Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sorry, you didn't win: these two dresses. Nor the Picasso top either. No indeed. Sniped at the last second. I was naive and didn't know that sniping existed. Yes, an old broad like me can still be naive about things. Kind of charming, no?

Of course I don't need any more clothing, but I've been giving into my worst impulses over the past month. A combination of stress and despair that left me in desperate need of a new frock or three. But my schedule made it impossible to hit the stores.

I just did a week-long run of a show, most likely my swan song, and finished editing a movie. I think I logged in about 900 hours of editing. But I found plenty of time to bid on fripperies while waiting for video to import at 3AM. I also found it convenient to guzzle hootch and make poor nutritional choices while doing so. Why rotate your addictions when you can combine them?

But these three above I lost. Oh, sour grapes! And how I am jonesing for vegetable prints, Picasso reproductions and giraffes. Sighs.

These two I snagged:

Now the vegetable print skirt was obviously a necessity. Clearly. Just look at those juicy eggplants and sturdy carrots. And it fits perfectly, much to my surpise. It is my first ebay purchase. Really. But now the seal is broken and I am out there bidding. Look out.

The dress has not arrived yet. I own at least two dozen Hawaiian frocks so this was not necessary, pas de tout, but I could not resist the combination of blue gold and white. Plus it was the middle of the night, the show was mired in tech problems and I just had to have something.

Now that I am retired from the stage I really don't know what to do with myself. I found a yoga studio that shares space with an OTB. I'm not kidding. Exacta and downward dog, now that's what I call a Saturday. I figure I could place my bets, then take a yoga class and then see if I won or not. (Though most of the fun comes from watching one's horse lose.) Then hit the flea market and top it off with a soak and a shvitz at the Russian baths. Now that I'm a private citizen, I might as well indulge myself, no? Live it up a bit. Focus on improving the quality of my life.

I've discovered that I am extremely lackadaisical about lunch. I work in Midtown Manhattan where lunch is generally both banal and expensive. I take the path of least resistance most days by going to a national chain (let's just call it Overpriced Sandwich) that is in the lobby of the high rise building where I work, simply to avoid traipsing around in the heat (or the cold)and getting really angry at the very slow-moving tourists who are clogging up the sidewalks. Horrors. And here I am, a snob who orders all her books from a local bookshop to avoid big box stores, who won't even try on a dress with a Gap label, who avoids TV like it's radioactive (etc., etc. ad nauseum) and I don't bother to apply this philopshy to what I eat. For shame. It's all or nothing, right? Or can I just be a sloppy hypocrite with a blindspot the size of an oncoming freight train? Can I just say that I've been busy, and I can't do everything and leave it at that?

Diana Vreeland ate the same lunch everyday she worked at Vogue: an apple and a shot of scotch. Now that sounds ideal to me (provided I had eaten an enormous breakfast, with eggs and toast and blueberry pancakes--I mean, I get hungry) but unfortunately drinking at one's desk is very much frowned upon these days. I don't know why, but that's how it is. I could pack a lunch, but the few times I have done so I gobbled it up by 11am and was hungry for more come 1:30.

Into this void steps Midtown Lunch, a blog devoted to finding better lunch options. But alas, most of them too meat-centric for me. Though I do enjoy eating things off catering trucks and roadside carts with dubious sanitary conditions, I find the food so heavy that all I want to do after lunch is nap.

What do you eat for lunch? How do you like it?

Labels: , , ,

Now let us praise Nana Mouskouri. The polyglot Cretan-born songstress with only one vocal chord is currently on a farewell tour. Though Cher has had more than one farewell tour, so perhaps I can still hope to see Ms. Mouskouri live.

I became enchanted with Ms. Mouskouri when I was 16. In a local Salvation Army, I found an LP with a cover photo of a beautiful woman wearing an evening gown and black thick-framed glasses. And I remember thinking: any woman who proudly wears her glasses (and with an evening gown no less) is totally awesome, I must have this record. I bought it despite the outrageously expensive price of two dollars. (This was 1985, goslings, and I was accustomed to buying 70's photo print shirts and gold lamé suits for 25 cents.) The record was called something like International Songs, and it is long gone now alas. But I remember that there were beautiful, lushly orchestrated songs in French, German, and Greek, and it was in high rotation during my last two years of high school. I could still hum the opening song for you, a traditional Greek melody.

Her music always makes me feel like I'm living in Europe (with free health care and the entire month of August off) and I'm having a dinner party at my summer home (with a mod pop art decor) serving delicious things including vegetables from my own garden for witty, multi-lingual friends and no one is in a hurry to get home.

Ms. Mouskouri beautifully demonstrates Andy Warhol's dictate to find a style of your own and stick with it. The last photo shows her concert at the Acropolis on July 24, 2008, still lovely and proud at 73 years old. That's what attracts me to her style the most. It's marvelously dignified. I'd keep her around as a style icon even if she didn't sing.

Of course the early 70s are her strongest influence. Just look at her in the Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress. But I still think she makes it her own.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jumping Jehosaphat. Not just frogs, but frogs in hats. Vaguely Argentinian hats worn at a jaunty angle. Leaping frogs, toes spread, making ripples on the pond, reeds and cattails astir. Thrillingly unexpected black, white and red colorway. I love how the print lurches around the dress. The red panels and border, and the grain of the linen. I am clutching my heart and sighing. Go and see more for yourself. It's not in pristine condition, but how could you hold that against these frogs?

This is 40's whimsical novelty at its psychedelic, Doctor-Seussical best.

Frogs are one of my mom's obsessions. Come on, mama, let's hear your thoughts on this beauty.

I'd wear this with a very thick red belt and my new white Worishofers. Yep, German nurses' sandals. They've been on my wish list for a coupla years, but I decided, what the hell, why not make all of my dreams come true? My dreams, as it turns out, are fairly modest. The ones that don't involve films crews or jet fuel anyway. Just some comfortable shoes, a day at the beach, some Georgian cheese bread, and tap dancing lessons. Not too much to ask, really.

Now of course I have fantasies, and they run the gamut. For example, I've always wanted to sing Cole Porter songs backed by a full orchestra in a swank supper club like El Morocco. Naturally to do this I'd need a Schiaparelli gown festooned with lobsters and red opera length gloves. That one is gonna take some more work.

The Worishofers are both orthopedic and 40's looking. They go with all my full skirted dresses in particular. They definitely add charm to my 40's inspired late 70's summer dresses. They are super light and quite comfortable and supportive. However, I won't lie to you. There has been a learning curve that involved some blisters and bandaids. But as my friend Rita Z says, the moment when stiff shoes start to yield is one of life's most exquisite pleasures.