Saturday, July 22, 2017

Is a Puzzlement

Because there's never a bad reason to get a good look at Yul Brynner,
nearly shirtless. No Puzzlement there...

Over in the FaceBookVerse, dear Cookie has come up with a list of 10 Things He Doesn't Understand, and he's challenged his Gentle Readers to do the same. Some dares I can't resist, so herewith, just that number of cultural phenomena that leave me cold:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Journal Entry

Well, here's a gent who's clearly taken to heart the old saying - one variously attributed to a formidable trio of ladies, either Margot Asquith, Lillie Langtry, or no less than Mae West herself - "Keep a diary, my dear, and someday perhaps the diary will keep you." I don't know about you, but I'd certainly keep him...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dreaming On Our Dimes

What, exactly, is the work of Ed Cachianes? Every now and again, he puts forth a short film. These might reductively be called mashups, as they’re composed primarily of clips and bits and bobs that obviously result from decades of voracious immersion in American pop culture (and beyond). But that’s like saying, possibly, that early Cubism was obsessed with headlines because its artists used scraps of newspapers.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Playground Update

"Oh, it's true - I heard Mommy talking to that awful lady!"

"The one she calls Mrs. Prowler?"

"That's her. And she says Stephen Haines is stepping out on Little Mary's Mamma!"

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Stars for a Summer Afternoon

For no other reason than it's just so damn pretty, here are Messrs. Ronald Reagan and John Payne having a casual chat on some fine, long-forgotten Hollywood day. I'm finding Mr. Payne's thigh postively mesmerizing.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Why Don't You...

... Spend a few hours on this lovely Independence Day learning at the feet of that unlikely domestic goddess, Miss Joan Crawford? Here she is, reading from her 1971 magnum opus, My Way of Life. She's a complicated lady, Joan, and the book is alternately great fun and totally bonkers - sometimes in the course of a single sentence.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


"He said to me, 'What do you want out of life?' And I thought, what an extraordinary question."

"And I said: 'I would like respect for difficult work, well done.'"

That she has - and, as shown in the last day's headlines, she's determined to keep it.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Random Notes for a Summer Sunday

- For whatever reason, even though this year's roses are ragged and untidy, it's turning out to be quite a season for hydrangeas. They're a flower that always amuses me, for one immediately thinks of Miss Ciccone's vocal dislike of them. For me, as well, that then makes me think of Mother Muscato, as it turns out to be one of the vanishingly few things I think those two women would have had in common. She thought hydrangeas, for reasons unknown, to be terribly common; I'm quite sure that the annual success of our neighbor Miss Lowrie's compared to her own had nothing at all to do with it.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


... Dame Olivia de Havilland. In a week that sorely needed some good news, we learned that this edition of the Queen's birthday honours included none other than the Café's longtime muse and everyone's favorite doughty centenarian. She started out a Maid (Marian) and has played everything from a tragic heiress to a terrified school principal, with an empress (and, as above, even a queen-empress) or two thrown in for good measure, but now the title is real, and entirely deserved.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Redux: Now We Know How Happy We Can Be

I wrote this two years ago. Yesterday was Loving Day, and the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous decision. It's a complicated day, though, June 12, and I'm still unpacking what I think it might mean - if anything at all - that it's also the birthday of Anne Frank; the anniversary of the death of Medgar Evers; and, since last year, the day when we will long remember the hopes and dreams of 49 people who went out one night to dance and never came home. It's not a simple world, but with all the madness, I do still believe there's a place for simple songs. And hope. We have to hope. "That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."

Yes, it's two cute boys singing a ukelele-based cover of the Monkees' immortal "Daydream Believer." Just in case you don't think we're up on all the hipster trends here at the Café.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dinner Then and Now

I suppose because it's Ramadan, or perhaps that it's because I'm once again looking to reduce a little (or perhaps because Peenee has been so grocery-obsessed of late), but things food-related have been much on my mind this week.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Redux: Decoration Day

I wrote this in 2012. Today, the quiet, green hillside is still there, but there are, I fear, no geraniums. When we went to bury my father last summer, the little blue cottage across the street still served as the landmark by which we found mother's side of the family. The cemetery may stay more or less the same, but life moves on; I suppose a day like this helps us appreciate both the sameness and the change.

This is a holiday that always makes me just a little blue.  If you've read Ask the Cool Cookie's excellent meditation on the subject, you'll more or less know why. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Ramadan Kareem!

I suppose this isn't the most appropriate image one might choose to celebrate a month of fasting and sacrifice, but - can anybody with two eyes blame me?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Goodnight, Lady

Ever since the sad news yesterday - that the lovely and gracious Miss Dina Merrill has sailed for Fabulon - I have been looking at and thinking about this picture.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Redux 2017: M is for...

M is for... first appeared on May 10, 2009 and has become my Mother's Day tradition. Once, again, Happy Mother's Day, Mother Muscato, wherever you are...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Desk With A View

Really, this is the most picturesque city. Above is the view in which I've been rejoicing from the office for the last ten days, and it's a measure of the beauty of the place that it's really not all that special a view.