Monday, May 31, 2010

Dream Sleep

Good night from Julie the Grand Poobah's apartment. (Well, why pretend that I'm in control? I was up heating her favorite food at 5am & no, that is not usual.) I'll be off tomorrow doing all sorts of things, worthy & a bit of fun, too. But right now, I'd just like to crawl into this photograph & go to sleep. I'm not complaining, I love my terracotta-colored walls (a collaboration with an artist friend & self). Julie wants a pouf or ottoman to curl up on--so she can be more of a focus. Oh, why not? Many lovely (& some quite cheeky) blogs & sites both here & on Giulia Geranium. Good night, all.

[room interior via
miss wallflower, via we heart it]

A Kiss in Times Square

I wasn't going to post today but Edith Shain (see above--she's the nurse:) will be an honored guest in The National Memorial Day Parade today. How could I resist? If you're in DC & see this, here's a link to parade info--it begins at 2pm. There will be live video (I think). Have a safe holiday (anywhere you happen to be).

Update, Later that day: Dear Anonymous Weisenheimers, I well know just what the day commemorates. NACP - No. Anonymous. Comments. Period. If you're that angry, froth elsewhere. Cheerio.

[Kiss in Times Square on V-J Day, Alfred Eisenstaedt, August 14, 1945 via LIFE Archives]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week's End - For Daphne on the Beach

...who got away & did not turn into a laurel tree, after all.

A toe touched the tip of North Africa & I took off,
ran, ran, ran along the beach,* shouting over loud waves, too loud for the Med, really, about finally getting to the continent. Possibly I was shouting in my head. Only recently 18, one would've thought I'd journeyed that long to get there. I knew it would be a long haul to get from there to the rest-of-there. Must always remind people, "Africa is a continent, the largest."

Three companions & the beach caretaker (who became a self-appointed guardian & two-week Arabic tutor), maybe they were rolling their eyes. It was the far end of dusk, so I didn't see & for once I didn't care what anyone thought about my exuberance.

*I love these photographs by Rengim Mutevellioglu. They remind me of the eastern Mediterranean shore (the top one is marked as 'Beirut' here, but not on RM's CV, nor on Kropp Creative Database). Definitely check out Rengim's portfolio - a 19-year-old Russian living in Paris.

NB: re pix & labels. I know Lebanon is not in Africa, people, but I was near Carthage & that means something to me, if no to one else. Additionally, that first NA trip coincided with the beginning of the Lebanese civil war...the story of begging an unaccountably smitten young English diplomat in Tunis to get me, g-damn it, on a plane to Beirut or Damascus is for another time. (I've possibly said too much already & have to check.) I conflate those two places because they conflated & collided simultaneously in my life & in other people's lives, many whom I'd yet to meet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


A great storm is on the way. Exciting if, big IF, we don't lose power for a week+. Julie is causing/having a mini-tempest; off to see to HRH's latest complaint about the service. Go to the link to see the original size of this very cool photograph by Giampaolo. All those punctuation marks are birds... ciao

Here's Your Hat...

Though it sounds very Blondie (the comic strip, not Deborah Harry), I need one more (hat). It's so hot outside that I'm delaying errands until early evening (when the hail & thunder will no doubt arrive...timing is not my forté), hence the hat hunting. The b&w Nina Leen photographs were shot for fun. Perhaps that's why Suzy Parker popped the goofy number on her head. It's definitely a case of "one of these things is not like the others." (I love the blue dress.) And that's why I need one more hat; I miss my beloved messed-up (real) Panama. It's less girly when that is necessary & it has a coolness factor that I need.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, I left the hat in my mother's car. It was a somewhat contentious weekend & very hot, as well. I painted a lot of trellises, pruned a lot of roses, & whatever else was on her list. She popped out to do some errands & a pint of Ben & Jerry's was placed in the upended hat. Panama hats can withstand a lot of abuse, but a desert-battered chapeau will go to hat heaven when it becomes a Chunky Monkey Lake. I don't even like that flavor!

[I can't remember where I got the color Suzy pix but myvintagevogue has a very nice selection, so here's that link. The Panama is via Village Hat Shop (dot) com]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tales of the Islander

Got to feel it all/No time for sleep/No time at all...

The paintings of Walter Anderson, especially The Cottage Murals, inspired this beautiful song by Caroline Herring. Caroline gave a stunning performance on A Prairie Home Companion last Saturday night. As she sang, all I could think of was the ongoing BP-Gulf disaster (you'll see why). The David Byrne-directed video is terrific & interspersed with more Anderson images & information about him, a true eccentric & treasure. A huge part of me is relieved that he's not here to see this, it would surely kill him. Update two minutes later--the Gulf disaster; I doubt the video would kill him.

I hope you will visit your favorite music site & download Caroline's music. Here's her website; the songs change two at a time so you can sample them. If you need further recommendation, Julie is a huge fan & cat-gallops to the source upon hearing the opening of Tales of the Islander. (She really does.)

PS: There's some sort of trouble with the YouTube video--I dis-enabled cookies & now it doesn't seem to want to play. Pls click through to the link to Caroline's website. It's really worth it.

[Horn Island by Walter Anderson via Smithsonian American Art Museum; roseate spoonbills in flight by Kerri Oddeni via From the Bay to the Bayou; Caroline Herring by Jeffrey Fasano (on CH website)]

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love & Fury

Here are some no particular order.

From an article in the Telegraph; this latter part cracked me up (which I need because at the moment, growl...):

"... But for many sisters competitiveness and a loving rage is what binds them. In her biography of the writer Rebecca West, Victoria Glendinning tells the story of going to lunch with West and her sister, the surgeon Dr Letitia Fairfield.

It was 1975 and West was in her eighties. Her sister, aged 90, did most of the talking, while West fell into "the well-rehearsed role of recalcitrant younger sister... sighing loudly, casting her eyes up to heaven, looking at a nonexistent watch on her wrist, while her sister's voice winds on".

The sisters boasted and squabbled about their aristocratic connections, "calling each other 'dear' with emphatic frequency". The moment Fairfield left the room, West remarked: "Now you see. She's always been like this. I've had to listen to her all my life."

Which, as sisters don't tend to gush about each other, is really as close as one could get to a declaration of the love and fury that is so often the hallmark of the sibling bond.

[Vanessa Redgrave & Lynn Redgrave; Suzy Parker & Dorian Leigh via LIFE Archives; Catherine Deneuve & Françoise Dorléac via]

One Too Many Mornings

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan, you cranky cuss. I was slow off the mark (again!) & La Clever Pup beat me to it. Here's her post Not Dark Yet.

The image here is via BabyBlueOnline. The longish quote because the painter deserves credit (though only the painter's sibling is named. Hmmm.).

"One of our regulars here at the cafe, Dabney Oakley, has sent us a painting done by his sister in 1964. The story is that a "'Bob Zimmerman' was visiting a friend at Randolph-Macon Womans College in Lynchburg. Not looking like the usual prepsters from Hampden-Sydney, Washington & Lee, or UVa, he was asked to 'sit' for a 'Studio Portrait Class.' The portrait shown was done by my sister. I'm sure there are others 'out there,' too."

Would love to know more about those paintings (that college isn't far from here & friends teach/have taught there). Alas, one more cup of coffee is needed on this new morning. (OK, I'll stop.) Still, hey painter lady--get in touch.

Some years ago I attended a Dylan birthday party (no, he wasn't there). My then-newish boyfriend looked at me in muted horror (it's possible, believe me. He was a diplomat's son from a Byzantine culture - well, that's redundant. Levantine with the Byzantine diplomatic background overlay.) I assured him the tiny harmonicas thrust at us upon arrival were party favors, nothing more. He parked himself in a corner with Dylan (the Resident Cat) & fiddled around with the plastic. An hour later, he played something (don't remember what). Not bad though, not bad at all.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week's End - Seaside

Oh, I was going to write such cheeky nonsense. But it was very hot today, the ride home on Metro unpleasant. A visit to a large garden, on the tidal Potomac, was lovely. The climbers & shrub roses were stunning; very cottage garden, Gertrude Jekyll-y (everything can be an adjective when one is this tired), unpretentious, clotted cream dense, & blown-out. If I weren't such a good girl, I might have pinched one. People were there for a wedding rehearsal; we didn't go near them as I was afraid I'd yell out: Don't do it!

This morning, I downloaded four ocean-wave-seagull-iTune thingies. I'm off to lie in front of a fan with the feline, fall off thinking of Chincoteague, the Outer Banks, or generous Giampaolo Macorig's Mediterranean
seascape with the long view perspective. I'm trying to attain one of those, as well.

Have a dreamy weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sleep On It

On a search though it won't be these...& the poem &/or essay is not about safety railings & crib recalls.

A friend (who never comments here) sent an e-mail memo detailing what is wrong with the blog...ahem. She meant well but a bit of advice: if someone hasn't asked for your opinion about a painting, a poem, a song, your new hat, your latest wacky outfit, etc...stifle yourself. I know that's supposed to be a bad thing, but I don't think so. People have blogs for different reasons. I've been quite clear about mine. (And I am looking for a new bed frame, so this is fun. A lot of white rooms but I'm not feeling that tonight. Next week.)

Off to gardens tomorrow with Maria Caterina di Perugia. The only thing is, I find very few lovely straight (single) men go to these gardens. Well, it'll keep my mind on the David Austin rose collection. (Sob.)

[photographs via here, here, here, & here]

Verba volant, scripta manent

Words fly away, writing remains.

(One of several ways to translate, don't argue, I'm not up to it today. Truly.) Latin Phrases link for amusement. [photograph by Phil Bray]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


All types of egrets--I love them & associate them with Chincoteague/Assateague*. Here's a link to Birds of Assateague. That's where the little ponies hang might remember Misty of Chincoteague. The link has some terrific videos of the scenery, birds, & sea. You just haven't lived, I think, unless you see the wild ponies running on the beach. My favorite place on the East Coast, perhaps in the States (outside of a few cities/towns). Unfortunately, it has been invaded by something worse & more obnoxious than kudzu. More on that another day...not in the mood to be sued.

*This barrier island, along with nearby islands and lagoons, is important for migrating birds. It's a World Biosphere Reserve of the United Nations because of its great ecological value.

[real bird photo via Birds of Assateague; girl-egret via
bomehian punk tumblr; coincidentally also the tumblr for today's automatism post (right sidebar)]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lunatic on Bulbs

Well, that's what she said. (Emily Dickinson). I'm preoccupied with gardens, the lack of one, & so on lately/always. Tiger lilies mean something to me (& to Miss D), these illustrations were in a folder, & I finally read this NYTimes article Emily Dickinson's Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens. It's on through 12 June. G'night.

[botanical image via Ray Allen's; second image Flora's Feast, a Masque of Flowers by British illustrator Walter Crane; third, guess who?]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Top Hat

It's raining, the world is a mess (gee, thanks BP for making it so much worse), but I'm resisting one of my gloomy, moody umbrella photographs. Because of the now-dead-in-the-water "Top Hat" idea to contain the spill in the Gulf, I keep humming the song. From the
Fred & Ginger movie. Which is massively irritating & ruining a re-viewing. Fume.

If you missed SNL's cold opening about LLPOF* BP's list o' let's try-it-maybe-it'll work, you should take a peek. The Dolphins with Mops idea -- it will take some time to find a suitable photograph. I'll stick with the stuff I'm writing off-line. But if I could draw...[photographs via &]

*As in liar, liar + trousers a-lit, smokin', flaming, spontaneously combusting, etc.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Week's End - Mirage/Mirare

Some additional The English Patient stills (by brilliant Phil Bray). I've used them to help with some research/writing prompts & as I'm metaphorically stuck in the desert/Middle East (& Italy), they continue to resonate. The shots in the Cairo apartment were not done there but I could swear they were shot in the Garden City quarter. Those maniacal production artists.

By the way, I recently read the late (so sad) Anthony Minghella's award-winning screenplay & it is well worth buying for any would-be adapters, fans of the film & novel. You'll find that many things you think are in the novel are not - they're in the screenplay; since it didn't bother Michael Ondaatje, it sure doesn't bother me. I am sorry there aren't more stills available of the Hana/Kip story thread; I have some in folders, but that can wait. I'm beyond indulging myself here. [many images from; other credits, from here. But everything really comes down to Phil Bray.]

Have a great weekend.

Rose Clothes

[Nina Leen/LIFE archives]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Roses in May

I have to live vicariously through a friend redoing a garden (or rescuing it). She didn't know David Austin roses & so I gave her my catalogue which she has devoured.* Just spoke with her & she's chosen a lovely climber, Abraham Darby. It will work here in our annoying climate. These photographs are from the D.A. US 2010 catalogue. Here's the link to order one. Many years ago a British friend introduced me to them...when you had to order from the UK. No longer, yay.

*She's ordered a new catalogue & will give it to me; I need it, along with a decent fan/& or heater, to get to sleep. It's my bedtime book.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leonor in Black & White

That is, painter Leonor Fini (1907-1996) born in Argentina, raised in Trieste, & lived in Paris. Her traumatic early life as a pawn of warring parents on different continents couldn't have helped, surely hurt this person. What makes me laugh is that though considered a Surrealist, ah non, she refused the 'honor'. But of course, that didn't annoy the Surrealists. Her personal wild style apparently rivaled only Dali. Now that, might interest some of you. (I'm not a big Wikipedia fan but this page seems fairly good.)

No time, nor energy to write something as The Clever Pup [right sidebar] surely would, but I want to post the photographs before some wild thunderstorm arrives. Here is an excellent summation from the Leonor Fini page on Lenin Imports. The photographs are via the LIFE Archives (John Phillips, 1947) & Museo Revoltella. On that site, there are pages for a Fini exhibit in 2009 . Also an interview (in Italian). The third photograph reminds me of an old Bedouin in North Africa. Not sure if that was what she was going for, but it seems so. But I'm in that desert-frame-of-mind. So.

Oh, yes, Leonor also loved cats but possibly took this too far.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blonde with Black Umbrella

I saw this* the other day & it keeps popping out of pix files. If I post it for Tina, Our Lady of the Pink Gloves, Black Cats, Eden climbing roses & much else at The English Muse, it'll leave stay where it belongs & send her good cheer at the same time. Buona fortuna, Tina.

Update: I'm so very sorry to report that Tina's beloved father, John Daunt, passed away on Wednesday, 19 May 2010.

[*Tina has an excellent copy but I cannot locate it quickly on any of her blogs. To avoid an unnecessary nervous breakdown, it appears via way-too-many-places w/out attribution via we heart it. Got that?]

Nick, the Sicilian Druid - 2 Kids & a Dog

Do you want to laugh?

I had other plans but they're grim compared to 2 Kids and a Dog's latest episode. Watch as Nick & his father-in-law have a misunderstanding (perhaps abetted (?) by Alexia) about, let's call it provenance. I've not asked Alexia yet if I can embed the video, so please do click. They are a funny, funny family. On further thought, this is more on the fly than usual, start with May's first web episode (all very short), so you can follow this hybrid Highlander-Sicilian-Roman family in their quest to honor Alexia's heritage. (Her father wrote a book about his family history from Scotland to Virginia. Alexia grew up near where I live now.)

Now I have to go get ready for a Frenchie & fils visit.

Update early evening: Farewell, Lena.

[I've no time to be clever about photographs. It's Fred Astaire's birthday & for possible post on Funny Face I had this in a folder. Therefore, via Fred & Audrey feeling silly.]

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Garden Party Hats

Not everyone finds it easy (or even possible) to choose a suitable parental day celebration card. This is not because there's an overabundance to choose from. Think about it before you send email & the like to friends whose mothers (&/or fathers) you know to be, uh, not nice. I like the photograph because I've been looking at hats & it reminds me of some personal family photos from the 1950s & 1960s. Especially hats & grabbing a flower just before the white shutter noise started. That merciful noise that made some people straighten up, shut up, & otherwise behave, if even for a few moments. On that cheery note, have a peaceful day (really).

Friday, May 7, 2010

Week's End - Docking & Mooring

I just lost an argument with a cat & feel ridiculous. (I could almost blast off like a rocket--so it really is about evil news abroad in the world. Julie & I see eye to eye on politics--that's a condition for living in this apartment. Otherwise, she'd kick me out.) Having returned from a lovely outing, I was going to post on it. But someone is not cooperating.

I have a new hat (a gift! I am a hat person) & coral geraniums for my window box. I'll have someone take a photograph over the weekend; perhaps with me in it (the hat, not the geraniums--I can't wear coral though I do love it). Part of me would rather walk across hot coals than post a clear photograph. Too many taken in a lifetime can make one camera-shy...I wouldn't have thought it. (No, I didn't ask Julie to take a photograph; merely asked her to sit still for two seconds (!) as part of a genius somewhat-still life. Have a great Friday/Saturday wherever you find yourself.
[Rings bokeh by talented & generous Olga]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Outbound Plane

I don't wanna be standin' here/Don't wanna be talkin' here/And I don't really care who's to blame/'Cause if love won't fly on it's own/Free will/It's gonna catch that outbound plane.-Nanci Griffith & Tom Russell

I have to cool things down from last night. Do a search for "oasis" & most of what pops up quickly are those copycat, feuding Gallagher brothers. New-to-me-scanner/printer soon. Meanwhile...I wish I had my own environmentally-selfish plane this afternoon. This is via myvintagevogue, a terrific site. See you later.