Sunday, June 30, 2013

Random Sunday Thoughts

What's on my mind?  Well you may ask.  You might be surprised to know that it's not (primarily) the gentleman on the right...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Color Me...

Camp taste nourishes itself on the love that has 
gone into certain objects and personal styles.
Susan Sontag, "Notes on Camp"

...exhausted.  Given the past week or so, this clip seemed appropriate.  Barbra, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a regrettable cocktail frock, and an energetic but really pretty terrible pop tune - the camp is in the contrasts, in how it's all thrown together.  And, of course, in the eye makeup.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

We're Ready

I don't know that I ever really imagined it, but I suppose if I did I would have thought about something impossibly romantic - over Champagne at Maxim's or La Grenouille, or at Luxor at dawn, the sun striking the inner sanctum of the temple of Deir al Bahri.  On top of the Burj Khalifa, or maybe in Central Park, in front of the Alice in Wonderland statue...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On the Road Again

Well, now that we're more or less sleeping the night and the dogs have, up to a point, forgiven us for their intercontinental nightmare, it's time to up stakes and get moving...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hit by a Brick

God, I hate jetlag.  Maybe because the leadup to this trip was so intense, or maybe it's that fact that the two dogs are equally jetlagged, but this time around is a doozy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Leaving, on a Jet Plane

So.  The bags are packed, and the house echoes emptily.  We're waiting for the car to come, the dog boxes at the front door.  We've just said goodbye, sadly, to Mrs. Galapatti-da Silva, and remarkably held off the waterworks on both sides, although it was, truth to tell, a near thing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Shoot Me. Shoot Me Now.

Even the most trying day - and this was close, and we're not nearly over the worst, O Best Beloveds - can have its saving graces.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bye-Bye, Baby

Tonight is the first of several farewell parties that friends and colleagues are very kindly throwing for us, and I couldn't be dreading them more.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

One Week and Counting

There's no going back.  I know that for a fact, because this morning I asked.  Hell, this morning I begged.  Let's just say that when it comes to unrealistic mid-century depictions of everyday life, the above takes the cake.  Believe you me:  this is not how you look or feel when there's a moving van in your future.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Flesh and the Devil

In Arabic, the word for "diet" is a borrowed one: rejheem.  It sounds both menacing and insinuating, especially as a response to any temptation - "Shukran la, feeh rejheeeeeeeem!"  (a polite but firm demurral).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A First Lady's First First... But Not Her Last?

Well, I wouldn't necessarily want to be held responsible for what I was wearing my senior year in college, but really - were those trousers ever acceptable?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Birthday Girl: Lost

91 today.  I don't know that I've ever heard anyone but Lenya sing this, that I remember, and it boggles the mind to think that this was what pop television - even, admittedly, failed pop television - was like a half-century ago (feeling old yet?).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Earth Angel(i)

On this day, June 9, 1955, Miss Pier Angeli was in all likelihood one of the two or three loveliest things in all of Los Angeles (as well looking far more interesting and engaging than, sadly, she was ever really able to do on film).  And Life was there.  Aren't we lucky?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Retro Pop Heaven

Camp taste transcends the nausea of the replica.
- Susan Sontag, "Notes on Camp"

Current pop music and I parted ways a good many years ago, so it's unusual for me to feel so enthusiastic about a random song heard on the radio.  It's serendipity that this catchy ditty - "Slip," by a trio called Stooshe (pronounced, one learns, "Stoo-She," which sounds like some kind of unholy Japanese-meets-Irish cuisine fusion) - also falls firmly within the realm of the Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion, thanks to its sleek '60s-goes-'80s hook, exaggerated girl-group personae (with more than a hint of drag-queen affect), and even its very own New Dance Sensation step.

Friday, June 7, 2013

'Mid Pleasures and Palaces...

So it's back to the Sandlands for me, after a memorable - mostly wonderful, sometimes troubling, never dull - week in Cairo.  Stepping off the plane, the wet, dank heat was like a slap in the face (making even Cairo in June seem like a crisp spring day - believe you me, there really is something to all that "but it's a dry heat" business.  Here, it ain't, not by a long shot).  The dogs are simultaneously delirious at my return and suspicious that I'm not accompanied by Mr. Muscato (who's off for a few days of fun in Paris, poor boy, before he returns to the chaos of preparing to pack out), and it's good to be home.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

RIP: Jupiter's Darling Says Goodnight

Sad news from Hollywood: the Million Dollar Mermaid has returned to Fabulon.  At 91, Esther Williams had a long and what seems to have been a very interesting life. While there is more than a little truth in the old crack that "wet she's a star, dry she ain't," there's no denying her success - you don't score more than a decade as a top MGM star without a solid helping of That Little Something Extra.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Birthday Girl: Strange Angel

Miss Laurie Anderson is 66 today, and while she might not be the cultural touchstone she was for much of the last two decades of the end of the last century, I'm sure she remains cooler than it's really possible to be.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Travelogue, Continued in a Minor Key

Revisiting old haunts is a bittersweet experience at best; doing so in a country that has been through all that Egypt has in the past three years is only more so.  We wandered around town a little yesterday, a day of Greatest Hits, finding some moments of reassurance and cheer, leavened though they were with dismay and even, occasionally, shock.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Morning in the Metroplis

It is overcast this morning in Cairo, the always dusty air just that much more so.  Given that we sit in the middle of some twenty million people, the flat is remarkably quiet (far more so than the Villa Muscato, in its green streets of gated compounds, oddly), and so mornings (me, as usual, up hours before the Mister) feel like an opportunity to slide slowly into the day. Given that today we are venturing downtown, to the very heart of Cairene bedlam, that's probably a good thing.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hey, Old Friend...


Have you ever met up with an old friend, after too many years apart, and had to spend a while renegotiating your acquaintance?  It's awkward, initially, a false start or two (was his nose always like that, his voice always so insistent?), but then you'll move together, fall into a stride or mirror each others' gestures, just as you used to do, and you know that while time changes things, sometimes unalterably, some things remain.  It's been just a day, but even so, I think Cairo and I recognize each other.  It's a relief.