Sunday, January 27, 2013


Rolling Stone Jan. 31, 2013
Winter will be easier to wade through as we have this March release date ... surely March will be the lion for it.  I've been waiting for Bowie to wake up from his sleep ... perhaps brought on by heart attack or living his NYC/family life, but I knew that this diamond dog wouldn't lie low for long. The first song is what I expect, the quiet entry into what surely promises to be ... pure Bowie.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

all that you can leave behind

Whole Living Jan/Feb 2013
I won't buy the book ... the review says it all. Written by Adam Phillips, an acclaimed British psychoanalyst, the review, written by Carmela Ciuraru, says:

"... much of our "so-called mental life" is spent fantasizing about what we don't have but wish we did. We are haunted by thoughts of what might have been, whether romantically or in our career choices. "In our unlived lives," he writes, "we are always more satisfied, far less frustrated versions of ourselves." The author argues against indulging in such wistful thinking. He urges readers not to dwell on supposed missed opportunities, which might have ultimately disappointed us anyway. "The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss," he says ... Phillips reminds us that to yearn for the unlived life is to sabotage the one we have."

hear, hear. Typically, I wouldn't just copy out of a magazine, but it is exactly what, unfortunately, a few people that I know need to come to terms with in their lives. I don't fall into this trap. I don't think that I spend my time fantasizing about 'what we don't have but wish we did.' I suppose that when one hits a certain age and I suppose that I'm creeping into that age zone, it's a normal pitfull. Especially if a spotlight is pointed at set-backs, break-ups, and frustration with not moving forward fast enough. I can see turn around, for some, to sift through the past to find a point of ... satisfaction or happiness. Of course, our memories of the past have been thoughtfully softened by our brain, and so they aren't very reliable. It's something to keep in mind.

But back to fantasy ... one of my favorite past times. No, I like to use all of the fantasy RAM for things that are more ... delectable. A little dot-dot-dot. Purely indulgent and having probably absolutely nothing to do with reality.

harry styles

Oh, I suppose that if I were 15, Harry would be really dreamy. I hear One Direction on the radio, and I don't hate them, but I don't really note them either. Packaged pop. Tied up in pretty little boxes with flashy paper and bubbly bows. Oh Harry, where will you be in 10 years? In the aged pop stars home with Justin, et al?

Oh sure, I had my David Cassidy as a kid. And he was so important to me! My own mother says that I am only attracted to handsome men 'cause of him. Maybe. He wasn't much different than Harry, though I got to watch him on TV every week in what seemed like a very realistic situation ... who doesn't sing with their family and drive around in a painted school bus going to shows??? The Partridge Family even came to Girl Scouts with me. At a spaghetti dinner night, I convinced the girls in my group to stage a performance of one of my favorite songs: "I Think I Love You." I really wanted to be Laurie, oh, she was so pretty. But I had to settle for Danny. Well, settle isn't exactly it. I was the director after all and could have been any one of the players, but I have red hair ... especially when I was younger ... so I thought it best that I play the red head in the group. I think that I remember that we were a big hit with our guitars cut out of cardboard playing to a needle on a scratchy record. Nice.

I wonder if girls are doing that stuff now? I would love to think that somewhere in America or anywhere else in the world for that matter, a group of girls are getting together at a pancake breakfast and lip synching to One Direction. They are serious. And they are in love. It's the best kind of love upon reflection .... a dreamy boy, only nice things coming forth from their lips, and none of the icky stuff. I guess that's what makes relationships so difficult as an adult ... because no one can be dreamy all of the time. Except in pop land.

Oh, Harry.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

iF poetry app

Tatler November 2012
Tatler magazine is a good one for promoting poetry, which I rather enjoy. A few months back, I published the bit about Simon Armitage, now we've got Allie Esiri. She is not a poet, but she and her friend have come up with a poetry app.  iF Poems, an anthology  app with more that 200 poems for Mac products. It is illustrated. And the poems are read by the very famous friends that she has ... Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, etc. Apparently, one can record one's own poem or reading and send it along to friends and family. How clever.

Sadly, the app is only available for IPhone or IPad or ITouch ... so I'm out. I would think that it would get working on my Mac, but no such luck. I will imagine that it is fabulous. How could it not be?

Gwen Stefani

Vogue January 2013
If I could be any rock star, I think that I would be Gwen Stefani. Of course, she is the only working woman rock star in an arena way we've got now, right?!

I bought the new No Doubt CD, their first in over a decade. I didn't pay it much attention, but I wasn't really ever a huge fan. I did like Gwen's first solo record, though she says that it wasn't really her. In the Vogue article she said, "I feel like we've (No Doubt) always been in our own little lane ... Never fitting in. Never a nineties grunge band, never a pop girl band. And it's the same now. I did the solo thing, but I felt like I was trying to play a character in a way, this Alice in Wonderland pretend version of myself. But this, being in No Doubt, is really who I am."

I guess that I sort of liked her as Alice in Wonderland. She does seem to live a fairy tale life. Hot rock star husband, together for 16 years. Two cute boys. A fashion empire. A band. And she always looks great ... original, fresh, and approachable.

She is, I imagine, the quintessential California girl.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

upstairs, downstairs

Where some may not look forward to the doldrums of January ... after the holidays, and usually when winter has set in and the cold nips. But I always looked forward to being tucked into my mother's couch after a delicious Sunday supper, glass of wine in hand, and a something new on Masterpiece Theater.  Just two years ago, 8 o'clock came and we entered into the world of Downton Abbey. Certainly we had heard of it, but other than the title and a few glimpses of it in PBS previews, we didn't know anything of it. And so the magic began.

Last week, the first episode of season three began. And with all of the press and spoilers and interviews and specials, it just felt a lot different. It wasn't a surprise. Oh sure, I loved the opening, and Shirley McLaine is a treasure, but ... it's become the blockbuster. It isn't the little engine that could, it is HUGE.  I'm not that keen on the blockbusters. I'd rather have the little gems ...

Tom Stoppard in fancy dress.
Which brings me to Upstairs, Downstairs. Season two came in the mail this week. And I've spent the last couple of evenings entrenched in the world of 165 Eaton Place. I've never seen the original series, and I should check it out. The new series is very stylized. If I were to compare it to Downton Abbey, I would have to say that is more intimate. For one, the house is in London where life is a lot different than life in the country. And the fortune isn't at issue. I am particularly drawn to the actor who portrays the man of house, Sir Hallam Holland. Man, he is so handsome. His name is Tom Stoppard ... I don't remember seeing him in anything else, but he has quite a resume. And for what it's worth, his father is the English playwright, Tom Stoppard. On screen, his eyes shine brilliantly. His intensity jumps out of the TV and right into me. He works in the foreign office, and in season two, the war draws closer and the seriousness of the clash with Hitler is realized.
Tom Stoppard in his hat!

Another character that I really like in this series is the Duke of Kent, the King's younger brother. He and Sir Holland are close confidantes. He's quite the dandy, and played rather gayly. Very interesting. So I checked the Duke of Kent out, and apparently he was really quite the party boy. And was involved in illicit liaisons with persons of both sexes, famous or not. It is said that he had an affair with Noel Coward. The two of them, the Duke and Holland, are often seated in a fine room with martini in hand, chatting, and listening to Billie Holliday. It's quite romantic. And I've wondered if Sir Holland hasn't only had an affair with his sister-in-law, but his the Duke of Kent as well.

Ah, I will be tucked in and watching Downton Abbey tomorrow evening, but no one on that show wears a hat like my man Holland. What it is about that? I suppose because we see it so seldom anymore. I know one man who wears a hat. I think that I like him best when he's got it on. So dashing. I can just imagine ... oh darling! oh no! don't take the chapeau off.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

don johnson?

Rolling Stone January 17, 2013
Boy, he's lookin' good.

I never watched Miami Vice or Nash Bridges. Or anything that he's acted in, but I know of him of course. And now he's in the new Tarantino's new movie, but I probably won't see that either. Not my kind of thing.

The article was a wash too ... drugs, babes, excess. Same ole, same ole.

But one thing that I did appreciate is when he told the writer, "See, I always figured it's be like what John Huston says in Chinatown: 'Old buildings and whores get respectable if they hang around long enough.' And that's what I was doing, hanging around, like an old building or a whore."

Yeah, I'm thinking that Don's the whore. I don't whether he's respectable or not, but he's easin' in to himself pretty darn good. ooofff.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

go notre dame!

my dad ... sometime in the '80's
Football was big in my house growing up. My dad worked a 6-day week, so we didn't have college football going on Saturdays, but on Sunday! The NFL ruled our day. We didn't only, or rather my dad, watch the Bears; I was aware of other teams as well. Most memorable to me were the Vikings, the Steelers, and the Cowboys. I'm not even sure why those teams stick out in my memory, but they do.

The most tragic thing that ever happened in our family as far as football is concerned is that in the year that the Bears actually won the Super Bowl, 1985, my dad was being prepped for surgery and missed the game! That was a cruel joke on him ... his beloved monsters of the midway in the big show, and he was down for the count.

Now Mr. Minogue across the street, he was the Notre Dame fan. He didn't work on Saturdays. And if he wasn't at the game in South Bend, you could hear screaming at the television from across the street as he watched his beloved Fighing Irish team. Oh how he would bellow! I imagine that he is a very happy man this weekend as his team prepares to play in the National Championship team against Alabama. I imagine him laying on the couch, eating his pretzels, and drinking Diet Rite Cola ... yelling at the game.

At Christmas, I was looking through an old box of pictures and found this one of my dad wearing a Notre Dame t-shirt. It is fitting that on this eve of the big game, I share it with you. Go Irish!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

another happy harry new year

Tatler November 2012

oops ... I was going to give you a little Harry for the New Year! Cheers ; )

another Great Expectations

UK Elle December 2012
I had forgotten that another version of Charles Dickens' classic tale, Great Expectations, was set to be released. The other was the BBC adaptation that was available stateside last spring. It was a wonderful 3-part telling of the story with a very spooky portrayal of Miss Havisham by Gillian Anderson. She played her very neurotically. I bought the series and have viewed it several times. The mood of the piece is very bewitching.

Aha! but this feature length version stars Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes. I can't wait to catch a glimpse of Helena ... she plays creepy so divinely. I just saw her last week in Les Miserables, and honestly, she was one of my favorites! How could she not be ... she just lets herself go. Her measure is enormous and she's always so cheekily strange. And what is to say about Ralph Fiennes? Brilliant. I just happened to catch a bit of the Goblet of Fire this week, and he was more than I could have ever imagined for 'he that shall not be named.'

This film was released in Britain in November, and from everything that I could find on it coming here, it's not. I can't really believe that, and I will have to make do with another treat that I read about in this issue of UK Elle ... a novel, Miss Havisham, written by Ronald Frame. It is an imagining of Miss Havisham's life before she was left at the altar. I put in an order for it ... and with good faith will follow up the read of it with a review. I liked the treatment of Wild Sargasso Sea as a prelude to Jane Eyre ... so I expect to be as delighted with this telling. If you haven't read Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, I would recommend it. It was good to meet Mrs. Rochester before she became the madwoman in the attic! She wasn't mad at all in Rhys' hands ... she was the product of a racist, sexist system which isn't much different now, I suspect.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

happy new year 2013

UK Vogue December 2012
Happy New Year! It's been a while since I've last posted ... been a bit busy with the holidays and writing poetry. But back in the saddle again.

I saw this great end of year music list in UK Vogue and rather prefer it to the standard 'top 100' of the year that I would listen to, especially as a teen. Naturally, a lot of the list is Brit-centric ... #2 is the National Anthem as it was the Jubilee year for Queen Elizabeth and the Olympics were hosted there. Funny, I was in England during the Olympics and every time that their anthem played, I had to remind myself that they weren't playing America the Beautiful. oops.

 I find it interesting that the Clash came in at #13 ... London Calling. I didn't hear it once played on any BBC radio as I knocked around in my car hire. Perhaps they didn't want an un-punk band to land in the number 13 spot ... unlucky as it may be. But I love the Clash, so cheers! And #20 reminded me that I needed to download a little Spice Girls for my ITunes library. They made the line-up for having performed in the closing ceremonies, and Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous-fabulousness has written a musical, Viva Forever!, using the power of the spice and their flirty, empowering girl-power themed pop anthems. I also appreciate that Pussy Riot made the list at #24 ... for Putin Lights Up The Fires. I think that we all need to write an anti-Putin song ... who is that guy?! I just watched Doctor Zhivago last night and wondered how Russia has changed at all in all of these years. Putin was all over it.

I wonder what I would put on my list of 30 for 2012? I would have to have a hard think on that. Short list, I would include anything from Jack White's Blunderbuss. That album was a constant in my ear for probably four months. Then I moved on to the Broadway cast album of Once. That didn't play as long ... but it got a work out. I've since moved on to Bruno Mars' new record ... I LOVE Locked Out of Heaven. And I like Muse's one song that I can't ever seem to name. It's been a quiet year for me musically. Oh, it's always a constant, but other than the above, I can't put my finger on what else stood out or that I played way too much!

Here's hoping that 2013 sees a lot more of repeat 'cause this is so damn good.