Monday, November 30, 2015

Barbra Streisand

Harper's Bazaar October 2015
I guess that every little girl wanted to be Barbra Streisand back in the day. Donna Karan did. It says so in this article that she idolized her and tried to copy her look when she was a teenager. Look where she is now ... at the hand of the great.

Growing up, I didn't want to look like Barbra. I was too young when I was introduced to her to want to look like a grown woman. But oh how I wanted to be able to sing like her. My father was a great one to play records of great women singers. His taste usually leaned toward the jazz singers like Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Diana Shuur, but he had a Streisand record in his collection. And it soon became my favorite.

"Funny Girl" was released in 1968, which made me 6 years old when my grandmother took me and my siblings to see it in the movie theatre. We never went to the movie theatre, so it was quite a treat; even though, it was not a movie that you would think to take four children under the age 9 to go see. But on that Saturday afternoon in Evergreen Park, I was given one of the best musical gifts of my life: Barbra. That movie blew my socks off. I may not have understood everything that was going on in the movie or with a grandmother who didn't have anyone but the four of us to see it with, but it melted in to me. I clearly remember going home and putting the Barbra record on the player to sing with her. I swore that I sounded just like her. I didn't, of course. But I felt it. And I've loved her ever since.

Maybe I should give Donna a call and invite her and her friend over. I have the record player! Wouldn't that be something.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Elle October 2015
This room reminds me of a very modern Glessner House library. The Glessner House (1887) is one of the older homes in Chicago, and it is furnished with most of the original furniture and home accessories that the Glessners owned. The Glessners' son was an amateur photographer and took many interior pictures of the house, so the set-up isn't very different than at the turn of the 20th Century.

The Glessner House Library
My favorite room is the library. The centerpiece of the room is the double desk that the mister and mistress of the house would sit to conduct their particular business. On the desk is one of the original bronze casts of Abraham Lincoln's hands. The cast shows one hand larger than the other as it was created after his election. Apparently, he shook a lot of hands. On the shelves up high is a lovely collection of arts and crafts vases. They are hard to see in the postcard, but definitely worth the visit.

The vases are the point of comparison to this modern room above. A collection, not only of books, is beautifully on display. I love collections and I am a collector of collections. None of my collections are very large. I search for different things at different time and once I get to ten, more or less, I move on to another fascination. I find it is a good thing to always have something to be on the look out for when antique/junk shopping. My collections include, although are not limited to, crystal baskets, compacts, tin boxes, and teapots. I just bought a beautiful vase at an antique store out in the country. It is not a valuable piece, but it fits right into my aesthetic. I would like to collect vases such as those shown above or at the Glessner House, but I could not afford the art that is either of these homes. Not to worry, I can still find treasures.

Of the two rooms, I prefer the Glessner's library. It is much warmer ... cozy. I wonder how anyone buys something that is white. Is it really meant to be lived in? Plus, at the Glessners, they have windows in the room that look out onto Prairie street. It would be wonderful to have a fire going, a partner in work, and the sound of drizzle from the street. Heaven.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gold and Blue

Harper's Bazaar October 2015
I am typically not a fan of 'yellow,' but this hue is more golden than daisy. When I look at it, I can't help but sing 'silver and gold, silver and gold ...' from 'Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.' The silver here is a magnificent shade of blue that is really quite magnificently silvery. It's the same color that my homemade Shaun Cassidy satin baseball jacket was that I've talked about in an earlier post. I would love to still have it, or any other piece in this blue and fabrication. It probably feels wonderful. As soft as the cat! Where did they find this furry charlotte. And its eyes that are its night shade. What were they dangling in front of him to make him so alert and turn on his little cat lanterns?

Unfortunately, I didn't do a very good rip of this page because I don't have the designer information. I don't want to guess ... I have mine, but I would hate to be wrong.

Let's just consider that it is lovely.  And let that be it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rob Lowe is the Grinder

Rolling Stone Magazine October 22, 2015
Not about Rob Lowe, this article, however, reminded me about the new FOX sitcom "The Grinder," which is my absolute favorite of the new shows this fall because he is a genius on it. I watched it tonight and laughed hysterically at what Rob does as the grinder. That is it, totally believable as a drama series queen dropped into the real world as a character, not a person. He's Edward Scissorhands. Down into suburbia from the house of his creator, he plays to his strength, the character that he portrayed on the show that everyone loves.

Aha! but we also see a man that wants to live without his scissor hands. Not knowing how, he uses the scenes from his fictional one to figure things out. He isn't so oblivious of the paradox to not see what he could have and how he falls short for lack of having any real world experience.

Who knew? I have always found Rob Lowe easy on the eye, but I can't think of anything that he's acted in since "St. Elmo's Fire." Here, he is still as handsome as ever, but it isn't that which makes him so appealing in this sitcom. He's vulnerable. And that is damn sexy.

And Fred Saveage? He's good too. I wasn't one for "The Wonder Years." I think that I like him better all grown up. And he's the perfect ... little brother to the man who would be king.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fading Gigolo

Woddy Allen and John Tuturro in a scene from "Fading Gigolo"
When I like a movie, I can easily watch it several times in that week that I first watched it. "Fading Gigolo" is one of those. I watched it three times: twice alone, and once with another. And I recommended it to my sister, who loved it.

Typically, in order for it to go into a quick repeat, one scene resonates and shows a subtlety that is captivating for me. In this movie, one that has Woody Allen's character pimping John Tuturro's character out to make some cash, it is when Woody has connected him to a woman whose husband, a respected rabbi, has died leaving her with six children and having never been touched. The woman is played beautifully by Vanessa Paradis. She can be so plain yet so beautiful at the same time. The idea for their connection is not for Turturro to have sex with her, but to only touch her. Woody sees her loneliness and the isolation that her husband's death has brought to her. She may as well be in the ground in a box. The death shuns her from life. And when Turturro gently places his hand on her back, it breaks her heart open so that she can live again.

This is not a Woody Allen movie. But his stamp is all over his student's work. Either you love him, or you don't. I am a fan. That he acts in this movie is a treat because he isn't in his yearly efforts as much anymore. He is like a pair of snuggly, old slippers that are odd to imagine, but heavenly to wear. He's comfortable in his neurosis, wit, and ageless appeal.

In this movie, without explanation, he lives with a movie and her four children. The scene where he's playing baseball with them are priceless. Woody is clearly a fan of the game. And the exuberance by which he instructs the kids demonstrates that this man finds youth in work. He writes and directs a movie a year. The idea of it is surreal. You'd think that he would be tired, sit down, and play his clarinet. But he moves like someone who still has a lot of story in him to tell. And whether he does it with his friends like he does with John Turturro here, or on his own, thank god.