Our friend Martin, who teaches high school in Santa Monica CA, sent us this image this morning. Apart from the unsettling experience of receiving Buddhist sentiments on Easter Sunday, we now face a quandary over whether or not to contact the school administration, as the words themselves are clearly crazy-talk.
Did you know that the word for ‘stamp collector’ is ‘philatelist’?
I knew that once upon a time, but forgot. Yesterday, I reacquainted myself with the term on the occasion of learning that the country of Finland is issuing ‘Tom of Finland’ commemorative stamps.
The way I see it, at this juncture, stamp collectors now have stamps to match the sound of their name. Really, ‘The American Philatelic Society’ makes the ‘North American Man/Boy Love Association’ sound positively chaste, don’t you think?
The other matter here at hand today has to do with the vagaries of fashion.
When a style winds its way through the chicer environs to finally end up at the fraternity house, it is surely time for the jeunesse dorée, or the pretenders thereto, to abandon it. Hard to believe, but this look (below), though somewhat modified, has in fact been spotted around the keg hereabouts in town.
Now, you can of course shave the beard, grow/cut/dye your hair, and lose the bow tie and suspenders. But the pretty pictures permanently covering your right arm? Hmm…
Well, there is always hope that the opera glove will make a comeback, in which case you can keep the suspenders. And add a ‘Tom of Finland’ biker cop cap!
Our house turns 100 this year. Built in 1914 and provided by parents as a dowery of sorts for a daughter, Miss Nola Mae Dunaway, who then never married.
Miss Dunaway was personal secretary to musician and educator Hugh Hodgson, for whom our School of Music, and state-of-the-art Concert Hall here on campus are named. She also played pipe organ every Sunday, volunteer, for who knows how many years at the U. S. Navy Supply Corps school (now decommissioned) here in town. Lucky girl.
In her will, she left the house to the university Alumni Association, which in turn auctioned it. The interior was very much a 1914 museum, essentially untouched, when we took possession as only its second occupants.
Though I know in most parts of the world, 100 years isn’t squat, I had considered this centennial of the house something of a big deal as it was upcoming. Then I realized that we ourselves have lived in it for 28 of those 100.
When we moved in in ’86, there were a couple of wisteria vines making their way fairly half-assedly onto an arched rose trellis that had been altogether awkwardly stuck next to the side leg of the front porch. We had three metal angle supports fabricated, and installed them to tame and train the wisteria onto whatever you might call this feature.
Almost without fail, photographers show up in the neighborhood every year when this wisteria peaks. I myself have never joined them before now. I am one lazy so-and-so.
Do you know ‘Raj’ on ‘The Big Bang Theory’? I’ve been talking to ‘Raj’ off and on all week trying to solve our sorry Internet Service Provider problems. I feel obliged to point out that I would feel just as uneasy saying I’ve been speaking to ‘Cam’ (‘Modern Family’) rather than ‘Raj’ if the persons I’ve been speaking to all week were all hysterical queens. Overthink? I wrote a post about our I.S.P.’s Customer and Tech support being based in India a couple of years ago. Read (click here) if I haven’t convinced you yet that I am the King of Overthink.
Whereas I am sick of email/internet/television, my ‘leaving the grid’ would of course downwardly spiral very quickly, Theo Kaczynski (minus the bombs) within a couple of months. Well, maybe not that bad, but after a point, a person does feel held hostage by ‘modern conveniences’. Enough of that.
Otherwise, Monday is our friend Lynn’s birthday. Previously I have described her here as ‘sleek and chic and magnifique’ (thank you, Frank Loesser), and she remains so. Seems when we’re putting together trinkets for her birthday, the theme is always cocktail-ish, no departure this year.
Funny, as cocktail napkin slogans go, I think, but unfortunately, also true. And by the way, I do know that internet connection problems don’t quality as ‘sorrows’.
Over this past weekend, after a month of conspiracy, we packed a close friend off to rehab. As I maintain this blog in the ether (none of our friends are aware it exists), I don’t feel indiscreet mentioning this. I’m postpartum blue today.
The ambush effect of this intervention seemed negligible, and the rest was relief and gratitude. The only major hiccup came late, when it was discovered our friend had no picture I.D. to board an aircraft. (As it turns out, you can.)
It’s sad when pretty words lose their power, but there are in fact men too gentle to live among wolves. I know that now comes the hard part, but I am optimistic.
Wish us luck.
Let’s set a quick ad hoc ground rule here for this post if we may: As an old queen myself, I can call anyone I want to an old queen, as long as s/he is certifiably an old queen. Okay?
My friend Martin sent me the following the other day:
I neither look forward, where there is doubt, nor backward, where there is regret; I look inward and ask myself not if there is anything out in the world that I want and had better grab quickly before nightfall, but whether there is anything inside me that I have not yet unpacked. I want to be certain that, before I fold my hands and step into my coffin, what little I can do and say and be is completed. ~ Quentin Crisp
Now, what I want to know is, where did this old queen get a ton of grace, when I may have gotten only an ounce or two in this life?
Returning briefly to what I called ‘off-the-beaten-path’ names last post, I got an email yesterday from MoveOn.org from an individual named ‘Milan de Vries’. MoveOn.org is not even a LGBT organization! There are drag performers out there who would pay big money for that name! It’s not fair.
Closing, my self-identification as an old queen at the start is actually not altogether accurate: I do not believe I am sufficiently dainty.
There may be those who would disagree with that.
Frankly, even at this late date, I still don’t know what this blog is supposed to be. I do know that it could never be mistaken for one of those finger-on-the-pulse affairs.
My last couple of ideas for something to post here died on the vine. One of them was based on the fact that I’ve known two people in my lifetime with the first name ‘Valentine’: my Great Aunt ‘Vally’, a tall and pleasant, well-to-do lady who kept her hair a youthful red until she was eighty, and Valentine Matuszkiewicz, whom I knew when I was twenty.
But that was about it.
I have been preoccupied this month with ‘other’, but mostly it’s a focus problem. I do hope matters improve, and that I can also stop neglecting the blogs I read. Wish me luck.
By the way, I know more than just a couple of people with off-the-beaten-path names. Our insurance agent for example, his name is Rhett Butler.
I have some lingering notion that there was an abundance of junky dramas on television during the years of my childhood. This is probably not true, but I do know that during that time, I once asked my parents why anyone would take ‘medicine’ that would make them desperate and crazy. Instead of telling me, say, ‘Well, it begins as a pleasurable experience, but then you get very, very sick’, I think they just changed the subject; it was the Fifties.
Later in life, with a firm grasp on the abstract, I eventually experienced being lofted onto the velvet cloud of morphine via painkiller, and could then understood exactly why ladies and gentlemen love their heroin, and cannot leave it.
When my friend Will W. contacted me from New York early this past Sunday morning with the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman had been found dead, I quickly thought of Heath Ledger and his own lonely drug death. Then, of the Oscar that Hoffman won and Ledger did not, so especially cruel, since if ever an award should have been shared, it was that one.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s talent was beyond the beyond. Since his death, I’ve been glad to see ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ mentioned in almost every writeup. With nothing short of sorcery, Hoffman assures you in that picture that his character Freddie Miles instantly sees through Tom Ripley. The effect on me, something of a fraud myself, was diabolical.
I think whatever is in play with our relationship with the movies almost coaches us to expect that we know the actors in them, and take it personally when they go. What can I say, I don’t know if we should feel silly about that, or not.
A coffee shop called Jittery Joe’s opened here in town in 1994. Just about that long ago, my nephew Stuart gave Stephen and me a Jittery Joe’s gift card, likely at Christmas; he had written in the recipient blank ‘Uncle David and Steve’.
Uncle David and Steve have a habit of letting gift cards expire. We even let businesses themselves expire, then subsequently unearth worthless cards. Fortunately, the Joe’s card had no expiration date.
Why it resurfaced just this past week after almost two decades is a mystery, but on my way out last evening, I snatched it from behind its recent home behind a refrigerator magnet and stuck it in my pocket.
A couple of cans of coffee beans in tow, I warned the fellow behind the counter at Jittery Joe’s that I was about to pay with a gift card older than he was. He took a look, laughed, and said, ‘Wow!’ Then, reading the names on the card, he said, ‘So, is Steve your partner?’ I said yes, and we carried on a pleasant back-and-forth while he rung up the sale.
Signing off, he stuck out his hand, grinned and said, ‘It’s been nice to meet you, ‘Uncle’ David!’ Then, with a fairly serious twinkle in his eye, said, ‘Or, is that sometimes ‘Dad’.’
They’re never this saucy at Starbucks.