Sunday, May 31, 2009

On the phone, a perfectly wonderful evening...

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it. Groucho Marx

I had to crack myself up after working on other difficult matters today. I thought of this quote & pix when the phone rang & after two years, I hear...but things were really not that bad....we could go....

No we aren't going anywhere together, buster. And they weren't that bad, they were worse. What a nerve!

I love this photograph; it reminds me of my mother in the late 1950s, early 1960s, when contrary to previous appearances (though they be slight), I was young. [via myvintagevogue in sidebar; from House & Garden, 1950.]

Hope you have a nice evening. I will have a perverse kind of fun: the third & final (for now) installment of Wallander with Kenneth Branagh as the mussed-up, messed-up Swedish inspector. Since the shows make me all jangly, it's fortunate that I don't have to be anywhere early tomorrow.

ciao & buona notte

Friday, May 29, 2009

Week's End - Tony in Black & White

The last thing I wanted to do was toss in another b& matter how sweet. Apparently, though, buckets o' rain & apocalyptic lightening is on its way . [from Hollywood Cats/personal scan/info here]

Wanted color in here...I just saw the pink vintage dress (same brand, the exact dress) that I have hanging outside my closet door--to remind me of the days before my period of avoirdupois (aka POA). [Philosophy of pink, a Tina-Muse pink link .] However, too afraid to go looking & then have the power go out. You'd think I was in the Year of Living Dangerously with our weather (& other matters). Go look at Hazel's fabulous trifle recipe. I plan to make it for a party in early June. Uh oh. First rumblings of scary-sounding thunder. Julie, afraid of nearly nada, just jumped into my lap & spilt iced espresso. To her credit, she looks sheepish about it.

So ciao for now & will be back later. I hope. I find it curious, though, that not a soul was interested in either Spanish post in Giulia Geranium or this site. Hmmmm. That won't stop me; not about to start 'hearting' stuff. It's obvious what I like.

PS: Yes, it was Tony's personal tabby...not a set-up shot. Even better.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spanish Manners

In a Spanish mood, flamenco chic on GG...& I love this photograph. It reminds me of a friend who grew up mostly in Madrid & Barcelona (though she is American-by-passport). Her father was, uh, a diplomat. (It took a few years to convince her that there were very few opera emergencies in 1960s Saigon, no matter her memories.) I loved her father, too, despite it all. We had shared Graham Greene Syndrome. (Dangerous place? We're there. I'm over it.) Sorry to say, he's been gone for...I don't know. Before September 11, anyway. Otherwise, I'd remember calling him in Barcelona.

I needed major protection for an event once (actually more than once). Sunglasses, a person on either side, & hauteur weren't enough & so out of my friend's Spanish closet came The Very Beautiful Thing. An enormous, black, embroidered antique flamenca's mantilla. I couldn't believe she would allow it out of the apartment. The fringe was on the floor unless I held myself just so. Which was the whole point, just so. I feel a subject coming on...or perhaps re-obsession. Now, though, time to make dinner.

[On another note: is anyone else about ready to storm the radio station where that oaf-toad Limbaugh lurks? I cannot escape him; everywhere, BBC, CBC, all the BCs. Eek. And no, a Latina judge nominee didn't bring on the Spanish stuff. Poking around GG archives did that...reruns due to same old non-health.]

[by Martha Holmes, LIFE archives, what else? ]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shelter in Black & White

I'd feel better with this armor (& matching hat!). Adore umbrellas & usually in colors. Making do with a tatty, battered one, the color of dried blood, gag, that someone gave me as I left a meeting....six years ago. A twit (I'm being nicer than you can possibly imagine) borrowed a glorious Pucci-esque umbrella that I uncharacteristically purchased (full price). She promptly lost it. Never occurred to her to replace it--even when I screwed up my courage & asked. That's how it can be when other people have money & you don't. It just means "an umbrella" to them. To you? A major splurge. But now I'm fixated on this huge b&w brolly.

It's raining, it's pouring & we're to expect lots more. [by Nina Leen for LIFE, 1958 via myvintagevogue]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Paestum in Violet

In a hurry & it's raining--bring out the sun, Apollo. Maybe this photograph of the Temple of Athena from Paestum in southern Italy will be propitious. One of my friends pointed out the three white birds crossing our path: good luck in Roman times. The sky was a weird violet color (yes, I enhanced it)...then sunny, then odd violet again. I'll leave the 'clickability' html in so maybe those three birds can be seen. In the large scan, they are visible.

Three large extant Greek temples are here, in southern Italy.Three of ' other stuff. And usually deserted, it's strange because it's so gorgeous. More on that later. No one was at Paestum that day...except the watchman. Can scarcely believe that it was the same as when I'd been there at 17 or 18. Here is a pretty good link with photos. Paestum is somewhat of a mystery, still. I love that. As a trained ancient historian & half-way trained archaeologist that should drive me crazy. It does not. So I guess it wasn't meant to be (my chosen profession).

Buon giorno...

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'll Be Seeing You

For Memorial Day. Picasso & Lee Miller, one of my very favorite photographers, in his studio during the Liberation of Paris. A woman applying lipstick on a break, near Washington, DC's Union Station. My grandmother's favorite song. I'll burst into tears if I say anymore. (I'm used to hearing Peggy Lee's version but can't find a video.) Julie London sounds as good as possible on a dial-up connection. (Please let me know if it's too awful. I can't figure out how to center it right now. )She is lovely, though & Julie the Cat is pleased (all that matters to a cat). Well, I give up, darn it. Now, the blasted thing won't come up on the screen at all. Here's a link anyway.

The Miller photograph is from a scan via personal copy of The Lives of Lee Miller, put together by her son Antony Penrose. Info here. There are so many gruesome war images in this apartment, including this book. They are necessary but I don't want to put them on the site.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble,
Ancient footprints are everywhere.
You can almost think that you're seein' double
On a cold, dark night on the Spanish Stairs...

...Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rent
When I paint my masterpiece.

Happy birthday, Bobby.

full lyric, here

[vintage postcard image by D Sharon Pruitt/pinksherbert photography/for Creative Commons Use by poor people like, uh, nonprofits; Bob credit, here; random personal photographs in collage; someday, I'll find the flattering ones. Must be some sort of undermining thing.]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week's End - Rose à la mode

The 'pink of the mode', i.e. the acme of excellence of fashion, was a common early usage and continued to be used throughout the 19th century, as here from Thackeray, 1840: "In the very pink of the mode."

Two bright pink photos & no reason to use them except I'm tired & they make me happy & it's a holiday weekend here; unofficial start of the summer, etc. [via myvintagevogue]

An Emma Thompson DVD arrived via the Netflix Fairy (one more month). It wasn't well-reviewed, I think, but if Emma's in it, then it's a must-see (as far as I am concerned). And with that....

...have a jazzy bright pink weekend.
ciao, amici

On the phone, wearing tulle

Hi Suzani. What? No, it's not that uncomfortable; it's quite breezy actually. Do I walk around DC like that photo of the Washington Ballet -- no, where did you see that? It's making the rounds? What a sec, let me bring it up (yes, I got a laptop, stop drooling). Oh, it's darling. Yes, I agree, Septime knows his PR. I think an international society of girls wearing tulle is a great idea.

Quit being so cranky, Susan. I know you've been ill for a while now but were our Audrey. You don't want to be our AH anymore? OK, you don't have to shout. Are you sure it's not jealousy because of the computer, the no camera, rinsing out clothes in the tub? No? A little? It's been a long haul, I know.

Oh, you're upset because you tossed your tulle? You're going to 'toss your tulle'? Is this some sort of new phrase you've coined to drive people crazy? Ah. But you do have tulle. It's sewn into that French navy blue, dotted swiss poofy vintage dress you bought years ago at a marché aux puces...everyone who sees it wants to buy from you. Yes, there is. Go look at the underskirts. I'll wait......................aha, see? That counts.

This was inspired by Tina at the English Muse. I guess it is possible to wear tulle (in a non-ballerina way) & look /be comfortable, though that wasn't Tina's point. That French dress was comfortable--when it fit. Mimph. So want to return to Amalfi, the Tunisian desert, Roma, Strasbourg., even downtown DC. More photographer permissions coming in...[speaking of photograph via myvintagevogue/tumblr blog in sidebar]

What a wasted & crummy week. I'm sick of saying it. I feel like I'm grounded (as in a kid who did something wrong.) I'll post a nice week's end photograph by midnight. My way of forcing self to be positive. ciao, belle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Café crème pause...

And this (at top) is exactly how I look when at rest (or sick. yes, I'm still sick). But that doesn't stop me from arguing with crazy Cheney. When will I learn? Don't argue (even pretend-argue) with crazy people. Just keep your eye on'em. Back to working on real stuff...which includes GG & trying to sort out writing project files, clips, locating my own clips. I am a-sea in paper! [Yale Joel for LIFE]

The most satisfying thing I read today online was Hazel-the-Clever-Pup's fantasy journey to Paris (as opposed to her very real trips, which are also enchanting). Tina at the English Muse is musing on creating an international society of girls in tulle (similar to her 'girls in flats' org to which I lightheartedly belong).

Tulle? I think I'm going to have to pass on this one & leave it to the ballerinas & first communionistas; even pretend-wearing of tulle (on me), would be just too awful to contemplate (& too awful for others to see). Nevertheless, I put in a non-tulle-but-still-fluffy-ruffly Parisian couture reminds me of whipped cream. Why do I put it in? Because I feel so very awful & it cheers me up. I hope I can get back to the Amalfi peninsula tomorrow. [whipped cream dress by Nat Farbman/1951 for LIFE]

buona notte, gattini/gattine

Suzy awakens...

This is exactly what I look like when I awake. (Awkard looking head-neck placement, though. Some discussion on myvintagevogue of what-in-the-world? I think it's the cut of the nightdress back bodice.) (you can see the whole ad text by going to the supersize advert here.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gyges & Desert Dreams

Promise to find Phil Bray, the still photographer. (photo credit) [Update: 28 June 2009. Here is provisional link to Phil Bray's Credit site.] These are crazy with color & saturation & stuff like that. I did some of it because, again, the photos online are a mess. Might as well make them crazier looking. Feeling hallucinatory anyway. 'night.

View from an Italian train

I feel like an Italian baby. Vegetable broth, a few tablespoons of arborio rice (OK, they get rice cereal), & a teaspoon of olive oil. (Start'em early.) So trip to Amalfi with personal photographs interrupted. Here's a view from a train (no specific town noted) by Carlo Bavagnoli in 1970. From a photo-story in LIFE archives titled Eurailpass in Europe (Train Travel). I didn't do the Eurailpass--no time. I was in school. But this does remind me of riding the train back & forth from France to Italy on school holidays. (Taken to friends' homes as I really had no place to go. I can't believe some American kids go back & forth to the States on their schoolbreaks if in Europe for a year or more. Spoiled! And they're missing out, too.)

Will be back for decent post later tonight. I hope. Dreaming about the desert...perhaps due to feverishness. ciao amici.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On the way to Amalfi

I have no idea how I persuaded the driver (a friend) to pull over so I could take these. He must have been mad to listen to me There's barely room for a chubby mule on this road. We were running errands, I think. Putting self back to bed but wanted to post these poor scanned devils to use later. (I've yet to make contact with Italian photographer in the area...& they are mine, so...) From the same trip as the Afternoon in Ercolano post. Feeding grass to cute bufali, an Italian ginger cat named Peaches, & a trip to Paestum coming up soon. (Even small versions of these come out quite small in the upoad as they are wide; I'll leave the html code in for clicking.)

ciao bambini, will visit your sites as soon as I can.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blue Shutter in Bretagne

Rochefort-en-terre, France, blue door and shutter, red geraniums by Robert in Toronto. [here is the link to the larger format, it's lovely.] Will be "visiting" France, Italy, & elsewhere in the coming weeks via Robert. Seriously beautiful & generous. He has a creative commons license. Bouquets of his favorite flower(s) to him. The photograph of Capucine in green is in Paris but it looks nice with the other; stone, brick, geraniums, summer's not Washington, DC (see below). I can go back to lying down, speak French & Italian to the sleepy orange cat (she can't object to verb tenses), drink mint tea, & escape. Perhaps inability to walk to corner for newspapers will be a good thing.

I tried to be polite & correct three times this morning to cancel my RSVP to an event. You know, so someone else could be admitted easily, without waiting. See in yesterday's post. Too tired. When an imperious (young) twit says "I'm sure they'd figure it out when you don't get here..." you should hang up the phone. Hard. Slam it. No, of course I didn't. Now must decide if this repeat offender should be reported to his supervisor. You know. In case I was someone, uh, important. Geez. This jerk has really bloomed since last summer when he was clueless & rude to about five people (not me, I was watching) in ten minutes at a poetry & politics or political poetry or whatever-the-panel was...I thought: wow, these kids really don't get it. You have to be at least decent to everyone unless they're hitting you or something. I wanted to whack him in the head with my bag but it remains purse-fantasy for now.

Hope everyone else's day goes well. I promise to stop ranting soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On the phone with Paulette...

Actually, this was going to be on the phone with...myself. But I can't find the compilation of pix of 'me on the phone' taken over decades, by family & friends to say (apparently): "See? Susan never shuts up." (Very funny, family & friends. Where are you now with soup, & tea, & all things lovely that I saw in the LIFE archives under 'in bed + sick' ? Huh?) [Paulette Goddard via myvintagevogue/see sidebar for blog link]

Listening to voice mail messages; people not calling the cell phone (as I have only asked five thousand times, this week alone). Grr. Sick, really feel terrible.. In bed (or will be again in a moment) & that's a lot for me. I never do that, no matter what--I lie on the ol' IKEA sofa or something. But pj's, braids, & glasses? Ugh.

For the first time in so long, I actually had something fun to attend on a Monday. At the Center for American Progress. Mark Bittman & José Andrés (yes, the food guys,
José lives in DC)...on Food Matters. (Live-streaming video of event.) I love those guys.

I answered the invite in time (for once). Now I vacillate between calling a human & cancelling so someone can take my place (huge crush of people want to be there) or waiting until last minute tomorrow a.m. I think: everyone else waits or they don't even bloody call or email & I'm worrying? About what? That I'll be thought rude, impolite. Oof.

ciao, bambini
buona notte

Friday, May 15, 2009

Week's End - Noah in Black & White

A very tough week finally winding down. I love this b&w shot of my youngest nephew (marred by my darn pen) from a few years ago. He's the smiliest person, so I wonder what he was thinking about. Mesmerized by the sound of the ocean, most likely. A day (a life) at the beach sounds fabulous right now....

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Famous Blue Raincoat

Aha. Never trust a writer, particularly one who is no, not 4am, not NYC. Was thinking about Leonard on tour (here a few days ago in DC...of course I couldn't go) & love triangles & so on. And I wanted to get these shots into the archives, & oh well. Cohen isn't satisfied with the lyrics & I understand why. I don't know anyone who is satisfied with most things they do. Here's a quote to BBC Radio, years ago:

"The trouble with that song is that I've forgotten the actual triangle. Whether it was my own … of course. I always felt that there was an invisible male seducing the woman I was with, now whether this one was incarnate or merely imaginary I don't remember, I've always had the sense that either I've been that figure in relation to another couple or there'd been a figure like that in relation to my marriage. I don't quite remember but I did have this feeling that there was always a third party, sometimes me, sometimes another man, sometimes another woman."

That isn't the 'trouble.' By the time you rework some things, you can forget your name, or would like to, or that was the purpose in the first place (if you admitted it). Also one suspects he's like everyone else: who wants to remember?

Still looking for a site for the still photographer listed in TEP credits (Phil Bray). This is also one of those it's-Egyptian-desert-Cairo-but-really-Tunisia deals. It's difficult to believe that I stood not far from where the top photo was shot, some years earlier; that was some taxi ride. Remain fairly obsessed by it (the desert). What is "fairly" obsessed? I don't know. Will edit. Maybe. [photographs are saturated, cropped, detailed, tinted, & sepia-ed by me. They were a mess on original downloads anyway. I think there's an actual making-of book & I'd love to have it. Maybe. Have to look at it first & then win the lottery.]

Off to ultra-scary dentist appointment...& no doubt people arguing about mustard on the Metro. (Yes, I'm talking about people talking about the President's moutarde choice. Criminy.)

photo credits /Phil Bray]-Update: 28 June 2009. Here is new link to Phil Bray Credits - looking for individual website, still.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Just so that I don't miss a day. I know, weird, dumb. Exhausted. I have to be to allow that title to run...

Moans all over DC (& elsewhere) today due to lack of invites to last night's WH poetry/jazz evening. I know a few who were there & they were very surprised to have been invited. I figure four (8! 8!) more years for a chance..though I'm not working it at all. Should I start now? I really don't feel up to it (I mean Washington-workin' it...totally up to going).

Some upset folks are really pretty young & they feel so left out; I do understand & feel sorry. But I wanted to say: how do you think so & so feels? They've toiled this soil for years before you were even born. But that is never a compelling or comforting thought, I know. Hurt feelings, hurt feelings. Everywhere you turn.

Looking for a silly photograph, like the goofy sleep mask photo in 'running on empty' & up pops my friend Henri in bed. (in Nice)..still working. And what do I espy in the slightly too-dark print (by Dmitri Kessel/LIFE archives)? A darling tabby. So of course, it was meant to be. In the notes to the shot, it says that Henri is sculpting a nude female figure. But of course...that scamp. [You can't click on a lot of these photos because I get "feedburner" alerts about the html code; for close-up, go here.]


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fragments of Memory, Italy

The English Patient stills are by Phil Brady; from various sources that are less-than-forthcoming. One is here. I'm still searching for Bray & a site for him. [Update: 28 June 2009; here is a Phil Bray Credits site. More as possible, especially if I can find one without irritating music snippets.]The snail shells that Kip made into little flares for Hana to follow reminded me of Venetian Alice Lucchin's photograph of a snail (la chiocciolina), it is much smaller than those in the film, but I like it. More pieces to come but the patterns in Ondaatje's novel...they're very much like a formal poem. Snails have repetitions in their anatomical chambers. Not exactly an original thought, I realize. I'm just trying to work something out here.

I couldn't resist putting in a photograph of a Tuscan landscape by one of my favorites, Giampaolo Macorig. Terrific guy & he concentrates on Rome, the South, & Sicily; but has a few Tuscan photos. Must overcome aversion to posting scenes in the region; it's not Tuscany's fault that it has been reduced to cliché.

I've seen the film only 3 times; twice when released in 1996. I accompanied a legally-blind friend (& poet) to help her "see" it, but she could make out nearly everything on her own; I think I was as excited as she was about the successful outing. She was so happy. The third time was the DVD a few weeks ago. I'm more familiar with the novel. However, the fresco scene brought me to tears in both the novel & film. And I've always said that if anyone gave me the gift of flying past frescoes, in Arezzo or anywhere else, I would marry them on the spot. Whether they wanted to or not - ha.

Monday, May 11, 2009



By Gjon Mili from the LIFE archives. (Mili photos of Françoise Gilot & Henri Matisse are in earlier posts) & here is Picasso drawing a vase of flowers in 1949. The others are from the Stravinsky Festival in 1972. Oddly, they remind me of The English Patient's (film) "fresco scene in Arezzo" with Juliette Binoche & the cute Kip (I know he's on that Lost thing, Naveen Andrews? Not looking it up now.) Spending quite a bit of (unwelcome) downtime figuring out pieces of personal Italian-Tunisian-rest-of-MEastern puzzle. Also preoccupied drawing a version of Matisse's flower-petal letters. This is where fever-pain & lack of calories gets you. Not too far. (Here's a link to a quick Lightwriting from Picasso to Lichtfaktor article; it refers to Mili & Picasso.)

Re: The English Patient (see here for The Clever Pup's excellent post on Theme Thursday "Fire" -- it's what set this whole thing off, really). I noticed in a still shot of Hana's flowered dress...that it's the same (or so close there's barely a difference) pattern as the top I wear almost every day. A French friend gave it to me for what I shall refer to as my period of avoirdupois. It's the most inconsequential (but pretty) top & I am asked quite often "where did you get that? Is it European?!" So funny. Now I know I should say: it's a frumpy floral from the forties. But that would not be nice, so I won't. Honestly, I'm much more polite than I seem on this site.

I would post those TEP photos but I think it's too much for Picasa at moment....& since I'm down for the count, I ought to leave something, anything for tomorrow. Clever Pup is spouting excellent haiku to VVG. All the sites in the right side-bar are doing something interesting. I just can't get to all of them to comment or even download 'til later. [The fun Tina Tarnoff tag can't be done until/unless it receives a bit more thought than I can bring to it now. Fun is serious business!]


Sunday, May 10, 2009

In the pink...

...OK, not really. I feel dreadful. What a bunch of well-meaning liars-with-pants-on-fire: it won't hurt.

So no, not Joan Collins with a pink dog; more like Lucy with an orange cat. This pix cracked me up. It was either this or "aspirin, it's what's for dinner" photo. This was funnier (& pinkier). Upright & outraged., earlier (see GG blog) but must lie down again. I can't even talk on the phone! (Not even the pretend on the phone with...., it's a Method thing...)


[via myvintagevogue/new blog on tumblr is down in right side-bar]

Friday, May 8, 2009

Week's End - Grace in Black & White

Just trying to get by, that's what. Doing the best I can. That's my response to the mean poet & financial success-through-you-don't-want-to-know-how writer about town. Yeah, I could've gone that route, too, & quite publicly did not. Posting in her blog & sending it to me (!) that this is pathetic, derivative, & so forth My posting images of "dumb stuff." Why is she looking in then? That's the first & last mention. What a way to end the week. (via scan from Hollywood Cats, see here for credits)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bicycling with Audrey

When in doubt, cheer up with Audrey. Feeling grim, so Audrey with Famous-in-a-basket (1964) is perfect. (via myvintagevogue; though I have multiple images of it, Jessica at mvv does a better job of formatting.) The clothes & shoes are like the ones my mother & I wore...simple, fresh, my favorite blue & white. Today I will be similar sartorially, except the pants & shoes (with rounded tips) are black.

Julie the Cat, friends & family agree, would be in heaven if she could ride in the front basket. of a bicycle Alas, bicycle is no more...but am determined to have one again & will indeed take her with me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Henri drawing in the light & dark...

Not much rhyme (or reason) but when has that stopped me? Last night, Gilot's book (see yesterday's post) beckoned. But 'me toof' is feeling uncomfortable, so merely looked at the lovely letters Matisse drew/wrote to Françoise (& Picasso)...adorned with flower/marguerite shapes. Really sweet. I'm going to write one using a similar design (& will credit HM).

Reading The Clever Pup's post yesterday (& today) on Van Gogh, Gaugin, & "The Ear" controversy/mystery keeps me thinking about the friendship & rivalries between & amongst artists (including writers/poets)...If one would have to choose a friend in this group, I would definitely choose Matisse. I'll be overly familiar & call him Henri.

Gilot writes that he was a kind man, even if he liked gossip (the "news" really), she never heard him be nasty. Liked juicy tidbits like anyone--particularly when he was laid up so terribly with his arthritis, I suppose. He was always busy soliciting art works for auctions to help Jewish children survivors & so on. Look at the Giulia Geranium blog even once & you'll know, if I didn't love him before (I did), now I swoon. I forgot that he was so involved. Partly this overly-emotional reaction is because I'm preparing to perish in a sweet-but-still-sadistic dentist's chair tomorrow. Sniff. Posting a photo tonight of Suzy Parker from a Coty ad...for fun. After midnight so technically I won't miss a day of posting. Oh roll your eyes, that's fine! Also I want to do Tina Tarnoff's tag but it will have to be on the weekend. Have a demonstration to attend (am I pest or what?) on Saturday, but Sunday should be free from rabblerousing.

These are from the LIFE archives (where else? I really need a camera). The light drawing is by Gjon Mili, in 1949. Must be from the same trip south to see Françoise & Pablo P. Mili took one or two with Picasso doing same. It's Mili playing with exposures....worse ways to spend some time, eh?

The b&w is by Dmitri Kessel in 1950 in Vence (Matisse is working on drawings for the chapel there. It reminds me of his letter-drawings to Gilot. The chapel & Vence are related to one of my writing projects... I just thought of it. That's why the blood oranges, figs, & photos of Vence from, a month or so ago? Just realized it.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Françoise in Light & Dark

So many people send me that American Girl in Italy postcard by Ruth Orkin. Some people (still) use a song's lyrics, too, & think they're complimenting me. It is one of my favorite Dylan songs but please. I was thinking about it when I saw these pix. [She's got everything she needs/she's an artist, she don't look back/ (She Belongs to Me)]

Françoise Gilot, annoyingly referred to only as "Picasso's mistress," in a multi-exposure by Gjon Mili. In the second she is drawing with light. Also by Mili. This was during a 1949 visit to Picasso & Gilot in Vallauris, France. Every time I see similar dates in Europe or Asia on a letter or photograph, I think this is but [ _ ] years after the cataclysm we call WWII. Reading Gilot's books & many accounts of other artists, writers, poets, philosophers, & intellectuals (not to mention everyone--but most did not write memoirs) who stayed -- or were trapped -- in France during the war is harrowing, sobering, & inspiring.

We have Picasso to thank for saving so many of Matisse's works. Of course, there was no small amount hilarity in the old bull's machinations; finally, a worthy use for his extraordinary powers of manipulation: confusing the Gestapo officers on a Matisse canvas hunt. (Picasso hid them in a complicated story. Which is how he tricked the Gestapo.) A synopsis of that some day...unless, hey Pup, Pup? You want to do it? I'm tired. My toof hurts. Well, at least everyone interested in the intersection of art-artists-the-world-in-crisis should (I think) read Gilot's excellent Matisse & Picasso: A Friendship in Art.

Can't get to the TTT tag today but will tomorrow (or ?). It's rainy, drippy, & oof. A creative & peaceful evening to all.

ciao, buona notte

On the phone & flustered...

...with the IRS (on hold on cell phone plugged into nearby outlet--battery two years & counting), 3 friends on NPR programs (that one on Fresh Air at 3pm EDT better watch it...grrr), my toof, my toof, Talented Tina Tarnoff tagged me & that's great & it will be fun to do. But then, why is everyone (OK, only three people but still...) on the radio today? (Oh, I'll be quizzed, believe me. And to download a podcast on this machine? Surely you jest.)

Must finish making soup, rice pudding (cracked toof)...but no vanilla-wafer cooking, here: ingredients include ceci, rosewater, spices, herbs..not in both; call evil utility company; re-sign lease; call two friends with birthdays, and and and, etc. If I post something here, now, & get "Tuesday" on page...then all will be, if not well, then calmer. My reporter/deadline training kicking into overdrive (unnecessarily, I might add before you point it out). Deep breath. It's only Tuesday. Must pace self. Must be more like knowing woman on phone above (Vogue 1948 via Jessica at myvintagevogue).

Gotta go...thanks again to The Clever Pup for giulia's geranium! xo. Happy belated birthday to Corine, who's hidden in France. TOT (The other Tina) is zipping around LA in a cherry red Vespa....

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beirut Balcony Baby

"A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” Groucho Marx

I have silly-sickness. And I'll be having a cracked tooth "diagnosed" late today & I'm a-feared. Don't hate me because I've never had a cavity. I had my wisdom teeth out (no cracks!) & that's it. I keep thinking of Marx Brothers lines like.."get your tootsie-frootsie ice-cream..." But instead of ice cream, here are two darling photographs of Merlin. He was born in Beirut (where these were taken years ago) & rescued from street urchins who knew nothing but war. He grew up & ruled a small kingdom in Washington, DC. Clearly, Merlin resembles Groucho. No matter what he looked like, I was vetoed roundly & soundly (except for one dissent) on name choice. Since I was not the guardian, I didn't get to choose. Still, every time someone new was introduced to (the Imperious) Merlin, "Oh he looks like...." No matter their state of origin, gender, religion, creed, etc. I still think that's funny.

[Groucho in a scene from A Night in Casablanca/LIFE archives/Bob Landry/1946]

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On the phone with Audrey....

It's dripping rain & I must go out. I am careful, yes, yes. I'll call you back tonight.

What? Honestly? Well, I think, as the kids say, "She's just not that into you." She is married, after all. Good God! What? No, I have a cracked molar & it just went ZING. Yes, stress-induced. Tomorrow. I'm going to the specialist late afternoon.

What else? Oh well, what isn't. GG's first birthday is tomorrow but I need photographs. Well, I thought Hello Kitty as I started the blog that way. You know, my hilarious essay "In defense of...?" Ah, no of course you don't remember. Yes, I finished it but it's not on the blog. Yes, I agree, it's an unpleasant-sounding word, "blog,"

The problem? I've employed so much LIFE archival material of late that LBJ's birthday photos are next. What? No, the other blog. The one you don't look at even though we're long-time friends...yes, that one. Humanitarian concerns, lovely photos, silliness. Uh huh. Method to the madness, as Will said. The cat, that's right. The orange cat. No, not Cat. This is Charade...that was Breakfast at Tiffany's.

[Oh, I do give up. Isn't there anyone in DC who is remotely like Audrey-Cary-Gregory-in-movies? Just in manners? Anyone at all? President Obama? Yes, I do think that's true. Do you really think he's going to look for photographs or help with a job on his BlackBerry? No, I don't think so either.]

Yes. I'll call you back, of course, I will. I always do. You're the one who doesn't. Ciao, darling.


[Audrey on phone via myvintagevogue/website is excellent]

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