Monday, February 28, 2011


Gentle Readers,

My lovely Annette didn't win her Academy Award last night -- to my dismay but not my surprise -- but my beloved Colin emerged a winner. Congratulations Colin!

Today was a very hard day. I was threatened at work.

I need a margarita and a Valium.

Infinities of love,


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Gentle Readers,

Hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) goes to see a preacher to tell him it's time for Felix to Get Low; that is, Felix is getting ready to die. So he decides to have a funeral while he's still there to be part of it.

This movie gets five out of five stars from me. It's quiet and simple, has lovely performances -- including Sissy Spacek as a woman Felix knew in the past -- and is beautifully lit. Bill Murray has a wonderful part as Frank Quinn, the slick funeral parlor owner who is charged with conducting the funeral.

You should also listen to the DVD commentary. Duvall makes the comment that Bill Murray is a smart ass with talent. Excellent way to sum up Bill Murray.

Get Low is based on a true story. The real Felix held his funeral in Tennessee in 1938 and 10,000 people attended. It's fun to Google it and learn some more of the details.

Get Low has drama and humor and remorse and sadness and happiness and anything else you could want in a movie.

Happy Viewing, Gentle Readers. Remember to keep positive thoughts going out to Annette Bening and Colin Firth for Academy Awards Sunday night. They are my favorites.

Infinities of love,


Friday, February 25, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I'm a bit concerned about Annette Bening. You might think, Oh, Lola has lost it now. She's worried about the woman who captured Warren Beatty and is a fabulous actress.

I have loved Annette since I first saw her in The Grifters with John Cusack and Anjelica Huston. If you've never seen Grifters, do so now. Excellent performances and script. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's unpredictable and suspenseful.

Annette is now nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in The Kids Are All Right -- definitely an all right movie and Annette is all right for the part. But I'm worried about Annette because the last couple of times (at least that I'm aware of) that she's been nominated for best actress she's lost to Hilary Swank. The second time Annette was in Being Julia -- wonderful, wonderful -- but Hilary won for Million Dollar Baby.

I have to admit Hilary deserved that win.

But the first time Hilary took home the Oscar, she won for Boys Don't Cry over Annette in American Beauty. Hilary was excellent in Boys, but I really think Annette was even better in Beauty. She was just as good as Kevin Spacey, who won Best Actor.

So, twice now, Annette has lost out to that young upstart Hilary Swank. And this year Natalie Portman has been taking home a lot of awards for Black Swan. I haven't seen Black Swan. I imagine it's very good. But I did see The Kids and I'm sorta kinda bothered by the thought that Annette might lose out yet again to a young upstart. I like Annette, and I really want to see her with an Oscar.

It would please me.

So keep your toes, fingers, and anything else you can cross crossed for Annette -- unless Natalie deserves the win big time. It's just that Annette gives such rich, riveting performances. She is an Actress through and through.

The Academy Awards are on this Sunday, February 27th, at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.

Good luck and God bless you Annette!

Infinities of love,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Gentle Readers,

If there's a phrase in this world that I hate, just absolutely cannot stand, it is "working mothers."

Obviously, the words are intended to mean a woman who is a parent and works outside of the home. But show me any woman who has children, and I'll show you a working mother. I absolutely abhor the implication that the woman who stays at home with her children does not work. By God, the hardest work I ever did was staying at home with my kids.

Up to my elbows in diaper shit while another kid had a temperature of 102, was barfing, and needed to go to the doctor -- but I wasn't working?

Let's see . . . what's the opposite of work? I was relaxing while I served as caregiver, chauffeur, nurse, cook, teacher, and I volunteered at church and at my children's schools. Oh, of course it wasn't work because having children is nothing but a 24-hour, seven day per week blessing.

I loved my kids; I still love my kids and they aren't kids anymore. They have thanked me for staying at home with them. But the price I paid psychologically and with my career was devastating. I could never catch up with moms who did not stay at home with their children, and when we went to a social gathering I could see eyes glaze over when people learned what I did. Oh you stay at home . . . how nice . . . now pardon me while I wander away to talk to someone interesting who actually works.

Working mother my ass. We all work, except for a privileged famous and/or wealthy few who have multiple nannies and ignore their children. And shame on them.

I think it's a good thing for a woman to keep up with her career. I wish I had. But I have always worked.

Infinities of love,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Gentle Readers,

When did myself become a substitute for me or I? I've been hearing it for at least a couple of years and it's getting worse.

Example: Myself and John went shopping.

Should be: John and I went to a hotel.

The easy way to know if you should use me or I when you're gossiping about John and me is to leave John out of it and say I went to a hotel. That way you know it's not John and me went dancing because you wouldn't say Me went dancing -- or, oh my goodness, would you?

If you would, then you are too far gone and cannot be helped. That's even worse than myself.

Anyhoo, it's not myself. It's not; it's not; it's not.

However, I have also started to hear myself used by itself and not in a sentence involving another person. For example, Myself went up shit crick without a paddle.

Oh Lord, help me. Make people stop saying myself. I can't do it all by MYSELF correct use correct use correct use

Infinities of love,


Monday, February 21, 2011


Gentle Readers,

Not for your viewing pleasure, though this is an amazing work of art, but more for your education and information, I simply must insist that you see Restrepo.

This documentary by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington follows a year in the lives of the Second Platoon in Afghanistan. It offers no narration or commentary other than that provided by the soldiers themselves, who are fighting in the particularly dangerous Korengal Valley. We are with them as they come under fire from the Taliban, sometimes more than once a day. We are with them as they mourn their dead. We are with them as they try to deal with the local elders, which seems as frustrating as dealing with cavemen.

These men work as one and rise to the most extreme situation -- fighting for their lives, and they're doing it for all of us. Yet, it leaves me asking, as always, Why? The U.S. pulled out of the Korengal Valley last year in April. What did the 50 U.S. soldiers killed there die for? Are we really going to find Osama Bin Laden and wipe out the Taliban? That would be wonderful, but I think Osama will die of old age.

Perhaps if the U.S. had concentrated all of its efforts on Afghanistan instead of stupidly invading Iraq, the situation would be different. We should have gone after Osama with everything we had instead of getting distracted by going after the guy who wanted to kill W's Poppy. I don't think Iraq was a good and happy place to live, but sometimes . . . one thing at a time. Concentrate. Focus your energies. Strike.

I salute our service people all around the world on this Presidents' Day. I wish you got a day off too, to spend with your families and do the little things like shopping at Macy's mattress sale.

Infinities of love,


Saturday, February 19, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I offer two very good documentaries for your viewing interest and pleasure this long weekend -- at least I hope you get the day off on Monday.

The first is Waiting for Superman. You will definitely want to see this if you have children in public school, but it should be of interest to everyone because we all pay taxes to support our failing schools. Waiting for Superman explores how and why the school system is broken and how it can be repaired. Superman blames the teachers' unions, who insist that all teachers be treated the same; thus, no extra pay for exceptionally good work and the opportunity to darn near get away with murder.

The most striking sequence was about a school superintendent, I think it was in Milwaukee, who saw footage filmed by a student with a camera in his book bag (it wasn't clear to me if the superintendent asked the student to carry the camera). The film showed students shooting craps in the back of the classroom, teachers reading newspapers, and a teacher placing a student's head in what was kindly referred to as a "soiled toilet." The superintendent fired the teachers immediately, only to be forced to rehire them in a year and give them a year of back pay. Herein lies the power of the unions.

The film also examines the success of some charter and magnet schools. Fixing schools can be as simple as hiring an enthusiastic, good principal, who, in turn, hires enthusiastic, good teachers. All in all, a very interesting movie and I recommend it highly.

The second movie, which is definitely more quirky, is called Exit Through The Gift Shop. It's about street art and especially a man named Thierry Guetta who loved to film everything he saw. He started looking into the world of street art, which some people dismiss as graffiti (though it can be far more interesting), and some street artists let him follow them around and film him, with Thierry giving them the idea he was making a documentary about them. Thierry was even allowed to follow elusive and secretive British street artist Banksy, whose face and voice are obscured in the movie.

Eventually, though, it became apparent that Thierry didn't know what he was doing. He came up with a worthless documentary that was a montage of images with noise, so Banksy sent Thierry out to be a street artist and Banksy took over the movie. What happens next is so amazing that you just have to watch the movie for yourself to believe it. I'm not sure it really happened, or if someone created art and treated it as a documentary. Definitely something to research, Mr. Brainwash.

Anyway, Exit Through The Gift Shop has the highest Lola Seal of Approval.

Happy Viewing!

Infinities of love,


Friday, February 18, 2011


Such a day I had yesterday, Gentle Readers.

I recently obtained a job other than staying at home with my dogs and writing to you, but I had not yet received word on when I was to begin. I was anxiously awaiting the phone call that would signal the first day; I kept my phone by my side at all times. Then yesterday morning the phone rang and it was a person of importance saying, Today is your first day. Didn't you receive the email we sent you? Be here first thing tomorrow.

No, I did not receive an email, but when I checked the spam, among the stuff from Omaha Steaks and Hallmark and Blockbuster, there were two important emails telling me how and when I was to start my job. I never check the junk because I've never had anything important go there before.

But it turned out that God sent the email to the wrong folder on purpose. He wanted me to be at home because Franklin broke a window. He was standing on the couch with both paws pressed against the glass, barking at someone who dared to pass by his house, when all of a sudden SMASH! BREAKING GLASS! and Franklin took off running toward the back door. I followed, afraid of finding bloody paws, but he was mercifully uninjured. Glass remaining in the window hung like daggers. What if I hadn't been home and one of the dogs had tried to go out the window?

Thanks to my wonderful realtor who sold me the house and has helped me out so many times, I found someone who came right out to fix the window and he didn't even charge me an arm and a leg, and believe me I might have paid that way if it had been necessary.

So it was definitely a good thing I was at home. I started the job this morning, and the piano is back in front of the window so there will be no more standing on the couch with our paws on the glass. I only moved the piano because the tuner said to keep it away from the dampness but it had already been in that spot for 18 months with no damage to it and I think everything will be o.k.

Including me. I had to get up early this morning. : (

Infinities of love and gratitude for a job so I can keep the dog world turning,


Thursday, February 17, 2011


Here's a hilarious parody of the famous song from Cats, emailed to me by my friend Carol. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Gentle Readers,

Here's another Truffaut movie I liked even better than The Wild Child. It's The Story of Adele H.

The children of famous people often find that others are interested in them because of their parents and not for themselves. In The Story of Adele H., Fracois Truffaut explores the true story of Adele Hugo -- the daughter of Victor Hugo -- who suffered greatly because of her inability to establish a sense of her own identity.

Adele's (Isabelle Adjani) trouble seems to encompass two areas.

First, she is angry that she is the daughter of such a famous man. She becomes upset when others learn who she is. She writes in her journal: "I was born of father unknown." She rejects her identity, which begins a loss-of-identity motif.

Second, Adele loses herself in her obsession with the man she loves, Lt. Pinson. When she contacts him, he comes to see her, only to tell her she should go home. Adele gives up her Self to him, saying, "You know that I belong to you, that you can do with me whatever you please." She also writes in her journal: "I don't give my body without my soul nor my soul without my body."

And Adele does lose her soul.

This is a sad, but beautiful and fascinating movie, and I recommend it highly. Unlike The Wild Child, The Story of Adele H. doesn't leave any loose ends. We're told at the end how Adele spends the rest of her life.

Infinities of love,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Psst! LegalMist - did I get the title right this time?

Gentle Readers,

I've told you how I love The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and some other great French movies, but I don't think I've ever mentioned the French films that first got me started on the movies of Frogland. Hmmm . . . why are the French called Frogs? Is it because they eat them? I may never have the answer to some questions, and sometimes I would rather wonder than google.

It's kind of fun to have unanswered questions in one's life.

As I recalled in an earlier post, a young woman, let's call her Prissy,  introduced me to French movies with the adorable Amelie, but when I wrote that post I had completely forgotten that I watched some Francois Truffaut movies for a class on film techniques I took long ago.

So I was actually a French-film virgin when I watched The Wild Child.

The year is 1798 -- in the MOVIE, dummies. Good God, I know I'm old but I'm not that old and just stop with the insults now or I'll never get through writing this. A woman in a forest sees a wild creature. The creature has long, matted hair, and he runs about on all fours, but he does not have paws; he has hands and feet. He is the titular wild child, apparently left in the forest to die. Instead, he has survived, and he is captured and introduced to the wilds of civilization. Thus, Truffaut presents the wild child as an archetypal orphan figure who moves from experience to innocence.

It is made clear to the viewer immediately that the wild child is experienced in the ways of living in the woods. When the woman who has seen him brings men with dogs to hunt and to capture him (sounds kinda like "civilization" going after Frankenstein's monster, doesn't it?), the boy climbs a tree. When the branch from which he hangs breaks, he is attacked by the dogs, but he is able to fight the dogs and kill one. He runs into an underground den, and he is captured only because the men smoke him out.

Truffaut also indicates the savagery of so-called civilized society in contrast to the boy, who is savage only when he feels he is being attacked. When the boy is taken to Paris to be examined by doctors, he becomes an object of curiosity, and he no longer knows how to survive. First, he is dragged from the carriage in which he travels and taken into the National Institute for the Deaf -- because he is believed to be deaf -- and a crowd gathers round to gawk at him. He is also put on display by an institute worker so that rich Parisians can wonder at him. When he is outside, other boys attack him.

The wild child changes though. Dr. Itard (Truffaut himself) takes the boy home to teach him. He learns to dine at the table and dress himself. He doesn't learn to speak, but he starts to understand the meanings of some words.

Truffaut is considered to be one of the greatest among great directors, and I think his techniques in this movie are very interesting. Its stark black and white images make us feel that we are in 1798, watching this true story unfold. When subjects move away from the camera, the camera does not zoom in on them; they simply become smaller. Truffaut's use of an iris to open and close segments seems old-fashioned in an appropriate way, and it allows us to focus on the changes in Victor.

I remember I really liked this movie when I watched it and it left me wondering what had happened to the real wild child. But again, I like pondering an occasional unanswered question.

Infinities of love,


Monday, February 14, 2011


Do you believe in love, Gentle Readers?

Madonna wants to know. Something about making him express himself and then she grabs her crotch. Can you believe Madonna and I are the same age? Actually, she's a wee bit older, but I look so much better than she does. It's because I never ran around exposing my kit and caboodle in public. Boy, is she going to feel stupid when her kids find out about some of the things she's done. Or maybe she feels no shame.

Anyhoo, Dear Hearts and Gentle People, if you aren't going out tonight and you'd like to watch a romantic movie after the brats go to bed, I have a few suggestions:

When Harry Met Sally -- Nobody can order a meal the way Sally does and oy, such a happy ending!

Sleepless in Seattle -- Poor Tom Hanks. Thank heavens beautiful Meg Ryan comes to his rescue.

Say Anything -- Oy, I love John Cusack. Who can ever forget him with his heart broken holding up the boom box so she can hear the Peter Gabriel song? Oy, oy, oy.

Annie Hall -- Alvy Singer: Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes I have to invent, of course I - I do, don't you think I do? 

It's o.k. that Annie and Alvy don't end up together. It's still a jewel of a movie, full of lines you'll want to say over and over.

An Affair To Remember -- Sleepless in Seattle is based on this movie. Affair is schmaltzier and I love it. You can't beat Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and the scene in Sleepless when Rita Wilson talks about this movie and Tom Hanks and what's his name talk about -- I think it's The Dirty Dozen -- it's just a hoot.

And in the Numero Uno Position is Casablanca. Bogey Bergman  "Play it Sam."

Need I say more?

I luff you all,


Saturday, February 12, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I recommend for your viewing interest and pleasure: Welcome to the Rileys.

Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois (Melissa Leo) Riley have been married for 30 years. They live in the same house, but they have not been together since their 15-year-old daughter died in a car accident eight years earlier. Then Doug goes to a convention in New Orleans and meets 16-year-old stripper and prostitute Mallory (Kristen Stewart).  Doug piques Mallory's interest by refusing her offer of a lap dance or sex. He just wants to take care of her and make her life better. He's so intent on his mission that he calls Lois and says he's not returning home.

So, Lois, who hasn't left her house in God only knows how long, gets the car out of the garage in a rather interesting and amusing fashion and drives to New Orleans to find Doug. At first, she is reluctant to help a girl who so obviously could become a replacement for their daughter, but she soon gets on board and offers Mallory tender loving care. The Rileys are a team for the first time in so long.

However, Mallory is "nobody's little girl." Can the Rileys help Mallory?

Not gonna tell you. Watch if for yourself. It's worth it. It's charming and subtle and not overly sentimental. It really could have fallen into the maudlin trap and didn't do it.

The performances are lovely. Kristen Stewart looks appropriately skanky, though the young girl lurks inside. Melissa Leo is all motherly concern, and James Gandolfini is a revelation. I'm so accustomed to thinking of him as none other than Tony Soprano (love, love, love that show), but he manages to inhabit Doug Riley. I found his somewhat southern, hick accent a bit disconcerting though, perhaps in part because I expect to hear the Joisey boy come out and perhaps in part because he's supposed to be from Indianapolis. I once lived near Indianapolis and although I heard a few hick accents in small towns, they weren't common and I don't recall anyone having a southern accent.

But it was the first place I heard children call their grandparents Maaaa (like the sound a sheep makes) - Mah and Paaaaa-Pah. I will disown any grandchild who attempts to call me Maaaa-Mah. I am not a hillbilly.

But would the Riley welcome Inception? I can't say for sure, but to my surprise, I liked it. I usually don't care for the science fiction/fantasy/thriller thing, but this one is stylish.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) invades the dreams of corporate titans to steal their deepest secrets. At first I felt confused by when are they dreaming and when are they not dreaming, but I gradually caught on to the plot.

DiCaprio was pretty good, but I thought Ellen Page was a little too earnest and clever as the earnest and clever student who learns to work with Dom Cobb with very little explanation of what he does. And Marion Cotillard as Dom's deceased wife was a little too trembly and fragile, but having a dead wife to jump in and stir things up works pretty well.

I think Inception is worth a try.

Happy Viewing!

Infinities of love,


Friday, February 11, 2011


Gentle Readers,

Earlier this week I caught a new episode of Inside the Actors Studio, featuring my beloved Colin Firth.

Mr. Firth was lovely with his lovely face, lovely hair, lovely voice, lovely ever-so masculine figure, and lovely somewhat deprecating and sweet sense of humor. Did I mention he was lovely?

I have loved Colin Firth ever since The Pride and Prejudice mini-series. No Mr. Darcy can compare with Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy. He is the definitive Fitzwilliam Darcy, and oh my goodness gracious, he is so sexy in what is known as the pond scene.

Of course, he has also been wonderful in a few other movies, such as Shakespeare In Love, A Single Man, and Bridget Jones's Diary, in which he plays another Mr. Darcy -- this time Mark Darcy. It had never occurred to me before, but my dear James Lipton pointed out that the plot of Bridget Jones's Diary is meant to mirror that of Pride and Prejudice, with Mark Darcy as the somewhat reticent but ultimately heroic and deeply in love Mr. Darcy, and Hugh Grant as the scoundrel Wickham, who in this version is named Daniel Cleaver.

My beloved Colin is nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for The King's Speech. Dean Lipton showed some clips from it and it appears to be a top-notch film. I would like to see it now in a theater, but here in the hinterlands, it is quite a trek through terrible weather on lousy roads to get to theaters, which are too expensive. Most likely, I will see this film on DVD. Praise the Lord for Netflix.

Anyway, if you didn't catch Colin Firth on Inside the Actors Studio, which airs on Bravo, it isn't too late. It airs again Tuesday, February 22nd, at 6 a.m. Set your DVR. While you wait, you can watch clips from the show on the Bravo Web site.

Infinities of love to you and to my Fitzwilliam Darcy, from his true Elizabeth Bennett, a.k.a.,


Thursday, February 10, 2011


Gentle Readers,

The Highest Lola Seal of Approval goes to The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy. I just finished rereading this beautiful book, written by my close personal friend Pat when he was a mere 24 years old (I know because he told me so himself).

So does Highest Lola Seal of Approval mean that Lola is higher than usual or does Highest pertain to the Seal of Approval? A point to ponder.

Anyhoo, Young Pat was teaching in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he went to high school, and awaiting word on his application to join the Peace Corps. When none came, he volunteered to teach where no one else wanted to go -- Yamacraw Island, just a short distance off the Carolina coast, yet very far in terms of differences (it was actually Daufuskie Island but Pat changed the name for the book).

He arrived to find children -- his was the only white face -- who had seldom left the island and had so little exposure to the outside world that they didn't know the water washing up on their very own shore was that of the Atlantic Ocean. Pat was teaching fifth through eighth graders, yet seven students didn't know the alphabet, four of them couldn't count to ten, and three couldn't spell their own names. School administrators had been happy to ignore this school for blacks on the other world of the island, but Pat will not allow his students to be neglected -- or beaten, as is the habit of the teacher for the younger students.

He fights to introduce the world to them, and then to introduce them to the world. Such a memoir could easily be condescending and patronizing -- oh, the poor little black chilluns saved by the kind White Man.

But Pat's goal as a teacher was to uplift his students and he uplifts them in his writing as well. These students have dignity.

As he takes us on this journey to the island with him, Pat's writing is simple and lovely:

Even though I was on Yamacraw, I was not of Yamacraw. My first overtures of friendship with the people on the island, although not rebuffed, failed to win me any friends with whom I felt completely comfortable. I thought constantly of my friends in Beaufort. Consciously I began to wish for a way to extricate myself from a job and a situation I felt incapable of handling. The loneliness was beginning to shred my nerves. I became distracted with myself and my vainglorious attempt to act as a symbolic bridge between the children of Yamacraw and the outside world. I was impatient because I had failed to turn illiterates into lovers of the great classics in the span of a single month. I had tired of measuring victories in terms of whether Prophet had learned the alphabet or Sidney could spell his name. Nor could I shake the feeling that everything I taught or achieved was a worthless, needless effort that ultimately would not affect the quality of my students' lives. What could I teach them or give them that would substantially alter the course of their lives? Nothing. Not a god-damn thing. Each had come into the world imprisoned by a river and by a system which ensured his destruction the moment he uttered his first cry by his mother's side.

But Pat finds throughout the course of the year that he can find success in one small victory after another, and ultimately, he pulls a successful writing career out of a failed -- but in many ways triumphant -- teaching career.

Pat's year on Yamacraw kinda makes me think of Thoreau at Walden Pond and measuring the depth of the pond and the measurements the powers that be try to make with the internal and infernal testing in the schools. I've heard too many complaints for years that teachers "teach to the test" and I know it's often true. We need to free up our best teachers to simply do their jobs, and attract the best by paying them well, and the students who are at all capable of learning will make progress. Sometimes teachers need to be able to think and act outside of the box to reach the hardest to reach students.

This memoir is an inspiration and I encourage you to read The Water Is Wide. I first read it many years ago and it was well worth rereading. It was also made into a charming movie called Conrack, which I have not seen in a very long time. I wonder if it still holds up. I recall Jon Voight being extremely good in it, as were the children who played the students.

And I also learned that Pat and I have something else in common: We both hate mice, which he calls rats. If he had a serious acquaintance with rats, mice might not bother him quite as much. I'd rather be harassed by a mouse than a rat, but I hate either one. At least I've never had a rat in the house. The dogs dispatch the bastards before they get that far. Then they leave the rat at the back door for me to cook for my dinner.

What a gift!

Infinities of love,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A man was dining in a fancy restaurant and there was a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table.  He had been checking her out since he sat down, but lacked the nerve to speak to her. 

Suddenly she sneezed, and her glass eye came flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reached out, grabbed it out of the air, and handed it back. 

'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman said as she popped her eye back in place... 

'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she said. 

They enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, and afterward went to the theatre and later had drinks.  They talked, they laughed, she shared her deepest dreams and he shared his.  She listened. 

After paying for everything, she asked him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast.  They had a wonderful, wonderful time. 

The next morning, she cooked a gourmet meal with all the trimmings.  The guy was amazed.  Everything had been SO incredible!  'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman.  Do you treat every guy you meet this way?' 

'No,' she replied... 

'You just happened to catch my eye...'

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


She's a Junkie with a Capital J, but she's not ashamed.
Why should she be ashamed?
Her dealer's named Doctor and he writes her a chill to fight the ennui and depression.
For the occasional thrill she snorts a few from her stash of Adderall candy.
Then back down she comes with a little Valium and things look much better through the Foggieum

She and her pals, on Girls' Night Out, laugh uproariously about Mother's Little Helper.
The gals have no clue that for each Xanax they see, she drops an entire handful.

It's all so very anonymous.

They keep her weight at 109 and she knows she looks fine with her glass of red wine, taken only for the antioxidants.
She needs,
She needs,
She needs,
No, she wants.
She wants the sharp noises smooth and the loud edges quiet.
She doesn't drink and she doesn't drug because prescriptions don't count and you know it.
Why should she be ashamed?
She's not ashamed.
She's a Junkie with a Capital J.

Now that this poem has been percolating for a while, I hate it. I love individual lines but it doesn't work as a whole. It needs reworking. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I read and recommended to you Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tilman by Jon Krakauer. I have now seen and recommend to you The Tillman Story, a documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev.

I will not recommend the book over the movie, now will I recommend the movie over the book. You should read the book and then watch the people described as they turn into living, speaking human beings, some of whom cry with grief and some of whom lie their asses off to protect their part in the cover- up of Pat Tillman's murder.

The details presented over the course of the book fascinate, while the film, which of course does not take as much time to watch as it does to read the book, encapsulates the events and allows us to quickly see lie after lie after lie perpetuated by the U.S. Army.

It was April 22, 2004. Pat Tillman, former big bucks NFL player, had enlisted in the U.S. Army after 9/11, thinking it was the right thing to do when the United States went into Afghanistan to hunt down Osama Bin Laden. Little did he know that he would be deployed to Iraq to fight what he believed was an illegal war. Redeployed, along with his brother Kevin, to Afghanistan, the military tried to claim that he was killed by the Taliban. Tillman was even awarded the Silver Star for bravery.

But there was no shoot out with the Taliban. In truth, Pat Tillman was murdered by a fellow Army Ranger. Although the euphemism for this type of killing is Friendly Fire, I prefer to be a little more blunt and tell it like it is.

The Tillman family has fought and struggled to try to learn exactly how Pat was killed that April 22nd. What they do know is that Tillman and the men with him realized that their own team was firing on them. The shooters were probably 20 - 40 yards away from Tillman who was screaming, I'm Pat Fucking Tillman.

Then someone blew his head off. Was it the excitement of the fire fight -- someone eager to earn the Red Badge of Courage by getting into the battle? Or maybe somebody got scared and thought, Oh my God, that's Pat Tillman right in front of me and I've been shooting at him and I already killed the guy next to him. I'd better go ahead and shoot him to shut him up.

God only knows what happens in the heat of these situations.

Krakauer's explanation of what happened that day is more precise than that which the Tillman family feels sure of, though they don't seem to feel really sure of anything except that a lot of generals used the words "I don't recall" repeatedly when they were asked about how Tillman died and when they found out that the cause of death was fratricide.

Everyone in the platoon was warned not to tell Pat's brother Kevin how Pat had been killed, but the truth will out, even if it's just the partial truth. After Kevin found out that Pat was murdered, he finished his tour of duty with their platoon.

The cover-up was just so pathetically obvious and even amateurish. The army burned Pat's uniform and other personal effects, which is against the law, unless the items are a biohazard. So they concocted a report that stated CPR was performed on Pat at the aid station. This was 45 minutes after he died, and he had no head. How do you perform CPR on someone whose head has been shot off?

I don't know what else to say to you about this kind of bullshit. Donald Rumsfeld, fuck you but not the horse you rode in on. George W. Bush, shame on you for trying to use Tillman as your poster boy for the army. Fuck you. Fuck all of you. The lie didn't originate with you, but you used it to the best of your limited ability.

Infinities of love to the Tillman Family,


Sunday, February 6, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I don't know why some people love to take reality, no matter how great it is, and try to turn it into something else.

How many of you have received the email that's been making the rounds for years -- the one that says Mr. Rogers was a military hero?

Well, Mr. Rogers was a hero as far as I'm concerned. He truly loved children and wanted to use television as a medium for the betterment of their lives.

But, gee, I love to burst your bubble of stupidity. If you did any research at all, you could easily find out that Fred Rogers never served in the military. First, an email went around that said he was an Army sniper during the Korean "Conflict" with a ton of kills to his credit. Then an email went around that said he was a Navy Seal in Vietnam. Whatever story you got, it always ended with, This battle-hardened veteran wore his sweater to cover up the many tattoos on his arms.  *sob*

Bullshit! Mr. Rogers didn't need his sweater to cover up his non-existent tats because as I recall it, he wore a long-sleeved shirt. He was a veteran of a Presbyterian Seminary who found his life's work and mission in children's television. He never, ever served in the military.

Before you pass on emails that purport to tell implausible truths about people, how about giving them a quick check? It didn't take me long to figure out that Mr. Rogers wasn't in the military. And the minute I saw that email for the first time, I questioned its authenticity. It just didn't sound like Mr. Rogers.

Why must people constantly take reality and try to turn it into something else? I liked Mr. Rogers just the way he was, and he felt the same way about me.

It's you I like.
It's not the clothes you wear.
It's not the way you do your hair.
It's you I like . . . 

Infinites of love,


Saturday, February 5, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I hate morning.

Don't talk to me of the beauty of sunrise and the glory of God's re-creation of the new day. I will come right back at ya with the beauty of my warm Martha Stewart comforter (purchased on clearance for a great price) and the glory of cuddly dogs pressed against my broken back.

Why in the name of all that is good and holy does anyone want to get out of bed in the morning? Daytime is for work and documents and putting up with people who are as grouchy about leaving their beds as they should be. By day, people drink too much coffee and pick arguments with their coworkers; by night, they share a cup of cocoa with marshmallows and whisper sweet stories of loved ones. Nighttime is for peace and quiet: writing in silence, gently snoring dogs, and perhaps best of all, no wearing of clothes. Instead, there are soft cozy jammies (my favorites are white with black paw prints) accompanied by chocolate chip cookies and milk, and then the removal of the jammies for reading in bed. Oy vey, the sheets are so soft against my bare-assed nekkedness.

I'm a night owl honey. I can accomplish 1,000 times more between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. than I can between 7 a.m. and noon. The telephone seldom rings at night with that jangling that curses the day. Of course, it helps that I turn the phone off. I can relax at night and think clearly. Daytime simply does not have that feeling of softening and easing off that allows us to do our best work unencumbered and set aside our cares.

I hate the night only when I must get up in the morning. Then I cannot sleep no matter how tired I be. Each minute becomes an hour as I dread the morrow.

Perhaps some day I will find a job that requires me to rise with the sun. I will take that job and do my best, but I will be a changed person, a more regimented person -- one who makes demands of people, definitely crabbier. I will no longer be me.

My advice to you, Gentle Readers: Stay in bed unless, oh God forbid, you are required by the strange rules of society to go to work early in the morning or send your poor suffering children out to school. School is definitely conducted during the wrong hours. Everybody knows that teenagers in particular don't function well in the morning. They should go to school in the afternoon -- perhaps noon to 6 -- and then have a nice dinner followed by extra-curricular activities and homework and bed at the time the natural rhythms of a teenager dictate, maybe midnight. They would get so much more done and be so much less grouchy and teenagery. Why, every parent would go around saying, My teenagers used to drive me crazy and now they're my best friends.

If you really like getting up early, then be my guest. It's all yours. But when you put your tootsies on the icy cold floor and shiver as you wait for the shower to warm up, please imagine your Lola, sleeping in comfort on her pillow-top mattress and surrounded by the dogs who love her, farting quietly while Lola is blissfully unaware of the slight stench but also blissfully, sleepily aware of the snoring that is so much like the gentle purr of the motor of a happy cat.

Infinities of love,


Friday, February 4, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I have finished My Reading Life, so loving inscribed to me by my close personal friend Pat Conroy, and I pronounce it worth purchasing, because it is a book you will want to read more than once, just as all Pat's books are worth reading more than once.

Everything Pat writes is so darn beautiful that I don't know how he does it. I think he's a poet at heart and the poetry comes out in his prose. This is a man who exults in the loveliness of language. He is also extraordinarily well read and his knowledge of literature shows. I don't know how he manages to write or do anything else when he claims he reads 200 pages per day. I can barely keep up with the dogs and maybe read 50 pages per day, and I read quite a bit faster than most people I know. Ah well. At least I read. I am sad for people who don't read because they aren't interested,  don't feel the joy of reading, didn't learn to read well, or are too overwhelmed by day to day life to make reading part of their routine. I guess I could get in more than my 50 pages if I gave up sleep and movies, but I get damn tired from all the documents I have to fill out in order to conduct my life as a dumped first wife, and I learn so much from movies, especially documentaries, and enjoy their technical aspects. And then there are le French films: Oo la la!

Anyhoo, the first surprise I found in this book is that Pat grew up with his southern mother reading Gone With The Wind to him, and he still loves it. His mother would talk about family members who were just like Melanie Wilkes and other characters. What a fun way to look at a book. And I don't buy that loving this book makes someone a racist anymore than I think the N word should be removed from Huckleberry Finn, and I'll be happy to expound on my opinion regarding Huck on another day.

I would call My Reading Life a literacy autobiography. We learn about many of the books and authors Pat loves (big time fan of Thomas Wolfe, huge --  he imitated Wolfe in his own early writing, harangued people about his love of Wolfe to the point that some people wanted to strangle the person who had introduced him to Wolfe), and he presents wonderful reminiscences of his high school English teacher and other people who have played an important role in his reading and writing life. He also engages in a little interesting story telling about encounters with women who didn't want anything to do with a Southern man, or any man -- we're talkin' Alice Walker and Adrienne Rich here. Interesting anecdotes, but Pat is never not interesting. The man has a great ability to fascinate the reader, to pull  us in whether he's employing the incredible violence in The Prince of Tides or recounting a tale from his own life.

Pat also reveals that he thinks plot is ALL and if you don't have a story, then you don't got nothin'. I learned that characters drive the plot. If I turn into a Patite, perhaps I will figure out how to write a best-selling novel. I have six chapters, six damn chapters, and I don't know what to do next. But Lord I love those first six. I'm stuck and I don't believe in writer's block. I just don't know what to do. But Pat knows and he's done it over and over with every book.

I am fascinated by the abusive childhoods Pat and I shared, the difficulties we have experienced with our lives as adults, and our sometimes nearly debilitating depression, for we also seem to share the same sense of humor. I think some of the most amusing people have had absolutely miserable lives. More than one person has said to me, You are the funniest person I have ever met. And Pat is one of the funniest people I have ever met. Some psychologist needs to explain to me how humor can come out of great pain. Is it a coping mechanism or are we funny because we're so damn brilliant? Tee hee. At least Pat is, and I hope I have my moments.

I would venture so far as to say that reading and writing have saved my life.

Pat says his mother raised him to be a southern writer, with the emphasis on southern, but Pat is by no means confined to the south. He is a writer for all the world.

Here's hoping you will read and love My Reading Life. So sorry you won't get the loving, adoring, beautiful inscription in your book that Pat wrote in mine, but don't lose heart. You can read the book and love it and just go ahead and feel a little bit jealous that Pat and I are carrying on quite an affair -- he doesn't know about it, but I do and that's all that matters.

Infinities of love to you and Pat,


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Gentle Readers,

I am fascinated by a sign on the door of my credit union: Proper Attire Is Required Inside The Building.

So the question is, what constitutes improper attire?

Such a sign makes me want to push the limits and see just how far I can go before I arrive at improper attire. Would it require a complete or nearly complete lack of attire?

During my most recent visit to the credit union, I was waiting to gain access to my safety deposit box when a young man strutted past me with his jeans tightly belted below his rear end so his pale grey boxers billowed in his self-created breeze. I've seen plenty of guys with their pants slung low, brightly colored boxers peeking out, but the tight belt below the butt was a new experience for me.

What if I belted my jeans very tightly below my buns while wearing a short top so that my pink granny panties waved hello to all viewers?

I can just imagine the comments: Lord Gawd, shee-it, look at that ole' gal, she must be senile.

Or perhaps some kind older woman would tap me on the shoulder and whisper, Sweetie, you forgot to pull your pants up.

I have on occasion managed to tuck my skirt into the back of my undies.

But proper attire is required only inside the building. What if I stand just outside the front door bare-butt nekked? How long would it take for someone to ask me to leave? Perhaps the guard on duty at the front desk would be given this task.

They'd have to wake him up first. When last I arrived, he had nodded off and didn't open his sleepy eyes to stretch and yawn until I had been there for about 20 minutes.

For some reason all this talk of wear and tear reminds me of an old Livingston (brother of James) Taylor song: Jacques, Jacques, Jacques Cousteau, how low, how low, will you go?

Or something like that. How low will I go?

Here's to pushing the limits.

Infinities of love,


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Oh my goodness, Gentle Readers, have you been watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classic? If you haven't, then turn it on. Lady Mary's (Michelle Dockery) virtue has been questioned. It is the subject of much discussion in London, or so her mother, Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) has heard.

We have here a combination of soap opera, historical social commentary, Upstairs, Downstairs, and Gosford Park, all rolled into a delicious PBS package.

You see, Lord Grantham's heir went down with the Titanic. His estate -- once saved by his wealthy American wife's money -- is entailed, so it's going to a distant cousin everyone has to get to know. Doesn't matter that Lady Cora brought the money into the family -- it's not hers anymore. His Lordship's mummy can't stand the new heir's mummy; the eldest of the three daughters, Lady Mary, planned on marrying the heir who died so the estate would stay in the family and now what is she to do; and there's a marvelous rivalry with one of her younger sisters, who wants to capture the new heir for herself.

And none of that even touches on the machinations of the servants -- Carson, the butler; Lord Grantham's new valet who served with him during the war and as a result has a limp and some of the other servants have been out to get him; a lady's maid who has learned to type on a newfangled typewriter and wants to get a job as a secretary; and there's an evil footman, Thomas, who has already tried to blackmail a duke with whom he once had an affair. I don't think Upstairs, Downstairs could ever boast of such a weasely, evil footman.

I especially like Elizabeth McGovern. I haven't seen her in forever and she's still gorgeous and perfect as Lady Cora, the sweet, gentle mother who is trying to guide her daughters in a changing world, where women just might win the right to vote. And Maggie Smith is a hoot as the Dowager Countess, simpering as she barely tolerates the new heir and his mum.

If you haven't been watching, you can order Downton Abbey from Amazon or watch online at PBS. Or your local PBS station might still be showing the series. Amazon says their version has seven parts instead of only four. I haven't watched Part Four yet and I can't wait to see what's going to happen with the new heir and Lady Mary. I am addicted, so I just might have to order the longer series from Amazon so I can see what else they have to offer.

Onward Sister Sufragettes!

Infinities of love,