Monday, March 26, 2012

behind blue eyes

In an after work beer infused conversation, a couple of pals talk about the Who. I am not the biggest Who fan and said so. Long ago a friend said to me, you know, you either like the Who or Led Zeppelin, but not both. I so lean toward Led Zeppelin, but there are a few moments when what I wanted, what I needed, was the Who.

As a kid, I had older neighbor girls who turned me on to rock music at a young age. They started me with the Beatles, and then on to the Stones and Zeppelin. I had a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine when I was like ... oh, 13. When I wrote for my junior high school newspaper, I insisted on writing the rock column ... we had one issue, and I wrote about the Beatles.

In 1975, Tommy, the movie based on the Who's rock opera, was released. I was 13. It was the summer before my eighth grade year in school. There was nothing that I wanted more than to see that movie. I had to see it. And I nagged, and nagged, and nagged my mother... oh, you have to take me to the show to see this movie or else I will melt into a puddle right here in front of you. In 1975 going to the movies was a big deal. I may have seen five others before then. She finally gave in and took my brother, who was two years older, and I to the show. She dropped us off and said that she would be back to pick us up in a couple of hours. I was so excited! I was going to see a real rock opera! So on this hot summer day, my brother and I walked into an air conditioned theater, and I settled in to be rocked.

You know how it is when you really look forward to seeing a performance, whether film, concert, game, and you have to be like square in front of it. Feet firmly planted and hands tight on the arm rest. Trance-like I waited for the movie to begin, and as it began it was almost as if I wasn't there at all. I was in a place of pure exaltation, and then .... the power went out! And it didn't come back on! So we went to a pay phone and called mom to come get us. I was a sad kitten.

So I thought of this when we were talking belly up to the bar. And like any other work conversation, it drifted and I didn't think of it. Until this morning when I saw a text from the night before from a friend who had joined us later and had missed the whole Who conversation, he wrote, 'Behind Blue Eyes, The Who, 1971.' He had been telling me that he was a sad man. Of course, my first reaction was to respond to the connection. He had no idea that we were in Who-ville earlier, then he pulls it out as if he were there all along. The coincidence of it is enchanting. I texted back with that wonderment, and now I consider someone who is in a place where a song reads their life. That's usually a heady place. And I feel bad that my first thought was ... connection, not his lyriced life.

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
as my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

I read these lyrics and I can see some of him in the song. He is sad. His dreams don't seem to be empty. But he is not a bad man. I wonder if we don't fit into a song for but a few words, a line or two, and then we just of gloss over the rest since some of it is so dead on. How many times have I made up the lyrics of a song? I think that I know what is being sung, and come to discover that I got it all wrong. Maybe that's it, maybe he got it wrong. Ah, but he isn't that sort. He's someone that knows all of the words to all of the songs. He knows all of the words that are in his head. I wonder if he knew before this night that this song was his? Or was it that it hung overhead from what was the ghost of what had already been said.

I wish that I knew a song that was for that.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I will go to T.S. Eliot again ... 

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilac out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
                                   from the Waste Land

Ouch, right?! This year we've been experiencing the warmest end of winter that I've ever known or can recall. Last night I dreamily looked at warm, snugly pj's thinking that I would love to cozy up, tuck in, and get a good winter's night sleep. Instead, I went to cotton, threw off the covers, opened the window wide, and wondered if I was ever going to drift off ... and where is that damn fan.

Yesterday brought rain.

I have been struggling in the last week to adapt to the  sudden shift of season. I'm used to a long endured no-man's land volatility that bursts into summer in June. Not even April yet, and I feel the cruelty of it all as I pull myself up out of the drowse that is winter to face life.

Yesterday brought rain.

I turn my face up to the sun before the dark clouds cover it, and I feel it. I wriggle my toes, stretch my back like a cat who has uncoiled from a long nap, and feel ... desire for the day. My petals pull out of the seed, fan out, and a photosynthetic pulse puts a smile on my face.

Yesterday brought rain. And Spring.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Away with the Fairies

I have been absent. I haven't done much to account for the time gone, and I'm not greatly sure where I've been. And considering that, I presume that I've been away with the fairies.

The expression first appeared to me in an email. I subscribe to an UK newsletter,, that delivers all sorts of word goodies to my inbox. The meaning of away with fairies according to this source is, 'not facing reality; in a dreamworld.' Ah yes, a dreamworld. Where would I be without one of those? To face the brutal reality of day-to-day life that just keeps coming at me in rapid fire succession? Heavens no!

After I had read the entry for this phrase, I began seeing it everywhere. It's not surprising as a lot of fiction that I read, is Irish or English. Just recently I read the novel Ghost Light by Joseph O'Conner. I was drawn to the novel because it is a fictional account of the playwright JM Synge and his fiancĂ©e, the actress Molly Allgood. I read Synge’s work in graduate school and loved the Irishness of it. The novel was not what I imagined, but it was good enough. In it, O’Connor used the expression away with the fairies … that in and of itself was worth the price of the book.

The title of the book, on the other hand, is delicious. A ghost light is also known as a will o’ the wisp. Oh I love a will o’ the wisp … but my idea of it is different than what it is known. I was under the impression that it was a character that flits across pastures and through wild flowers reciting poetry. She, and it always is a she in my imagining, is dressed in a floaty shift of chiffon, and her hair is decorated with the flowers from the field that she traverses. She is not high or drunk; rather she is quite alive and channels the beauty of the environs and the rhythm and rhyme of the poetry. In the film, Cold Comfort Farm, based on the novel by Stella Gibbon, one of the characters, Elfine Starkadder is what in my mind a will o’ the wisp is. She is who I fashioned a Halloween costume on once years ago. I don’t think that I quite pulled it off … it was more comical, than poetic. Oh Elfine! That is a will o’ the wisp, eh?
But back to what the intended meaning of the word given my limited, though satisfying, research. The will o’ the wisp, or ghost lights, are luminous balls of light seen moving around … bogs, swamps, and marshes. According to, a very reliable source I’m sure, says that ghost lights have been ‘scientifically’ recognized since the 1970’s. I choose to believe this. But beyond that, and much more tantalizing, is the idea that the ghost light is the light left on in the theater at the end of the evening so that ghosts have a light by which to perform. And hence the title of O’Connor’s book. Lovely.
And back to away with the fairies … that’s where I’ve been. Someone had left a light on for me to follow and moved to another … world. One that protected me from whatever was threatening to take me out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Lady of Shalott

Vogue 2011

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
                                                                    from The Lady of Shalott
                                                                    by Lord Alfred Tennyson

A friend was listening to the Band Perry, a sister and two brothers, while we were driving to brunch on Sunday. I remembered seeing their music video on VH1 and thinking ... the Lady of Shalott.

Their song goes:

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of love ....

And then I remembered the beautiful editorial in November 2011 Vogue of Rooney Mara, the actor of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I haven't seen the movie, but I have seen stills of her in costume, and I was wowed by the contrast of the Vouge pictures. Mara is the antithesis of what her character I am led to think is.

In my hours today, I couldn't help but wander to the vision of the damsel floating beautifully in a river that just as well be of her tears. Love has not found her in life, but in death. It is a darkly romantic notion. How many times have jilted or unrequited loves felt that if only they disappeared, the beloved would mourn the absence of what could have been if only it had been found.

Found. How is that spell cast? I too have seen 'the helmet and the plume' of a prince; my mirror has cracked and I am so too doomed. Oh! wicked March with your lion's coming, I am a lamb that cannot stand the roar. I want not sink in a river at dawn, rather I find that I want to nuzzle in a furry mane all of the hours of light and dark. I'll paint my lips red and wear a gown of satin. Water will not freeze my lungs, and I will hold on until I find my Camelot.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Vogue 2011
I didn't see War Horse in my Oscarian race to see all of the nominated films this year. I wanted to see it, but in London as the stage production. At last year's Tony Awards, I was thrilled by the performance and the ... horse puppets?!

Vogue 2011
But this dreamy young man is also the Pip in the upcoming Tim Burton version of Great Expectations. I've gushed about wanting to see the BBC's version of it that aired at Christmas, but I also can't wait to see this. Tim Burton?! Helena Bonham Carter will play Miss Havisham ... and Ralph Fiennes, Magwitch. It will be dark, brooding and capture the ... moors and cold-heartedness that Dickens describes in his novel.

Now, I am reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. It is Jane Eyre, but set in the 20th Century (late -50's and 60's so far). It is literally the same story. Jemma is Jane. And so far in the read, the same events have occurred. I had read reviews of it in both Vogue and Elle, I believe. I've always loved the story of Jane Eyre, I have seen the many BBC and movie versions of the story, and have read the book several times. The novel was hard to get into at first because it is ... the same as Charlotte Bronte's, but I've managed more and I'm clipping along as I am so familiar with it, and it is a story that I love. I do look forward to Livesy's Rochester! What will he be like in 1965?

But I am much more excited about Great Expectations on film and on the telly because they will be presented in a different medium. And that's what makes it interesting. Yes, the story is fantastic, but it has been told, and well since it has been reproduced so often ... Great Expectations and Jane Eyre. What I look for in film/tape is how the director sees it ... how will he cast these characters that are old friends, and how, in both stories, will the moors be set. And since I imagine that both are set in the period, I say, lucky me. I want to see the story told in the time that it was written. Oh, I am not a bugaboo and think that it would inauthentic to set it in the future, but ... not for these stories. I think that I had the version of Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke in my Netflix queue for a minute, but I never did get around to seeing it. I mean, why? Just give it to me as it is. I promise that I'll watch every version ... more than once.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Les Exclusifs

Vogue November 2011
The first time that Chanel started to offer their Les Exclusifs, I couldn't wait for my first smell. I had to go to the Chanel store to check it out, and armed with the descriptions of the six in the new collection, I was prepared to choose one. Of course when you spend time smelling six, they all begin to run together and it was very difficult to make a decision. Plus, at $250 a bottle, I wanted to make sure that I chose the best one.

In the end, I bought Bel Respiro because it was so different. It is meant to be the scent of ... oh, I don't remember, but one note I do ... grass. It is not something that I would typically purchase, but I enjoy it. I have not gotten to the bottom of the bottle, but it's good for summer days. Fresh, natural, and clean.

The next bottle I bought from the collection was Cuir de Russie. I don't have any of that left ... it's scent was leathery, heady, and yet, still quiet. I sprayed 6.8 ounces all over myself and quickly ran out.

I have been hesitant to go back to Chanel to purchase another big bottle. I love FRENCH perfume. And have, of course, Chanel #5, which is my signature scent. It is the one my grandmother wore, and I am not one to shy away from what the old people like! Last year, I started on my Hermes kick. An old male friend used to buy Hermes ... I think that I bought a few bottles for him myself, but something about that kept me from testing one for me. But when I was at a perfume counter once, a very knowledgeable sales associate said, oh, have your tried this ... Hermes. I said, oh no, I'm a Chanel girl. To which she said, which do you wear? When I told her the Chanels that I do wear (5, 19, 22, and the Exclusives), she said, oh! you must try this! Goodness. She hit it right on the mark, and then she went on to talk about how Hermes is one of the few houses that has its own nose! Well, how can you argue with that?! I've now got two Hermes scents, sometimes wearing them together. And they are near to the bottom ... oh, so much more sad than the end of a wine bottle if you can believe it.

I ran across this article that I had torn out to consider and thought, well, maybe ... I love lavender. And the idea that it is the note in men's cologne ... that would be nice to feel like I'm wearing a man all day. But 6.8 ounces and $250?! I asked once at Chanel, why can't you make these in smaller bottles ... I would buy ... more! Today curiosity got the best of me and I decided just now to look up this new Jersey. And ... it now is available for 2.5 ounces for $110! And Chanel doesn't charge shipping costs. Of course it doesn't ... and choose two samples?! I pushed send.

Oh this could be trouble.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nice Hair

Vogue March 2012
This is just gratuitous. Man, he's got a ferocious head of hair. Small man, big hair. I think that I want to see him in this movie.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Great Expectations

Vogue March 2012

Look at the person on the left. He is the actor who played Mr. Thatcher as a young man in The Iron Lady! He was wonderful in the movie as much as he was in it. Of course what caught my eye ... is how cute he was! One flashback scene to a seaside vacation he and Margaret took with their young children had me swooning over him. He had on some zippy ocean blue straight legged pants rolled at the hem and Oxfords, no socks, on his feet! I thought to myself, I want to wear that!

And here he is in the BBC version of Great Expectations that I am longing to see. And he is a great, great, great how ever many times grandson of Charles Dickens himself. Oh, he really is quite dreamy. And what did I tell you, if there is a you out there, about young Pip .... hmmmmmmm. I can't wait!

So back to the outfit ... I found in InStyle last month a great pair of Oxfords that I thought would capture the life of what I imagined the shoes and the pants in the movie to have! They were an aqua blue suede Bass shoe, and do you know that those darn things aren't on the web site! This is the second time that In Style has sent me on a wild goose chase for something that appeared in the magazine, was said to be found online, and drat! not there. I can find the blue pants alright ... but those shoes?! Oh where or where can I find them?

To have the shoes, is to have a little of him. Rather silly,eh?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Vogue March 2012
This is Alexander McQueen.

When I turned the page to this, I exhaled. The photograph is a thing of beauty, and I wonder is it the dress or that? Is it a model or a sculpture? Is the body standing or floating? Is it Heaven or Earth? Is it a woman or an angel?

It is transcendent. It pulls me from a windy, long March day and takes me to another world. I am enveloped with beautiful coral-ed silks and I float. Weightless. I will lie down to sleep and dream peacefully, softly, and an angel will protect me from the nightmares that could come.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Patsy and Edina

Vogue March 2012
I had a wonderful Christmas ... and with that being said, I should have been in England! On Christmas day, Brits got three very special presents from the BBC.

One, the start of a multi-segment Great Expectations! No, not the Tim Burton one that is in production in the States, but a mini-series ... more than a 2-hour feature. Oh, how delightful. The young man who plays Pip is handsome and broody if I remember him correctly from a magazine photo.

Two, the first installment of Downton Abbey Season 2 was shown. No need to comment on the fabulousness of that now!

And la piece de la resistance?! ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS 20th anniversary special. Oh how I would have loved to have seen it ... and, oh how they'll make me wait to see it on this side of the pond. What could those girls be up to? I'm dying to find out.

sister Karen as Patsy
My favorite episode of their's is Donkey. I like it for two reasons. One, it considers the idea that in every relationship, one is the race horse and the other the donkey. For them, Patsy is the race horse and Edina is the donkey. Of course Edina is very happy with this notion! She thinks that she is the race horse ... and in some ways, she may be. It seems that Edina is the one who banks their escapades. We never see Patsy's house ... and so on. Edina is her caregiver. Yes, that might be a stretch .... certainly it seems that she needs one of those too. Oh! she does. Saffron! The best line for this vein of the episode is when Patsy explains that two race horses cannot be together because they would, 'kick the shit out of each other.' I imagine that to be true.

me as Edina leaning on a bee
The other vein is that of labels or crutches or things about oneself that everyone else knows to be true of you. Patsy has her fringe ... Edina is fat. Edina, stunned by this revelation, decides to do a de-tox and boot camp exercise regimen. It seems so like something I would do .... something that I have done! Oh yes, I can prove to the world that this fat arse can move and I can lose a stone or two. In the end, even though she is lookin' good, Edina is still fat. That's what the perception of her has been by her friends, and it is one that won't change even if she were the opposite of it. People get stuck into typecasting ... it doesn't just happen in Hollywood.

So the bigger theme is: can one get out of what one's role is? Can someone who has always been one thing, change into another ... in the eyes of others. For Edina ... no. I am more hopeful for those around me. Of course the bit about the race horse and the donkey? That's spot on.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sea Fashion

Elle March 2012

March is the perfect season for mermaids as it is the month of St. Patrick and the Irish hold faithfully to their tales of the sea, and apparently the world of fashion is in agreement. This lovely Versace is coral-esque. Secret coves are built in to shelter the tiniest sea creature or wee fish from danger. If the Chanel dress a few posts back was the froth of the waves, this is certainly the depth of the seas that is protected from the waves by the deep it is in.

I'm convinced that designers have secret meetings to discuss an overarching theme for a season's collection. How else is that everyone has gone, not nautical with the requisite navy blue and stripes; rather, more mythical with its froth and coral. I imagine Poseidon to appear with his trident rising from the depths of the ocean to protect the lovelies that are dressed in their sea-silk grasses.

I approve of this trend. I would love to wear a dress of the sea and carry an oyster-bag. I listen to the shell I have in my home and hear the sounds that would surround me as I let the pulse of the tide ride over me and out into the depths of what I cannot fathom.


Rolling Stone March 1, 2012

I love Madonna. Do I love her now? Maybe not as much. She is painful to watch sometimes as she navigates being 50 and being relevant. I would admire her more if she were .... well, still Madonna. Instead, she's become a hologram of her former self. The accent. The strange theatrical diction when speaking. Her freakishly perfectly sculpted physique.

What's a bummer is that she probably wouldn't like me very much. I don't have 10% of the discipline that woman must have. I'm fluffy, heavily and  locally accented, and stylishly imperfect.

But that's what she was ... back then. I don't mourn for her, but I would find her more interesting if she were more authentically Madonna, and not some cartoonish version of herself.

Still, I pay attention. And will buy her new CD that will be released this month ... even though the first single is a bit .... teenagery for her to be singing. Granted, I was in the grocery store singing it last weekend. Damn that catchy 'l-u-v Madonna ...'

In Style March 2012
And in paying attention ... oh, the joy it it brings. The  bit I liked best of the Super Bowl performance was when she jumped up on the shoulders of Redfoo of LMFAO. That is when she actually looked like she was having fun. Then I read this interview with Redfoo in Rolling Stone and I laughed out loud when he reported that she told him that he would have an easier time of lifting her up if he worked out more ... maybe some jump roping would be good! She's a good one for advice. I remember when she made the 4 minutes video, Justin Timberlake was feeling peckish, and Madonna told him to drop trou', and she stuck him in the ass with a hypodermic needle full of B12. Mama!

Speaking of cone bras and how Madonna has impressed the consciousnesses of the masses ..... I never looked for or bought a cone bra, but I did do the boxer shorts as outwear look from Desperately Seeking Susan during college. And then when Papa Don't Preach hit, I was totally into the idea that when I got cash, I would buy beautiful crucifixes to wear. What I think that I have always loved about Madonna wasn't always what she was wearing or what she was singing, but how she always transformed and moved toward different directions. And I appreciate that about her. She's flitting through, trying on all of her fancies. I only wish that she would settle into the idea that as she moves though, she does pick up years, and that should be reflective in her sense of being. Fighting it as she appears to do, makes her look tired. And I don't want that for her. I want her wide awake and having fun jumping up on Redfoo's shoulders in front of an audience of millions.