Thursday, April 30, 2009

Café days...

The photo from Blogger-blog, Cinematic Sojourns; it hasn't published in some time & I don't want to mess up my feed. So there's the credit; they didn't credit it at all. I will keep looking.. More than one still photog worked on the Trois Couleurs trilogy.

Please check out the other blog (Giulia Geranium, in side panel), to see some colorful Darfuri ladies & their artistry. Also the blogs on this site are having a helluva good time (it would seem from the thumbnails).
Good night & see you late tomorrow. ciao amici, buona notte.

Blue shore of silence

More pieces. For project. (first photo credit, here; second & third by nullasalus/photobucket)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A case of the vapors...

...oof. Trying to stay upright to watch President Obama tonight. If I feel this under-the-weather (it's not swine flu--don't even think it!)...I'd like look as glamorous as Lucille Ball does here. (LB, 1940s, myvintagevogue). Right now, I look more like Looooocy. (Lucy-as-Chaplin, LIFE archives, Ralph Crane, 1962). buona notte, amici!

One more cup of coffee...

Actually, if I want any coffee it's to the market I go. We're out of almost everything. I wanted to get this shot into the archives, so here's coffee break by Emiliano (credit). Ciao until later today.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mediterranean blue arabesques

No time to tell you about Miss Flaming June, today. But I think we need to calm down. All that orange-red. Corine, who is hiding in France is probably still fanning herself & Lord knows what Mme le Pup is doing...running around in her blue kimono, no doubt. OK, I'll stop before I start teasing Beatriz, Penney, & Anna. (So far...I know there are more of you looking in.)

So here's a photo/scan/collage of some azure fabric I bought years ago, well, not on Santorini. Not Crete. Definitely in the Mediterranean, though. It reminds me utterly of Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia but I don't recall buying anything there. So. Not looking around for records. I just love it. If I have to choose a color, this is it.

The block of blue & a totally goofy, messed-up, & perhaps the most unflattering travel pix ever taken of me & not just in Santorini (that's where this is from). I'm trying to dispel my worries of vanity. (My hair is not like this now & I do not wear yellow very well, obviously.) I cannot account for the nail lacquer clash. I'm so picky that I'm picking about not changing my nail lacquer from my initial flight to Athens. I'd bang my head against the keyboard but then the computer really WILL have its threatened nervous breakdown.

I guess I should say: I was recovering from Jerusalem, the loss of so much weight (not intentionally) that it was frightening. (I'd gained about 30 pounds by the time this was taken. And yes, irony, irony because I need to lose weight now--for health reasons, not merely cosmetic.) It was my first trip outside the U.S. in 20 months. Even Greece was a bit close to the MEast for me but I'm compelled. No doubt about it. Get's in the blood & I know that sounds romantic but it's true. No better place for recovery than Santorini. (I was really too weak & tired to go but didn't want to disappoint a friend who was coming with me. I was used to coming & going on my own. In the end, of course, I'm thrilled that I went & will go again. Thank the gods & goddesses that we were in the Med; I could lie down during the day. Friend was in mad dog/Englishman mode & had a difficult first week with the idea of mid-day break. She adjusted. Beautifully.)

I was transfixed by this kitten (he was Mr. Personality which is not evident here) for a few weeks. Visited every day, usually three times a day. I had the adoption almost ready & by that time, the family was so smitten with their kitten...that they asked to break our agreement. What could I say? I cried, I really did. (Not in front of them, they felt so bad but their little girls were now totally in love with this kitten.)

Have a great evening.

Update: Giulia Geranium just received a most welcome visit & comment from Michael of Oia Santorini...a notebook on life in Oia fame.The link to his blog is in the sidebar & also on GG. I'm rushing here. I couldn't have received his welcome comment & hello at a better moment. Unsettling news from friends in Sudan. Must read & respond.

Update #2: Oh I do wish I'd titled it Aegean Arabesques...mimph. Another time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flaming June in April

Horridly hot here, still. I've a reproduction of this (the original is in the museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico). Interesting story. Too tired to tell it now. (Both why I've got a copy & why the painting ended up in Puerto Rico.) This is really The Clever Pup's area of expertise, though I could do it. Just too darn hot. And Mme. Pup is rolling around on her kitchen floor in a most scandalous manner (we hear). Blimey! By the by, the image is saturated on some sites, bleached out in others. I had my print framed in a red-gold metal & it hangs against a terracotta wall, so it pops quite a lot. (image credit)

Too Darn Hot

Oh. My. God. Turned on the a/c (guilt) last night when the apartment thermostat ventured past the 95F mark, into the unknown. As in 100F. Playing Ella singing Too Darn Hot. More of same today. Will post photos to publish but probably not much more. [photograph, Ella sings at Mr. Kelly's nightclub, Chicago, 1958, by Yale Joel/LIFE archives]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the phone with Suzy...

No, she didn't say that...she did? Well, that's creatively passive-aggressive of her.. .we'll sort this out tonight, OK? Ciao.

It's so very hot & sunny here. My favorite hat is crumbling. I hate to take her out but I'll fry if I don't, supermondosunscreen nothwithstanding. Julie the cat is passed out in front of a fan, paws over her eyes. I wish I had a dress like Suzy Parker's (from myvintagevogue). Actually, I do have one -- it just doesn't fit me (right now). I have to put in the hilarious photo of this Australian lady & her wacky cat (look into his eyes). It's from the New South Wales library archives that have so held my interest.

Hope you're well wherever you happen to be. Some places, friends are going into winter; others are like here. In yet others, it's just hot year-round, with gradations of hellishness. Oh to be in Santorini...mimph (that's a sigh-grumble thing). Here's to a better week than the last. Ciao.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week's End - Tangled up in blue-black ink...

Update: At 12:07EDT, it's definitely Week's End for archival purposes. Hoped for amusing photos like last Friday's & the time/energy/computer cooperation to do something with them. Not happening. Good weekend to all, wherever you are.

Apologies to Bob. I hate doing that...was gonna use some really obscure Dylan line but I took the easy way out. Not week's end yet...(Waterman pen by Phil/ShutterSparks who has the coolest stuff)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's right there, in black & white

Indulge me (once again). I'm exhausted & decided any two photos in My Pictures that go together, I have to make up a title no matter how dumb & literal & schedule it to post. No matter what. Once a day, five days a week. And I promise it will be better than this very soon. The Giulia Geranium blog will be one-year old on May 4th. Then, we'll see. I was never naive enough to think that Sudan would be settled by now, but I thought we'd be in a building/rebuilding period. And no, I do not think World War II was "romantic." At all. I just like these photos of a great film...I call one "the news isn't good" & the other "a toast to the end of war." Seems like we'll always need those two phrases.

I can't even remember where I got these photos...I think those "screen capture" thingies. I'll come back & do the right thing. For now, this is it. Go see Hazel at Clever Pup who has done her Theme Thursday on Fire...& then go read The English Patient if you've not...if you have, you might not have read Ondaatje's poetry. That's why his prose is so beautiful: he's a poet. His heart must be breaking with the news out of Sri Lanka. It just gets worse & worse.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Soldier's Good-bye & Bobbie the Cat

I've been captivated by the State Library of New South Wales recent uploads of Australia-in-the-1930s-1940s. These are A Soldier's goodbye & Bobbie the Cat. (I've used three different NSW/Sam Hood images on the Giulia Geranium blog,as well.)

I do hope that Sam Hood, the Australian photojournalist, is a character such as I have imagined. If not, I'll just make something up. Hey, it works for other writers. I'd never compare myself to Michael Ondaatje, but a clipping about Almásy & the Royal Geographic Society sparked The English Patient (I think). My preoccupation with that time period/content/images is all Hazel/Clever Pup's fault--she started it. I didn't count on Australia popping up, though.

No time. No kidding. Storms on the way (again) & the computer is actually making weird noises now. Shriek. Talk about creativity under pressure....will have to add "under pressure" to an already-existing label.

From the Postcard at Vertigo Bookstore in D.C. *

Update: Who knew? You can post something to appear before your latest post? How dumb am I? Except this is great. Aha! I can rest easy (sort of). xo svs

It's still National Poetry Month & I've not mentioned it. Always have mixed feelings about it. That says much more about me than about NaPoMo (or whatever it is that people call it nowadays). I feel so exhausted by all of it & it's me, not them.

With all this writing-with-help-of-images, I thought I'd put in something by friend Reetika Vazirani. A few weeks ago Vertigo Bookstore, a beloved DC-area institution, announced that it was closing. Reetika would have had a fit. I'm sorry she's not here to pitch one. I can't put in the postcard image, though I've seen it. Copyrights being what they are, who needs the worry? Not only that, it's a prose poem describing the postcard image & thus, better not to use it. Instead, here's a pretty headshot of 1940s Billie from Jessica at myvintagevogue.

Note: This is not the poem layout from World Hotel; it's from my copy of Ploughshares. I do not know what Reetika intended; if she had to compromise because of the book size or not. I don't know. This is a problem in prose poem & other narrative layouts. Aieee. I forgot what it's like to be an editor. Widows, orphans. Etc. I'm going with this for now because I am tired. This Smith College link has more non-sensationalist information about Reetika. Her "stuff" is all over the Web. I wish someone would get this in order...I think it's being done...but I should finally screw up the nerve to ask. Touchy subject. Which is why I'll schedule this for 2am & another photo at 7am. So this won't have time to attract nuts. So why do it? Because I love the poem, postcards, the images, the person who wrote it, Vertigo Bookstore, it's NaPoMo or whatever...& Hazel at Clever Pup has been talking about synchronicity. 'night.

*From the Postcard at Vertigo Bookstore in D.C. (by Reetika Vazirani)

In the photograph of Billie Holiday taken by Mickey Pallas at the
1957 Newport Jazz Festival, she wears a low-cut evening gown & a
fawn-colored stole. Her rhinestone earrings are shoulder-dusters, &
her necklace falls almost to her cleavage in heavy leaves of glass
stones, or maybe they are real (though paste gems on Billie Holiday
never subtracted from her quality). The bracelet on her large wrist
spans wide as a man’s shirt cuff, & her nails are frosted. The
cigarette comes out at you, foreshortened over a score where the notes
are few with wide spaces between . . . Her hairline is even as
Nefertiti’s, eyebrows painted on in thick confidence, & her lips, most
likely red, are round in generous laughter for the photographer it
seems. She is not performing: that was before, or she’s going on
later. Billie Holiday is chic on her break; & when women open their
little drawers of half-used lipsticks two shades off, & mascaras
bought in anticipation of an event like the Newport Jazz Festival, they
know as I do looking at my stash of packaged glamour—we look for
it, & it’s not there.

Copyright © Reetika Vazirani
World Hotel

Copper Canyon Press, 2002

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Never Again: What You Do Matters

Same title as on the Giulia Geranium blog. It's this year's (American) theme for Holocaust Remembrance Days (19-26 April). For more details please go there. Worlds collide but sometimes it's too much--even for me. (photo credit)

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

— Elie Wiesel

Please visit the cleverest of Canadian pups for her fascinating post today. I know (or knew) many people who were at Terezín & have heard about the opera Brundibár, but have not seen the documentary about which she writes so beautifully. The outside world calls, so please visit The Clever Pup & also the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) for more archival material than you could hope to use in a lifetime. Some of it is newly-released & I believe some is online now for non-scholarly (in the strictest sense) work.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On the phone with Ava...

Certain people don't call or return email for weeks & then they call & act bitchy (it counts for the guys, too)...because of the following. "No I cannot TIVO or otherwise tape the show....I really want to see it..." What makes them think all the sudden I have TIVO? All they want to do is bitch about their job (they have one!) or talk about what they bought today. How insensitive can these people get? No, this is not turning into a vent blog. I'm just peeved & no one will look past the photograph anyway. (Which is fine.)

[Update: 22 June 2009 -- I took out some venting. It wasn't good enough. Sadly, there will be more opportunities for 'hey, you don't call for 3-4 months & now I must instantly pay attention? What's up with that?]

This photograph of Ava Gardner is undated; it's from Jessica at myvintagevogue. She's really dedicated. If you're still reading, give her a visit on flickr [update, Jessica has stopped posting at flickr, though you can still access some of her work there. She's now on tumblr -- right sidebar of this site -- & her website will be linked here soon. Just search myvintagevogue & she'll pop up.] . She has a new website in progress & it's shaping up very nicely.]

Off to calm down. Get tissues ready, so on. I'll be back to correct typos & so on anyway. Ach.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Week's End - Poet's Day

When I last left here, I said I didn't envision myself as Milton Berle. I still don't. There's a funny photograph in the LIFE archives of Uncle Miltie, asleep with a mask on. I was being literal. My sleep mask is navy blue silk, if you must know. Sequin-free. Julie the Cat would surely spend hours prying them off anyway.

Where to begin. Week has been weird, weekend forecasts more of the same. I've tons of beautiful photographs but I cannot bring myself to use them now. Perversely, I have to go with these two wackidoodles.

First, in what state of lunacy/inebriation did a Pond's executive say, "Yes! A nightie-wearing, corsage-sporting gal sitting with a kitten...juxtaposed in front of a photo of the Colosseum....yes yes it's genius!" Perhaps it did sell tons of night cream. Hey, I can't claim it wouldn't work on me...though the Colosseum. Egad. But as a sign of Rome for Americans, sigh, I guess. Perhaps this was from the beginning of the la dolce vita period. I bet that's it. Otherwise, they would've tried a Parisian theme. No way am I "researching" this now. [advert from Jesssica aka myvintagevogue's flickrstream; she has a new website in progress & that is great news.]

Before you say, no ad guy would use "juxtaposed"...yes, they would. Art & literature majors were in that business. My parents had many friends in advertising...all with excellent personal vocabularies. They were terribly ambivalent (or hating) about the business. Wonder what they think of Mad Men. I suspect quite conflicted. As my mother says about the wasn't that Happy.

Second. I know he was a decidedly troubled & difficult man, but we didn't have to put up with it. We (the audience) got the best of him. Peter Sellers in a rare photo (via scan from The Hollywood Cats book, of Catapalooza-in-DC fame). From the British film, The Wrong Box. The text says..."In this comedy about inheritance, Peter Sellers played the mad surgeon Dr. Pratt, his office overrun by kittens. As one cat sits in the surgical bowl, the doctor contemplates the phony death certificate he's just made out for Michael Caine."

Of course, he played a mad surgeon named Pratt...what else?

Off to walk in the warmish DC weather (with my hat on!)...hope it's warm (or warming up) where you are...& I can't help myself. I have to say it, though it's not "mine." You naughty cheeky monkeys!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Running on empty

I almost went with another photograph...but I just don't see myself as Milton Berle. (LIFE's archives are diverting, wholesome fun. This is by Yale Joel/1953) Visit Hazel at The Clever Pup, read her cool stuff this week & see if you can figure out The Soapbox this evening. I can't but I still agree with her. She's very sensible; you should agree with her, too (well, I think so). buona notte


Huh? Oh, coffee credit to Emiliano/Loungerie in Livorno; signage (permanent lateness or what?) by only alice. Who is wonderful, by the way, Have used many of her Marrakesh photographs in the other blog. See you later....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Virginia bluebells

It's Virginia bluebell time & I'm running behind, as usual. I just saw a WashingtonGardener bluebell peeping post & thought: if George Brett has even one bluebell shot, I'll have to bust up the Jeanne Moreau mini-series.There's one shot, it's lovely, & here it is. (We allow them in DC & Maryland, as well. If they behave. Virginia is a purple-blue state now, you know. Heh heh.) It's raining a bit hard but perhaps later today or tomorrow I'll remember to look down (instead of up at all our blooming trees) at bunches on the way to the market. Last night or early a.m., I thought, must get back to writing-picture-word-collage collection. This fits one of the projects & so bluebells it is...

Jeanne, later

I'd not planned this but I thought it would be nice to post more current photographs of Jeanne Moreau. The first is also from Life's archives (1985) when she was 57; the other is from the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival (photo credit), at 78 years young. It's not easy to find photographs that are usable due to copyright; I've written to a few photographers this morning. There's also a lovely creamy white rose named for JM & there are some on flickr. I can't junk up my feeds with so many links (I have been warned), so just go to flickr & peruse. Also have asked for those permissions. These will have to do for now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More Moreau

I love her, Jeanne Moreau. Yes, yes, her acting (& directing), that should go without saying. It's the making of under-eye circles acceptably sexy for which she should win some prize, as well. (She also has a wonderful philosophy of life & honor; more about that in future.) Tina of English Muse reminded us last week of Google's Life archives (usable for non-commercial purposes) when she posted a fabulous Brigitte Bardot photograph. I've used some LIFE archival photos (acquired by Google) on the GG blog & promptly forgot all about it in the midst of life (the lower-cased version). So many thanks to la Tina.

JM & BB starred in Louis Malle's 1965 film Viva Maria! & these are from the film shoot. (Some history of film ratings, here. The State of Texas got all 'het' up about it, went to court. Sigh.) I love the big smiles on the actresses in the b&w pix. Also wondering if I can somehow get away with carrying an eyelet/lace/voile parasol in the close-to-unbearable searing sunlight of a Washington, DC summer. As it is, I cannot be outside without a large-brimmed hat until sundown from early May through late October. xoxo

[photos by Ralph Crane/LIFE]

Taxes & café crème

Yes, I waited too long. You would've too if you had this computer. Hope to see you later today. Snarl, growl. [original post from GG] Café crème by Glynnis Ritchie, all rights reserved/used with permission of the photographer

Monday, April 13, 2009

Circus of Flying Lunatics

The first of three in a set of camera-poetry by the luminous Ola Bell of England. I happened upon a photograph in weheartit, but it was an all rights reserved photo, originally on flickr. I wrote to ask her permission & she quickly answered; & could not have been more gracious. Go visit not only No. 2 & 3 in the set (I could not download them with this dodgy computer), but also her professional website, Oladios, for portfolio, bio, & more. Of course, it's quite the plus that she loves cats (& they, her). Bella Ola, indeed! [The results are always perfect published by kind permission of Ola Bell]

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Flower Basket

The last three images of all twelve, count'em, twelve that I saved from Domino archives (some people had thousands, lucky devils). The site's shut down but the credits are included in the photograph name. [update; 23 June 2009. No, they're not now]

I wonder if there's a DSM category for "flower madness." If so, I'm a charter member, pre-memory. There are very few photos of me, from tiny to older, where I am not holding some posy. I do remember saying, "Oh please, wait, I must have a flower..." There are stories of my running about, um, without clothing, in neighbors' gardens. My mother had plenty going on in our gardens so it was some sort of flower power tour. Thank God, no one took a photograph of these little forays

Off to hard-cook eggs (it's Friday) & roast some beets. I'll be damned (no offense), if I'm going to pay $4.00 for a tiny bottle of generic red dye. So thank goodness for beets-in-the-fridge. Whatever you're doing/did, hope it's fun & warm(ish). And floral & chocolate-y.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Audrey Easter card

A little Easter weekend treat. The front & back of a homemade Easter postcard by Audrey Hepburn. That, of course, is her famous Famous in the Easter basket. The text from the wonderful book a friend gave me a few years ago, The Audrey Hepburn Treasures: pictures & mementos from a life of style & purpose (Atria Books) says that it was probably sent to her mother. I have lots of personal photos of cats in baskets but none of Julie, so I won't do that to her. xoxo

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jersualem sunset

All but 2 or 3 personal Jerusalem photographs were destroyed, sadly. Seemed appropriate for many reasons to post it again today. (Don't assume the reasons, though.)

Easter past

(egg credit)

Week's End

The Whole by Alice Lucchin/Venice.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bob in Black & White

Just felt like it. Visions of Johanna earlier & it's full of keys & locks & cages...(photo credit) New album late this month.

Girls & Their Pearls

This is from a November 2008 GG post. By Alan Grant/1959/Life archives. Adorable.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The perfect accessory

I just took an unfortunate tour of the blogosphere & feel blah. (It's Tuesday early evening EDT).) On political sites too much, you ask? No. Sleazy gossip sites? For heaven's sake, no. No, no one you know, I doubt it. I'm horrified by it all & therefore by self & wishing I'd shut up. So I'm going to shut up, collect photographs that I like for whatever reason & stick with a few sites I usually frequent. Detox time.

But before I shut up....

..this dress might be rather unflattering, even on Miss Elizabeth, but it sure works with a pocket kitten. Julie still wants to do this but she's no half-pint anymore (she had very long legs as a kitten, though.) Sometimes, when I'm getting ready to leave the apartment, I find her half-smooshed into my big patent bag. Her back legs flooping out, the front two criss-crossed like a bow. Other days, she just goes through my bag looking for stuff she'd like to play with...

This photo is from myvintagevogue's flickstream.