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

Arise...


... 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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Now We Are Nine


So I was digging around for something a couple of days ago and realized with a start that, as of yesterday, the Café has been around for exactly nine years. Insert profound thought about time flying here. Kay Francis (who has been something of a mascot hereabouts) has stopped in to say hi, looking more glam than one generally thinks of her in the '40s.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Light, Fantastick


If you're looking for a little escape, even for a few precious moments  - and in these parlous times, whom among us is not? - I really can't recommend anything better than the latest fantaisie from the prodigiously talented Mr. Ed Cachianes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Birds, Bees, Finns, Eels... and Eartha


This gem recently popped up on my feed over at the FaceBooks, and not having seen it previously, I was even more than usually transported than I generally am by the insinuating charms of Miss Eartha Kitt.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

In Her Easter Bonnet


A very happy Easter to all, from me and from this week's birthday girl, the original Star Lady herself, the inimitable and much-missed Miss Ann Miller. Who else would have gone along with this gag, let alone carried it off?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

In Which We Receive an Unexpected Gift


Well, it seems sometimes that if one moans one's little moans about life's bothers and annoyances, the Fates - or a good friend - intervenes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

(Belated) Birthday Boy: Egyptian Delight


Well, it'a day late, but I've never let that stop me from appreciating one of my favorites; the dashing Mr. Omar Sharif would have been 85 yesterday.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Let Every Voice


You'd never know it now, but in my youth (and well past it, in bits) I was really a rather churchy little thing.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mood: Indigo


"'I,'" said my Grandmother Muscato, regularly, "is the dullest word in the English language."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Working Girl


Like a great many people all of a sudden, I find myself these past few days thinking about Joan Crawford.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Going Hollywood


Just because we've lost Robert Osborne, who sailed off to Fabulon yesterday, and because the bedraggled old world is weighing me down, I think we need a good, heady shot of adrenaline, courtesy of the YouTube genius saraismyname.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Woman of the World


I was thinking that it was about time for a Garbo moment, but then I heard (thank you, TJB!) that this remarkable creature would have turned 85 today. What better reason for an Elizabeth moment?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

That Happy Feeling


This has popped up hereabouts before, but it appeared in my Facebook feed today and I decided it was just what I needed, and perhaps you do, too. A light in bleak times, the Merm...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor!


Another fine consumer product in the people's paradise. Estée Lauderovna, now available in all the fashionable new hues for 1975 - dun, dung, dim, dank, and mauve.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book 'Em


Over in her curious corner of the cyberverse*, the esteemed Mistress MJ has requested a glimpse at her Dear Readers' bookshelves, and I feel compelled to oblige.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

You've Got My Heart


Just in time for Valentine's Day, herewith the latest from Egyptian superstar Amr Diab. The subtitles go with "You Own My Heart," but literally the title - "Maak Alby" - is "My Heart is with You."

Once More, With Feeling


We've done it before and, God willing, we'll do it again. It's a little tradition hereabouts in fact, and so I welcome the chance once more to wish all the dear Café regulars (along with any other stray visitors - welcome!) a very happy Karen Valentine's Day, with great good wishes from Mr. Muscato, Boudi, and me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

O Patria Mia


I'm home. While I was away, Miss Leontyne Price turned 90. Here she is in 2001.  I don't know about you, but hearing her, singing that, now, well...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Redux: Mother of Exiles


Did we dream that it could all change so quickly? Has it ever felt so surreal? How did we get trapped in an Isherwood story? I'm horrified, frightened, angry, and sad. I feel far from home, not because I'm traveling now, but because I'm not sure, today, where my home can be.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

No Cure Like Travel


Well, I've been a bad travelogue-er, I know, but what with one thing and another, I've been rather on the go. And, given all that's going on in the world, I'm afraid I've had something of the grim expression of this lovely Matisse lady I ran into last weekend.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Oh, God, I'm Repeating Myself...


Yes, it's travel time again, and once more I will be following in the brave, befuddled shoes of Dr. Howard Bannister and jetting out to San Francisco.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rainbow High


On what is, at least in Our Nation's Capital, a gray and snowy day, why don't we go Around the World in Something Less than Eighty Ways with that redoubtable all-singin', all-dancin' star... Maureen O'Sullivan?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

She Hopes You'll Understand


Well, all right then. Who doesn't remember where they were, one fateful night in 1991, when first this spectacular bit of bizarerie hit one's favorite video bar or dance floor?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Of Love and Broccoli, or, How I Spent My Tuesday


So not all that long ago, I was chatting cybernetically with the frenetically cultured, enormously soigné TJB (who really must be encouraged, sternly, to write more for public consumption), and he recommended a specific movie, available on YouTube, that I really must see.  I filed it away.

Or thought I did.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Careless Whisper Sneezing


So I was going to try and feature a little eye candy - maybe something seasonal; I was thinking possibly a variation on the New Year's baby, but a lot more buff. Well, all I can say is: whatever else you get when you run a Bing image search on "beefcake diaper," none of it is seasonal. And much of it is a reminder of just how creative some people get in their private lives...