Monday, November 23, 2015

Mother of Exiles

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 
With conquering limbs astride from land to land; 
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand 
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame 
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name 
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand 
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command 
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she 
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
- Emma Lazarus

Sunday, November 22, 2015

There and Back Again

Well, if nothing else, we certainly picked a good week to have a news blackout. Instead of dealing with the multiple awfulnesses and idiocies of the past seven days or so, I got to look at Caribbean sunrises. Here's one, in case you need it.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bright Song for a Dark Night

I posted something lighter-hearted earlier today; now that seems inappropriate. Maybe it will come back on a better day.

Tonight there can only be Piaf, the Little Sparrow and her "Hymne à l'amour."  I have to believe, no matter how the awful the moment may be, love will win. It seems a fine and correct coincidence that the film this is from is called Paris Still Sings.

Maybe not tonight, but it will again, and soon. Love wins.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Day is Gone

The great Miss Karen Akers takes a staple of M. Brel and, simply by the way she sings "In Flanders field the poppies die" turns a bittersweet love song into a sweetly bitter song that seems wholly appropriate for this eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Meanwhile, at Work...

Well - the title is close. No hussies this week, but more than enough hissy fits at the office.  We moved, you see, and believe me, there is something about an office move that does not bring out the best in one's colleagues.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Witchy Women

We're having a quiet Hallowe'en this year, but if we were to head to some theoretical costume party, I think I'd like to go as Aunts Enchantra and Hagatha.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Ring It Off The Wall

Today, whoever it is who handles Things Digital for Miss Debbie Harry and company decided to startle me by pointing out that this little ditty first thrilled the waiting world 37 years ago today. As is now quite routine, I feel Old.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


An Excellent Woman in her natural habitat, at a jumble sale

With fall coming on - the trees in the landscape beyond our little terrace are turning, and the mornings are increasingly chilly when I go to walk the dogs - my thoughts as usual turn to things cozy and familiar.  As a result, I am rereading Excellent Women.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Miracle of 34th Street

Like most great stars, she had a face the camera loved; even more, she had a coloring that the tricky, fickle Technicolor camera turned into something as rich as cream and as a invigorating as a dose of cinnamon.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Revolting? You Bet We Were

Grainy photographs, pictures of neatly dressed, stone-faced people, walking, signs in hand.  Making history.  I'm reading a great book right now, kids, and I think you should, too.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Meanwhile, in Morocco

This stunning image, Irving Penn's 1951 snap of model Lisa Fonssagrives at a palace in Morocco, appeared in this morning's throwaway free paper, in among the sports scores and banal headlines, and my whole day has been the better for it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Up to the Glitter

Well, darlings, on the (I'm sure very) off chance that your weekend hasn't turned out to be quite as soigné as perhaps you were hoping, why don't we drop in on Mr. Hefner and see what's happening up at his place?  As it turns out, the marvelous soul queen Carla Thomas has popped by as well, doing something rather magical to "Where do I Go?" from Hair.

Friday, October 16, 2015

"You Get to Live When You are Living"

Orchids and royalty in Mrs. Post's front hall

The end of another week, elhamdulileh, and a busy one it's been, too, with some odd and unexpected ups and downs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In the Garden of Good and Abstract

Canton Palace, Ohio, 1980

One of the little joys of my drudgery work is that it lies within hailing distance of Our Nation's Capital's principal tourist attractions, including the vast and sober museums that line the stately National Mall.  Today at lunch, it being a singularly quiet sort of Tuesday, I went for a walk.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Mock Time That Flies

Earlier this week we celebrated National Poetry Week, and while I missed out, here, belatedly, is my contribution: Dame Edith Sitwell intoning her hypnotic "Through Gilded Trellises" against Sir William Waton's evocative, spare music from Facade.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dame Helen Mirren

Here to brighten up what is, at least in Our Nation's Capital, a gray and dreary day, one of the United Kingdom's most distinguished thespians.  And I bet you thought her appearance in Caligula was as far a cry as one could imagine from The Queen.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This Much is Tru

Things fall apart.  That may be a title devised by Chinua Achebe, but it's as good a description of the life of Truman Capote as I know.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Brave Little Oysters (Etc.)...

You know, there are a lot of oysters at the National Gallery.  I mean in the paintings; we were there this past weekend, My Cousin the Architect and I, and while we enjoyed our lunch in the Garden Café, sadly the otherwise excellent buffet was oyster-free.  But in the Dutch still lifes, and even tucked here and there amid the Renaissance banquets?  Those bad boys are everywhere.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Splish Splash

As summer gives way to fall, it seems time to indulge in a little fantaisie orientale, don't you think?