Tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of Domani Dave.

The ‘blame’ for the onset of this blog goes to ‘my’ psychiatrist in Arizona, but the handful of friends in the ether are responsible for its perpetuation.  In spite of persistent impulses to stow it, I’ve repeatedly refrained.

Two things account for my recent absence from the blogs of the friends in the ether.

Starting the first of this month, I was busy helping Stephen prepare a lecture on gems for a mostly retired university faculty audience.  Poor thing had never done one of these before and was in deep denial.  In the process of our putting together ‘the show’, I discovered that I had transposed, so to speak, all his anxiety onto myself.  I lost five pounds.  Seriously.

Stephen is, after all, a natural and his presentation was a huge success, no stage fright.  The person introducing him called him ‘a national treasure’.  That he is.  Seriously.

The other impediment to reading blogs has been battling our faulty internet service.  I’ve talked to more citizens of India over the past two weeks than perhaps previously in my entire lifetime.  I always keep my cool and respond in a manner so polite that I descend into obsequiousness.

I do this for the sake of good international relations, to compensate for all those Ugly Americans screaming to call center employees ‘Why is my fucking internet always dropping out!’ … or something to that effect.

Our internet is back, and I can now ask you to read the comments on my last post before the outage, so that you can see the fortune cookie was correct.

Many thanks, merci beaucoup, and ευχαριστώ πολύ ethereals, past and present!


Boxes of Cracker Jack used to have fortunes printed on paper wrappers on the plastic toys stuffed in with the caramel corn and peanuts.  The toys went extinct because people were choking on them, I understood.  Personally, I can discern snack from foreign object, but whatever.

Once upon a time, I decided there would have to be an oracle in the Cracker Jack plant who placed just the right fortune in the box intended for the person he knew would get that particular box.  Well?

Assuming the toy wrappers are a thing of the past, soothsayer opportunities in the Chinese food trade remain.  Included here, the latest fortune offering from recent Chinese takeout.

This has happened here online, though through the front door, not so much.

It’s not that I’m not wise to it, but I confess I love fashion advertising.

Here’s a worse confession: we watch ‘Project Runway’.

Any remark during the show is prefaced with ‘Since fashion is my l i f e …’

If you saw the way I dress, you’d immediately see the lie, however, if I had a buyer and a dresser, I would gladly succumb to fashion.  I don’t see these ‘positions’ being filled on my ‘staff’ anytime soon.

Back to magazine ads and the fashion photos within them.

On my ‘trial balloon’ website Illusion Veil, I posted two photos last year, with remarks.  About the one by Richard Avedon (who died this day twelve years ago) I wrote:

‘I’m drawn to pictures with more than just a little theatre in them.  This photo has had practically a whole movie shoehorned into it.  That’s not asking too much.’


The two-page spread below which appears in the current issue of Town & Country is however an example of no theatre at all.  It’s trying for Antonioni ennui, but alas it’s just two expensive Brunello Cucinelli jackets (though it would appear that I still like the picture).

While I do enjoy the advertising, I am vaguely troubled by the fact that I have a subscription to Town & Country.

As much as I find the people in the articles pretty tedious, I’m fairly certain none of them watch ‘Project Runway’.


The photos are clickable.

Though next April first, we will have been a couple for 40 years, this Friday the 23rd of September is our first wedding anniversary.

You will recall that we elected to get married last year on the Autumnal Equinox, in observance of ‘marriage equality’.

This year, the equinox occurs on the 22nd, as it will next year, before returning to a pair of 23rd’s again.

Stephen has promised me this flawless 40.22 carat diamond from Tiffany’s, which we spied in a full page ad in the New York Times last week.

He assures me that this gift will cost many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many times our net worth and will fling us into irredeemable debt, but I don’t care.




Edward Albee died yesterday.

I was first introduced to him in high school in probably 1963 by my friend Tony via a recording (on vinyl, for heaven’s sake) of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’.  Two years later I staged his one-act ‘The Sandbox’ as a Speech and Drama class project, but had to excise the ‘god’ from ‘goddamn’ in the dialog, this was high school, after all, and the South.

In the Eighties, I met Albee himself at a reception after a lecture.  I circled the knot of people clustered around him until apparently he noticed and rather abruptly stuck his hand out in my direction.  Our conversation was very brief, during which I said ‘Virginia Woolf’ had given me ‘a quote for every occasion’.

He seemed to enjoy the remark as just cocktail nonsense, having no way of knowing it was actually true.

A couple of things struck me in today’s NY Times obit:

“His own writing was less than successful — he tried short stories and gave them up — and though he published a handful of poems, he gave that up, too, when he was 26, because, as he put it, “I remember thinking, ‘Edward, you’re getting better as a poet, but the problem is you don’t really feel like a poet, do you?  You feel like someone who is writing poetry’.”  He added: “I knew I was a writer and had failed basically at all other branches of writing, but I was still a writer.  So I did the only thing I had not done.  I wrote a play.”

“All of my plays are about people missing the boat, closing down too young, coming to the end of their lives with regret at things not done, as opposed to things done,” Albee said in a 1991 Times interview. “I find most people spend too much time living as if they’re never going to die.”

About 25 years ago, an acquaintance asked me to do a quick poster for a local production of a play called ‘The Shadow Box’ (not Albee’s ‘The Sandbox’).  The play ends with a ‘call and response’ sort of thing, and I tinkered with these pairs, rearranging a couple of them (the effrontery!).

The nifty color doodles in the background have faded completely.  Hmm…


Sometimes here on Domani Dave I’m sure it doesn’t show, but I’m an adherent of that Blanche DuBois tenet which maintains that deliberate cruelty is the one unpardonable sin.

Liza, if you’re reading, I didn’t mean to be mean with the last post.  It’s just that to make my point, you do have the reputation of maintaining — in the words of Herb Gardner — “a philosophy falling somewhere to the left of whoopee”.

I apologize.  But while we’re on the subject, here is a post from almost five years ago, when I used to write such pieces.

–     –     –     –     –

Trail in the Ether

November 15, 2011

A gentleman of our acquaintance named Kelly used to do Liza Minnelli drag in the late Seventies.  He called his show (can you guess?) ‘Kelly with a ‘K’.  Although he performed the Liza moves and mannerisms nicely, the problem was — for lack of a better way to put it — scale: Kelly was six-three, I think.  Additionally, though I will not call him rotund, he was a big-boned gal, and in Fräulein Sally Bowles attire, none of the odds were, in a manner of speaking, in his favor.

I liked Kelly, an audience with him topped-up my ‘grand queen quotient’.  Every so often he would throw these slightly tortured little soirees in his small apartment, and I would go solo.  (At that time Stephen worked with Kelly at the local newspaper and felt that he was adequately dosed with Vitamin K there.)  At one point Kelly was working on a biography of Hollywood costume designer Adrian and for a while corresponded with at least half a dozen obliging actresses including Deborah Kerr and Katharine Hepburn.  I believe it turns out that Adrian, though very talented, didn’t have much of a ‘story’, and the biography fizzled.

During that time, one afternoon our friend Betsy and I were walking across the college campus here and encountered Kelly.  I cannot recall why she would have been aware of his drag history, but when introduced, she said, “Now, it’s ‘Kelly’, right?  With a ‘K’?”  At this point as if on cue, Kelly threw his head back in the finest Norma Desmond fashion, complete with a short, staccato burst of laughter: “What a clever girl! [hand springs up as if to shield the acid aside] Get rid of her!”

Kelly took a job in Arizona and we subsequently lost complete track of him, but ‘clever girl’ lived on.  Thrown together decades later at an art department function with one of Betsy’s sons, finishing his Master’s in Art History, I cracked wise saying: ‘Art’ began on the cave walls of Lascaux and Chauvet, and ended with the graffiti of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and that “everything in-between was just fluff”.  Behold, the lad fired back, “What a clever man, get rid of him!”

Your trail in the ether, Kelly.  Bless you, wherever you are!

I’ve had an extra cocktail this evening.

Picture this.  Instead of Hillary Clinton, Liza Minnelli is the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.  Today we learn that poor Liza has been hooked up to a ventilator.

Would we not still vote for her over Donald Trump?

I was going to do a short post on olive oil bottles today (seriously…) but, then came this much better opportunity.

Here is a photograph of our very dear friend Martin, whom I’ve mentioned here fairly frequently, and his student Nico.  Martin sent us a heads-up yesterday about tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine.  Have a look. (Click)

I know so many bright and talented and accomplished people, my hubby and Martin included.  I’ve also collected a number of accomplished ‘virtual’ people out there in the internet ether who also seem very bright and talented.

So, is it ‘birds of a feather’, or ‘opposites attract’?

I knew that’s what you’d say!


Okay, so yesterday I got my copy of Barbra Streisand’s new album:

‘Encore – Movie Partners Sing Broadway’

Recently (if you consider May ‘recently’), I reminded you that I was the original Babsophile.  But, my true devotion came then went, dropping away from her for decades, but still sampling from time to time.

The last record I bought was ‘What Matters Most’, which didn’t so much to me.  Before that, it was ‘A Love Like Ours’, from which I liked ‘Isn’t It a Pity’, and ‘The Music that Makes Me Dance’ (from ‘Funny Girl’… old habits).

This new duets contrivance has resuscitated my ardor, but within bounds.  The craftsmanship is there in abundance, but thankfully not the overbearing, it seems as relaxed as the new rush of interviews she’s done promoting the album.

The formula here is each track as a small dramatic scene.  Curiously, out of ten, only two are opposite women, and they are not my favorites.

‘At the Ballet’, with Daisy Ridley and Anne Hathaway, is the lead track of the album, and the lengthiest.  Apparently intended to be something of a centerpiece, disconsidering the talent chasm separating these singers, I don’t know why ‘B’ would place her 74 year-old voice next to these crisper ones.

The other girl duet is with Melissa McCarthy, and the lyrics of ‘Anything You can Do’ have been tailored to that actress’s movie persona.  Chalk-up my lack of appreciation for this track to the fact that ‘salty broad’ is one of my very least favorite types on screen and in life.

Done with the dissing, my favorites are ‘Who Can I Turn To?’ and ‘The Best Thing that Has Ever Happened’, which luckily appear in that order.

Ms. S. has resurrected Anthony Newley, who died in 1999, for the loneliest song ever written.  The lyrics (his) are perfectly tragic and the delivery so gorgeous, I teared-up just shy of a sob.  (There, there Dave…)

Who can I turn to / When nobody needs me? / My heart wants to know / And so I must go / Where destiny leads me / With no star to guide me / And no one beside me / I’ll go on my way / And after the day / The darkness will hide me

And maybe tomorrow / I’ll find what I’m after / I’ll throw off my sorrow / Beg, steal, or borrow / My share of laughter / With you I could learn to / With you on a new day / But who can I turn to / If you turn away?

Surviving Anthony Newley, fortunately Alec Baldwin rescues the mood with the strictly speaking only true ‘duet’ on the record, Sondheim’s ‘The Best Thing…’ which in the CD booklet Ms. Streisand edifies was originally performed between a man and a woman, then between two men in the rewrite of its show.  Neat.

Now, here’s something I need from you.  On, there is a lottery in place for a chance to meet Barbra Streisand, who is currently campaigning for Hillary.

I’m already rehearsing my conversation with Babs so I don’t gush, and you could really screw this up if we can’t keep any negative critique here just between you and me.


My thoughts are ever-increasingly difficult to herd into a post, which is why this ‘marvelous journey’ is kinda petering out.

This morning I read a marvelously convoluted post by the author of the term ‘marvelous journey’ as it applies to blogging; riffing on Cavafy, he routinely wishes new bloggers one.  He also, in spite of intermittent protestations to the contrary, is never flustered by uncooperative thoughts.

Inspired by this marvelous post, I offer this rumination, neither very substantial nor original, on one of the liabilities of longevity.

Directly across the street from our neighborhood bakery is a group of three apartment buildings built in the 1920’s: Milledge Circle, Milledge Park, and the Henrietta.  As a student, Stephen had an apartment there at a time when several residents were original to the buildings brand new.

Across the hall from him was Miss O. Vincent, who had traveled the world as a girl, and saw in my spouse (an ‘artistic’ youth…) a soul who would appreciate her experiences over tea.

This morning I was struck (but not very harshly) with how blissfully (?) unaware the slip of a girl selling me my scones (yum) at the bakery was to the fact that things were not always this graceless.

Closer to seventy than sixty-nine, this knowledge is unavoidable to me, and I have it third-hand from Miss Vincent that once upon a time things were actually graceful.

Is it any wonder ghosts moan.

Hubby, ground floor left, Miss Vincent on the right. Click for bigger.

Hubby, ground floor foreground, Miss Vincent to the right. Couple of click for bigger.

A remark from my friend Will, misdirected to another page

A comment from my friend Will, misdirected to another page

Why am I telling you this?

I started blogging in 2009, but September 2015, I ditched the previous posts in a fit of cyber housecleaning. Some of it was really nice writing, but alas as my old friend Susan once said, 'Compulsion is a cruel master'.

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