Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Not-Friday Cat Blog

These are my cats, Manfred, on the left, the bigger seal point, and Margo, the smaller, chocolate point siamese:

This is a fairly representative picture of them because Manfred looks crazed, which he is, and Margo looks alert and engaged, but calm. It's pretty clear that she's not going to leap out of the cat tree anytime soon.

Manfred, on the other hand, is insane. We can't decide if he's more of a danger to himself or us. His hijinx include:
1. Opening the front door by himself. I'm used to being awakened in the night by the sound of him crawling up the front door and hanging onto the chain lock, but one night it was really getting out of hand--it sounded like he was leaping onto and climbing up the front door so vigorously that it was banging open and shut. That's because it was. I had forgotten to lock it, since I only use the front door when I go into the apartment hallway to get the mail. At 3 a.m. the front door was wide open and Manfred was sitting in the hallway, because he's not that brave after all. He didn't want to leave so much as he wanted to have the option of leaving.

2. Undoing a latch that connects a cd tower to a bookcase (Ikea Billy bookcases--you know what they look like) and knocking over the 8 foot tall cd tower, spilling every single cd onto the floor.

3. Pulling an antique beveled mirror off the wall and breaking it into a million pieces. (Margo might have helped in this one, actually)

4. Turning on the burners on the stove as he jumps from the top of the stove onto the top of the refrigerator and back. So if you're wondering why my home, though child-free, has safety knobs on the stove, that's why.

5. And his most recent escapade, the reason why I'm blogging about him today: getting himself wedged between the glass window pane and the window screen. He did this two days in a row. The first morning I woke up to a banging sound and went to reprimand him for hanging on the front door. But the hallway was empty. No kitty in any room and yet the banging continued. I finally realized the sound was coming from behind the drawn blinds. Pulling them up I found Manfred splayed between the windows, a couple of inches off the sill, suspended by his claws from the screen (good for the screen. that's totally coming out of the safety deposit). We left the window open a crack the night before. He wedged it open and then got caught when the window dropped closed behind him. The next morning, same thing, only he was waiting for me, slightly more calmly, at the bottom of the window.

But I am blogging about this today because the super stopped me on my way out this morning and said that a neighbor had complained that we had stuck our cat in the window. Or maybe they just saw the cat stuck in the window and called the super to call us. The super and I had a little bit of a language problem, so I'm not sure exactly how it went. But he did take some convincing that the cat had trapped himself. Because some people do that, you know. They trap their cats between the screen and the window for the whole neighborhood to see.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It's still poetry month, right?

So I had this dream once. I was a young, impressionable undergrad English major, in the first throes of feminist fervor, discovering Gilbert and Gubar, realizing that the world was unjust and unfair to women, particularly women who write, and I decided to change it.

Well, more like, I knew I could be an Oscar-winning actress, a prima donna singer, maybe even the world's best, albeit least trained dancer. But being kind of lazy, I thought I would chase celebrity via an easier, more sure-fire route, namely academics. More specifically, feminist literary criticism. Smokin' hot, right?

(This Margo, she is not too bright, eh?)

I entered grad school with a plan: find a forgotten female modernist writer, rediscover her, write compelling, irresistable criticism, find some great photos and Voila! I'm the next Rachel Blau Duplessis, or Susan Stanford Friedman. Problem was, they'd already called dibs (and done work on) H.D. Djuna Barnes? Too late. Natalie Barney? Um, she slept with a lot of people and had a great salon, but she didn't really write anything, except Oscar Wilde-type witty epigrams. Could I really write a dissertation-cum-crossover-best-seller based on witty epigrams? Besides, Karla Jay already got to her. And sister, when you're entering grad school in 1992, don't even THINK you're gonna get to write about Virginia Woolf.

By the time I got to my doctoral exams I had resigned myself to correcting the oversights of the feminist literary critics who had come before me--I just needed a good hook, a good way to squeeze them all into one manuscript. A shopping mall approach to scholarship. The hook never came, but the forgotten modernist writer did. Really, when I least expected her, there she was in my Norton Anthology of Women Writers. I fell in love hard and fast.

My advisor had insisted I add some poems by Amy Lowell to my modernist reading list. I resisted, because I knew I knew everything there was to know about her--fat, rich, bossy, more of an impresario than a poet. A gnat circling around H.D., a b-list modernist, Ezra Pound's nemesis. But then I read some and I was hooked. It didn't hurt that I had just begun my first lesbian relationship and these poems were hot, hot, hot. We're talking unfolding flowers, dripping stamens, peeled almonds, the works.

And so began my love affair with Amy Lowell. Since then I've written a dissertation on her, co-edited an edition of her poems, and a collection of critical essays about her. I've been preparing to take my leave of her, in order to prove my academic credibility, but I've got a good job in a supportive department and so I feel like I can take a risk and write my old-fashioned single-author manuscript after all. Tomorrow I'm giving a reading at my favorite feminist book store on her, because it's poetry month and all. And because I asked.

That's the thing about writing about forgotten impresarios. You have to become one yourself. But my product, this Amy Lowell, she's really stunning.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
*Published in Pictures of the Floating World (1919) as “The Weather Cock Points South”
I put your leaves aside,
One by one:
The stiff, broad outer leaves;
The smaller ones,
Pleasant to touch, veined with purple;
The glazed inner leaves.
One by one
I parted you from your leaves,
Until you stood up like a white flower
Swaying slightly in the evening wind.

White flower,
Flower of wax, of jade,
of unstreaked agate;
Flower with surfaces of ice,
With shadows faintly crimson.
Where in all the garden is there such a flower?
The stars crowd through the lilac leaves
To look at you.
The low moon brightens you with silver.

The bud is more than the calyx.
There is nothing to equal a white bud,
Of no colour, and of all;
Burnished by moonlight,
Thrust upon by a softly-swinging wind.
Vanity Fair, June 1919

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Potty Mouth

Gotta stop swearing so much when I teach.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Allergic to the world

It was 80 degrees today in Chicago. The trees are starting to blossom, the lake path is jammed with happy, bare-skinned people and I can't stop sneezing. I've taken so much allergy medicine that I'm sick to my stomach and can't stay awake. A perfect day to grade essays, right? I took a restless, half-awake/half-asleep nap in the middle of the afternoon, as I was reading The Woman Warrior for about the tenth time, because I'm teaching it right now and my half-asleep thoughts took on Kingston's voice--"had my mother roused herself from her sleep, she would have seen a pollen ghost, fat and green, soft like the cotton cover of the couch she slept on." I woke up to a milky-white dusk and the beginnings of rain. Good. Wash away this sticky spring and let me sleep tonight.

What I would have liked to do today:
1. watch The Bob Newhart Show
2. listen to Aztec Camera's Love
3. color

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Dusty Springfield interrupts

Uh, hullo, it's me, Margo's real favorite diva, Dusty Springfield. I know she talks a lot about Bette Davis, but that's because she's trying to psychoanalyze herself on the cheap via an endless recitation of her strange childhood obsessions. But I'm who she really thinks about/longs for/rhapsodizes endlessly about.

You probably shouldn't read anything into the fact that I look almost exactly like her earliest childhood memories of her mother preparing to go out for the evening circa 1972.

Anyway, it's my birthday. Happy Birthday to me.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Internet communities I have known and loved

The blogging world is new to me, and as I read the pages I like, (or yes, compulsively, the pages I don't like but must check because I feel threatened by them in a wish-I-were-that-cool or who-the-f*ck-do-they-think-they-are kind of way) I try to trace the relationships--who knows who in real life, who reads whose page regularly, etc. But internet communities are fickle and abstract, and even as I try to break into this world, try to establish connections, try to make friends, I think about the communities I've been a part of over the last decade, how they've defined my adult life.

When I first moved east for grad school, married, straight, just out of BYU, not sure how I was going to keep being a mormon, not sure how I could not be a mormon, my community was a group called LDS Women. I think that's what it was called. There were actually two list-serves--one for just women, one for both women and men. As long as you were uncomfortable with Mormon sexism/homophobia/anti-intellectualism, but not enough so to stop dragging your kids to church or turn down a calling. It seemed though they were willing to explain how frustrated they were with the church and its politics, they weren't going to leave it. Similarly, though they could readily and eloquently critique their upper-middle class straight privilege, but they certainly weren't ready to ditch it all and join a commune, like their prized heroine/most feared cautionary tale figure, Sonia Johnson. (A current incarnation of this list might look like this.) I was one of these women too, and as I sat in the computer lab in my new school their green words flashing from the black screen were familiar, their anger tasted right.

That group morphed into a few incarnations, but the part of the list I hung with finally settled into HAAM: Heretical Agnostic Aetheist Mormons, an invitation-only, strictly vetted list-serve for only the most angry, most educated, most intellectually and/or socially rebellious of us. HAAM was hot for a while there. I think it died when two of the most active voices, a lesbian couple, broke up. At least it never seemed the same to me after that. I still see some of the members at MLA every year. We refer to ourselves as the Mormon Mafia, and joke about how nobody realizes just how many of us there are in academia. (There's probably a Western-raised, inbred Mormon with a long English nose teaching Coleridge in a classroom near you. Beware, beware. . . )

My most beloved list-serve was, some would say is, or rather, still could be, Maude, a list for discussing fashion, tv, gossip, general femmeness, that started out of SUNY Buffalo in the mid-90s. Most, but not all, of the original members were grad students there. (Not me. Margo only wishes she had been at Buffalo.)

We started when e.r. was new and exciting and we cared who Carter went out with. We talked about clothes, about shoes we wanted, lipstick colors we loved (as Clinique's Rum Raisin morphed into MAC's Sheer Plum), apartments we passed through, jobs we quit, or lost. We swapped guilty tv secrets and spoke of our significant others as Harrisons. Sometimes we talked about our dissertations, our exams, our proposals, our hostile grad program assistants, our amnesiac advisors, our freshman comp classes, the shitty jobs we took on the side to stay afloat. We talked a lot about our ambivalence towards academia. Some talked about relationships, some more than others. You never deleted a Maude post, although some senders made you roll your eyes. Some Maudes you sought out in the real world.

I don't know when we stopped talking. For me Maude was kind of over when I had a difficult and bitter break-up with my eight-year partner, who was also on Maude. I couldn't talk about it there, because it was her community too, in a way that could never be triangulated like live and telephone relationships could be. Nor did I feel like I could talk about the rest of my life there, anymore. I still don't. I don't even know if she's still on Maude, but I waited a year after I got cats to mention it there, because I was afraid she'd make fun of me, the inveterate cat hater, or that she'd find a way to hold it against me.

Every once in a while you'd get an extraordinary announcement: "So, I got married, and the shoes I wore? Still not sure about them." Or "well, since my baby is due in three weeks . . ." I don't know when we started editing out the parts our lives that mattered, hiding behind lipstick and sitcoms when I think a lot of us felt a deep intimacy, an irrational love, a no-matter-what loyalty. We just barely got a new home a few months ago, on a fancy new server, years after anyone has lived in Buffalo or has really been affiliated with the school.

I miss Maude a lot, and wish she'd come back, but after ten years, after break-ups within the community, marriages, babies, deaths, moves, dissertations done and not done, I'm not sure we've got anything to talk about except wishing there was something to talk about.

I bet you wish I would talk about my time on, an active site and community organized around love of, you got it, Kerry Weaver, everybody's favorite red-haired lesbian doctor, don't you? But I won't. I won't even explain how I was really there for the Kate Mulgrew Appreciation thread, or how I got tangled up with a crazy stalker woman whom I'm still kind of scared of. And no way am I going to spill the beans about The Cat Site.

The thing that always catches me off-guard about internet communities is how quickly they flare up and how quickly they die, how they go from being a huge part of your life--some days you can't think a thought or have an experience outside of the narrative parameters of your current on-line community--to something you only remember when an errant message shows up in your in box, or when you follow the bookmark for the first time in weeks, just to see if there's anyone there you know anymore.

Accidental must-see TV

No way was I going to watch Revelations. Too Christian, too Terri Schaivo, too everything-that's-wrong-with-our world. But then I read about it in the NY Times last night, just as it was coming on, and I read that it was written by the guy who wrote The Omen. Okay, I'm listening. And then I remembered how much I like Natascha McElhone, and then it was on and then I couldn't stop watching. Is the inability to not watch this show a sign of the apocalypse?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"a rococo palace of blunders"

That's what Wyndham Lewis called Edith Sitwell's Aspects of Modern Poetry. Lewis was a total dick, and never one to offer real criticism when a smart-ass descriptor would suffice, but I kind of like this one. I work on publicity, personality, and flamboyant excess in modernist poetry, so that's exactly the kind of phrase that grabs my attention. In honor of poetry month, here's one of my favorite Edith Sitwell pieces, (yes, I'll admit, I like to try to recite along with her, in my best Edith Sitwell voice, while I drive). It's much more fun to hear her read it. (Scroll down to the track listings. The preview clip is the whole poem.)

Black Mrs. Behemoth

In a room of the palace
Black Mrs Behemoth
Gave way to wroth
And the wildest malice.
Cried Mrs Behemoth,
"Come, come,
Come, court lady,
Doomed like a moth,
Through palace rooms shady!"
The candle flame
Seemed a yellow pompion,
Sharp as a scorpion,
Nobody came...
Only a bugbear,
Air unkind,
That bud-furred papoose,
The young spring wind,
Blew out the candle.
Where is it gone?
To flat Coromandel
Rolling on!

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Ring Cycle: more like a semi-circle

So we blew off the last two operas. We started off so strong and brave: two nights in a row, totalling almost 9 hours of opera. But then Thursday, and Seigfried, rolled around and girlfriend had seen it twice (this production, no less) and I had seen it once, less than a year ago, and we both had to teach on Friday, and she was sick (has been for two long weeks) and so not going felt pretty justifiable. (Other justifications included: Me: I don't like Seigfried because he is a boy, and a stupid boy at that and that's not my favorite genre of human being; Her: My seat has no springs in it and I want to crawl out of my body by the end of the first act.)

But we had no intention of missing Saturday's Gotterdammerung. That's the only one of the four operas we hadn't seen and we knew it would be long (started at 5:30!) but it would be worth it, if only to hear the brass section soar during Seigfried's Funeral March. But then it was Saturday afternoon and GF was still really, really, really sick, as in propped on the couch trying to catch her breath between sneezes, and me, I was having a really hard time not being hostile/anxious at the thought of how sick I was sure I would become as soon as she got over the cold, and I was obsessing over my frightened realization that, having been a really terrible, non-sympathetic nurse, I had all sorts of revenge non-care coming to me.

But we got dressed to go and I put in new contacts, so my eyes would be fresh for all 5+ hours of spectacle and we started driving down Lake Shore Drive, but we were kind of late, and we knew we'd be lucky to get parked and into the theater on time, let alone grab food for the intermissions. Then my eyes started to itch from the fresh spring in the air, and someone cut me off driving and someone else honked meanly and I started down a familiar and easy spiral of talk-yourself-out-of-anything panic, complete with tears. I still had so much reading for class; I was still so tired from Paris two weeks ago; I never really liked Brunhilde anyway, because she's such a daddy's girl and I HATE daddy's girls; our seats are really awful and the man who sold them to me didn't tell me they were at the very top of the upper balcony; and even if we did have better seats, the Lyric has terrible acoustics and we wouldn't be ravaged by the power of the music (which is what I wanted). And on and on and on. I'm really good at this mode--can snap into it in a heartbeat, can stay in it forever.

So finally GF said, okay look, we have permission not to go; let's just drop it and get on with our lives. So we called our always-fun friends, who were on their way out for the night, met them at a dark and greasy burger joint/beer garden on the northside, and had a fried shrimp, french fries, and beer blowout, for only about eleven bucks each. By 9 o'clock we were back at home, playing with our new TiVo, drinking bourbons and sodas that didn't cost $10 each, and by 11 we were in bed.

Ah, culture.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Ring Cycle: 2 down, 2 to go

We saw Die Walkure last night, second time for both of us. The last time we saw it we were in orchestra seats, so at the beginning of the third act, the best, best, best, part of the entire opera, the part where the Valkyrie return to their mountain roosting-spot, the part with the kill-the-wabbit music, the part with a stage full of female warriors, we were wrapped up in the action. This particular production, which the Lyric has been staging one opera at a time for the last three years, has a minimalist aesthetic--instead of a mountain, you get a triangular structure lined with flourescent lights. In order to depict the Valkyrie returning from their work escorting fallen heroes to Valhalla, the back of the stage is lined with trampolines and young girls in helmets jump and twist and somersault. But from our seats this time around, back row of the top balcony, all we could see were feet and the clearly marked trampolines on which they were jumping. I tried to put myself in that necessary suspension of disbelief place, tried to feel how really cool this was, but all I could do was look at the big chalked Xs where the jumping feet were landing.

Placido Domingo sang Seigmund, and that was pretty good and I realize it's the kind of thing I'll have to drag out at cocktail parties when I'm feeling backed in corners. But god, Seigmund is such a hard character to take. For almost the entire first act he's singing about how his father, the one-eyed god Wotan, told him he would provide him with a sword when he most needs it, as the spotlight shines on the sword, stuck in the tree growing through the middle of the table he's circling, and as Seiglinde, his sister/soon-to-be-lover keeps gesturing over her shoulder towards it. With four more hours of this opera stretching in front of you, it's really hard not to get impatient.

My God! Enough, already. Seigmund, you stupid hero-man, the goddamn sword is right over your head!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Happy Birthday, Bette Davis

I’ll never forget where I was when I heard that Bette Davis had died. I had come to work early that Saturday morning so that I could get a workout in before my shift started and was, in fact, right in the middle of a set of chest flies. I remember that part because I started to cry as I finished the set, and tears rolled down the sides of my face into my ears. No one else was in the weight room that early, so it didn't matter.

I was into pyramiding weights back then and nothing could move me from my routine--counting my reps and controlling my breathing was one of the most reliable and solid things in my life. I was working sales at LeMaster’s Raquetball and Fitness Club, in Westchester, PA, which meant I gave tours occasionally, but mostly that I got a free gym membership. I also got plenty of time to read fitness magazines and write letters to my friends back at college. This wasn’t my real job; it was just what I did to make life a little more bearable the year I found myself stranded in Pennsylvania.

My real job was as a secretary at my father’s company—Pneumatics and Hydraulics, or P& H. Or at least I had been a secretary. Then I was the receptionist. Then I was the receptionist, a secretary and accounts receivable. Then I was the receptionist, a secretary, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Soon I was also handling payroll, and health insurance. I don’t remember what my job title was then. By that time it was just me, my dad, and Bob, and it didn’t really matter what my job title was. Though I didn’t know it when I agreed to take a year off from college and work for my dad, his company was going bankrupt and as he let go of employees, I took over their jobs. It was never supposed to be a permanent situation, just a way of helping out my father and earning enough money to study in France my junior year. Back home my friend Berkeley, who, of all my childhood friends had stayed in Newport Beach, eschewing college for a real, paying job selling cosmetics at South Coast Plaza, had warned me that I couldn’t trust my father, and that this would be the worst year of my life. But Berkeley was the kind of friend that got you in trouble—talked you into going places and doing things that you just knew weren’t right, like sneaking into an R-rated movie, or sunbathing topless on her parents’ deck—and so I didn’t listen. But it’s more complicated than that, right? Who do you listen to? The father who’s always frightened you but who want to believe in or the friend who once talked you into using so much Sun-In that your hair turned glowing orange-ish-yellow just in time for church camp and ruined forever your chances of impressing Mark Craig? How do you even start the conversation where you ask your father for a written contract, as Berkeley had suggested?

But that October morning I still believed in P & H and in my dad and in the new self I was making during this year of exile, and so when one song finished and the radio d.j. announced that Bette Davis had died overnight in Paris before cuing up the next song, “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” my sorrow was focused and pure.

I had loved Bette Davis since I was about ten. My love for her was originally contrived and circuitous; I didn’t even know who she was until I heard my grandmother saying that my grandfather liked her. and so I decided I did too. It seemed like a good way to make a connection, find some kinship with this silent, white-haired man who spent his days sprawled in a green velour recliner, listening to a baseball game on his transistor radio, while another flashed silently from the television set across the room, this familiar stranger who smelt of Listerine and whose cheek, when I bent to kiss him goodbye at my mother’s instruction, was rough and smooth, who rarely talked, except when he barked at us grandkids to “dummy up.”

We already had one good connection: I was left-handed. My grandfather wasn’t—no one else in the family was—but he had been in the minor leagues, or at least he could have been, my grandma often explained, and so he had always wanted a left-handed son, or grandson, someone with the potential to become a great baseball player. Since my sisters and I spent nearly every weekend with our grandparents, he had lots of opportunities to see me eat and our conversation was always the same. He’d look up from his breakfast—burnt toast and peanut butter—and see me eating a bowl of cereal and say, half announcement, half question, “So, you’re a south paw.” A little intimidated, but also secretly overjoyed to have been noticed by him, I’d look up and nod my head, “yep, uh-huhn,” before looking quickly back down at my bowl.

So once I decided I liked Bette Davis, I read every book I could find about her (my dad even got me a xeroxed copy of her July, 1982 Playboy interview), and memorized the important facts: her birthday (April 5, 1908), where she was born (Lowell, Massachusetts), her parents’ names (Harlow and Ruth Favor Davis), the order and length of her four marriages (Harmon Oscar Nelson, Arthur Farnsworth, William Sherry, Gary Merrill), the titles of her films and which hairdos went with which film. I got so good at Bette Davis that I could look at a picture and tell you the year just by the length of her bob.

Over the next decade she became one of the my main passions. Every time I drove over railroad tracks, or blew out the candles on a birthday cake, or blew away an eyelash I made the same wish: I hope I get to meet Bette Davis. I had had my Oscar acceptance speech planned out for years: thank you to my husband, my mother, my sisters, my director, my producer, my agent, etc. but most of all, thank you to Bette Davis, for inspiring me, for teaching me that smallness doesn’t mean weakness, for showing me that women can be strong and loud and stubborn. I hoped that she’d hear my speech and be so touched that she’d want to know me and that we’d become friends. I never doubted for a minute that the audience would understand my love for Bette and that, in that moment, my cultural capital would sky-rocket. They’d see me as not only beautiful and talented but intelligent, wise, even courageous.

Oh Pat, why?

Dear Pat Summitt,
I'm still pretty upset about Sunday night's upset against Michigan State. I guess you are too. I know that the feminist in me should be really happy that there are more teams for you to play and more competition. I know that this loss is ultimately your fault, MSU your monster, because you've drawn so much attention to this sport that more programs are developing and getting more money and support and, therefore, getting strong enough to beat you.

And I know, I should root for the underdogs. Look, I learned to love Kim Mulkey-Robertson this time around, even though the name Baylor strikes fear into my godless, lesbian heart. Don't ask me to love MSU's Joanne McCallie, even if she does look a little bit like Isabella Rossellini.

Mostly, I'm just sad because I won't get to see you strutting along the sidelines in a fabulous suit tonight. I love it when you yell.

The Ring Cycle: One night down, three to go

My girlfriend and I are doing the Ring cycle at the Lyric Opera this week, something we've been looking forward to for a long, long time. We both like big, romantic music that blasts your ears and pins you to the back of your seat. We both like fairy tales and epic battles. There's nothing like a sleeping princess on a mountain of fire to really grab our attention.

Now that it's here, it feels like a lot of work: four nights of opera, two of which are five hours long.

Last night was Das Rheingold, one of the shortest, which tells the story of how the evil Albreich steals the Rhinemaidens gold in order to fashion a ring that will give him total power over the whole world. (sound familiar? Wagner and Tolkein were both drawing from the same Icelandic story cycle--can't remember it's name. Anyone?) Luckily for the world, the totally NOT evil Wotan (he's just warlike, manipulative, and ammoral) tricks Albreich into making himself vulnerable so that he can snatch it from him (I'm not sure, because our seats were really high up in the balcony, but I think he cuts his finger off. That's one, really effective way to get a ring back. See The Other for another example of this fine strategy.)

Wotan only needs the ring so that he can barter back Freia, his dewy fresh sister-in-law who he used as payment on his new pad, Valhalla. And boy was one of the carpenter giants mad when they took away his new girl-toy for a crummy ring. Luckily, his brother giant killed him, so he didn't have to be mad for too long.

So last night we had a lot of theft, murder, and the exchange of women. Tonight: incest! a flying horse! a maiden warrior! and yes, a stage full of bouncing valkryies.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Bette Davis clarifies

Darlings. There are only three (3) shopping days left until MY birthday. Me, Bette Davis. Not the anonymous blogger who pretends to be Margo Channing. This means you should all be preparing. Have you rented All About Eve? No? You've seen it too many times? Too obvious? Well then, how about The Anniversary? I wear an eye patch and some swinging early sixties outfits. I think one of my children eventually kills me. Or maybe I kill them. I'm almost positive they don't get their inheritance. Feeling Hallmark-y? How about A Pocket Full of Miracles where I play a homeless woman named Apple Annie? Or maybe the 1978 tv-movie of the week White Mama, where I play an elderly urban woman who becomes the implausible, but totally effective foster mother to a troubled youth. I won an Emmy for it. I think Margo's secret favorite is Strangers: The Story of a Mother and a Daughter, in which I co-starred with Gena Rowlands. She's easy to spot because she still has the exact same hairdo, 30 years later. It's about a one-time runaway (a prodigal daughter, if you will) who returns to her New England home and, with much effort, wins the trust of her estranged mother, only to drop the bombshell that she's come home to die. Good times.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The second best way to wake up

is to the sound of your cat throwing up on your pillow.