.