Friday, August 31, 2007

The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun

I remember this hilarious song & video from the 80's. I know Julie Brown produced some other songs too.... I just love this....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Boy's Room

I'm not gay, but the guy in the stall next to me is........

Monday, August 27, 2007

If You Don't Eat Your Meat, You Can't Have Any Pudding.....

Back to school kiddies! In honor of this Fall ritual, here's Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." Rather a dark & sinister view of education, I know. But those were the good old days before whole language & new math.... I particularly like those kids being turned into sausages.....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Filene's Basement

Filene's Basement, founded in 1908, will close its doors soon. I'm sad. This store is certainly a Boston icon. I have many memories of shopping at Filene's with my Mom, Grandmother, and Aunt, mostly during Christmas and sales. It was always crowded in there, hot, and not a comforting spot for a small child. I remember the smell of the place, and how the merchandise bins were just over my line of vision. My mother would deposit me nearby her, then jump into the fray with all the other ladies, grabbing for sweaters, underwear, shirts..... It alarmed me that the women would change right in the aisles. I remember particularly one old lady whacking me with her cane, saying "Get out of the way kid." I couldn't imagine shopping could be this important.

Later as a teenager and adult I went to Filene's basement to buy dreaded dresses for weddings or interviews, my first suits for work, and a long line of winter coats. (Filene's basement really was the best place to buy a winter coat.) Many Christmas presents--- Dad's shirts, grandfather's bag of socks, house dresses for my grandmother, sweaters for my mom, were bought at Filene's basement. All through the years I heard the reports of the bargains my aunt would get at Filene's. She worked in Government Center, and frequently during her lunch break would visit Filene's basement (with all the thousands of other women) keeping an eye on that certain item, and waiting for the 75% discount.

Filene's basement always had the fancy designer clothes--- Versace, Armani, Yves St. Laurent, Liz Claiborne, Saks Fifth Avenue....... Filene's was the first place in my life where I ever saw & touched truly gorgeously made clothes. What amazed me was the original prices of some of the items (2,000 dollars for a dress!) There was also that mysterious room (that I never entered) with the fur and leather coats, & the bridal room. At Filene's basement the prices for designer clothes were still expensive (by my standards). Sometimes there were slight flaws in the items. You had to hope your size was there. But it was a poor woman's dream to buy top line designer clothes for 1/3 of the price some society woman paid in NYC six months prior.

Alas! Filene's Basement. Adieu!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What Your Hands Say About You....

What Your Hands Say About You

You are artistic, intuitive, and inspired. You have good people skills.

Idealistic and dreamy, you tend toward the impractical. You have a knack for getting yourself in sticky situations.

Consistent and reliable, you like to count on structure and routine in your life.

Your emotions tend to be nervous and potent. Your energy - both positive and negative - deeply impacts your life.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Never the Two Shall Meet?

Friday night I had an amusing experience. I was motoring on my scoot late at night. Behind me I heard the distinctive, guttural chug of at least two Harleys. I thought: "Oh, here we go. Feeling stupid on my scoot (a.k.a. blender on wheels) with these two mega-power boats on wheels coming up behind me."

We came to a stop light.

Usually a Harley motorcyclist will barrel around me at first opportunity. My boys pulled up beside me--- old guys with big bellies, white long hair & beards, leather vests, leather chaps, tattoos, giant side compartments, studs, .............& a blasting radio......
The song playing was:

Edward Gorey, Extra- or- din -ary

Edward Gorey (1926-2000) is one my greatest artistic heroes--- a writer, illustrator, artist, book lover, cat lover, fellow queer, & collector of oddities. Perhaps one of Edward Gorey's most recognized works is his animated introduction to the PBS show "Mystery!"(you know the graveyard & the fainting woman on top of the stone wall?).

I always assumed Edward was British, (as most people do) because of the Edwardian & Victorian settings of all his illustrations. But the old boy was born in Chicago and lived the later part of his life for many years in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Edward was just lucky enough to be raised by an eccentric family of British ex-patriots. Several family members were writers, cabaret singers, and illustrators. Gorey's first independent work-- "The Unstrung Harp," was published in 1953.

Edward Gorey's house, stocked with books, illustrations, & all kinds of curious oddities, is a museum now. I plan to make a pilgrimage there soon.

Gorey's themes are macabre & darkly humorous. Most characters end up dead in bizarre ways. Very strange and unsettling events happen for no particular reason. Three of my favorite Edward Gorey pieces are "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," "The Doubtful Guest," and "The Curious Sofa." To give you a taste, see below:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Edward Hopper Exhibit

Finally got over to the MFA with my friend LT to see the Edward Hopper exhibit! It was the LAST day! It was annoyingly crowded, of course.

At the exhibit I especially focused on paintings I had never seen before. Yes, it was exciting to see "Nighthawks," but I really enjoyed the works unknown to me (many are from private collections). One was called "Night Windows."

THE most exciting viewing for both LT and me was "Chop Suey." I have seen this painting in print before, but it was mesmerizing to actually have it before me. Fantastic!

Overall, I think I appreciated Hopper's urban landscapes more than his Maine and Cape Cod paintings. I think this is where Hopper is unique (certainly he contributed to the concept of 'urban landscape', or, the city as beauty) Obviously Hopper was very interested in light, and, I think his use of artificial & natural light in the city scene is striking. Of course this use of light is also what evokes the mood of his paintings-- starkness, aloneness, vacantness, blankness.

I had a few revelations about Hopper's technique & aim. First, he contrasted the sharp lines and geometrical shapes of his buildings with round, soft forms (usually people or furniture). At the beginning of his career, the faces & identities of the people in his paintings were unfocused. Hopper seemed mostly interested in architecture and light. However, late in his career the people in Hopper's paintings (especially woman) take on more personality, & seem to tell a story. Interesting.
I also like how Hopper depicted subjects in their own private world, but in an urban setting. In his paintings, there seems to be a gulf of space between people. There also is a sense of immobility, (or death even) as if the people are objects too, & they can't possibly reach other.

Elvis Lives!

Thirty years ago this past week, Elvis died. For some reason, I remember that hot August day in 1977 fairly well. I think it was a Wednesday. The reasons I remember the day have little to do with being an Elvis fan. I just remember hearing about his death on the news. More importantly, I remember that day because I had a rendezvous of sorts with a teenage crush.

At 14, I spent most of my August days lazing about dreaming, riding my bike, hanging out with friends, and listening to the radio. Elvis' anniversary brings up some nostalgic memories.

Last night I was watching "Pulp Fiction." At one point Uma Thurman asks John Travolta if he's "an Elvis man or a Beatles man." Clearly John's character in "Pulp Fiction" is an Elvis man locked in time.
If I had to choose..... I'd be a Beatles woman. Still, I appreciate Elvis Presley as an icon of American culture. Here's "Don't Be Cruel," 1956. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three Rooms With Some Views

If all goes well in real estate & lawyer land, the Baron will find herself in a swinging, bachelorette apartment. Here's what it looks like empty, without the Baron's earthly possessions.

Stand by Your Man

Check out Tammy Wynette & her enormous hair, circa 1971. It looks like a hurricane hit her hairdo, with the eye of the storm just above her left eye.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Boy After My Own Heart

5 year old boy: "If you don't find a husband that you like, do you have to go to jail?"

Adult Female: "No!"

5 year old boy: "I don't want a baby or a husband."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Queenie Boy Home Inspection Checklist

For the past few weeks I've been looking for a condo. Yesterday I was hobnobbing with two real estate agents and a home inspector, talking about fascinating subjects like water heaters, oil tanks, electrical circuit breakers, baseboards, insulation, drywall, & foundation cracks.

My inner gay boy
struggled to keep alert & gather in information.

Obviously my interests lie more in aesthetics, rather than the practical.
That got me thinking.... In my view, counter to the burly man home inspection, there should be a queenie boy home inspection required. The queenie boy home inspection would note all the concerns that the He-man is oblivious to. All prospective buyers would heed to the code of fabulousness.

Queenie Boy’s Home Inspection Checklist

Kitchen countertop spacious enough to make mojitos


1980’s light fixtures

----- Argh!!

Living room big enough for small dancing/workout space


spacious tool shed


Deck for entertaining


View of hot guy next door, thru pantry window


Beige, neutral colors on walls




Closets with extra room for shoes


Flower beds in windows


Wallpaper in bd. with bucolic scene


Orange rug in hallway


4 deeded parking spaces


China closet to display paperweight collection


Wall space for Mapplethorpe prints


Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Zach!

It's my nephew's birthday today. He's 7 years old. Seven is a milestone birthday. According to Freud, "Give me the child at seven, & I will show you the man." (or woman) Perhaps.
If you ever get a chance to see the documentary "The Up Series" by Michael Apted, it's awesome. It tackles this question of personality development by following the same set of men & women throughout their lifespan from age seven, fourteen, twenty-one... to 49. .

I talked to Zach today on the phone. I was thinking about him all day.
Happy Birthday little dude!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hot Child In The City

Inspired by the sweltering heat we've had the last few days, a song popped into my head. I'll share it with you. ((It's amazing what you can find on YouTube.))
I think I was about 13 or 14 years old when the song debuted. Another one hit wonder from the 70's.....