It made my evening, anyway

I turned on the TV this evening to keep me company while I made linguini and meatballs, then left it on for the dog, for some silly reason, when I went out to pick up my son from his job. AND THAT WAS AWESOME TO DO. Because if I'd turned it off before leaving, I probably wouldn't have bothered to turn it back on. But Dick Cavett was on the Decades channel, and I'd been meaning to check in with that, so I sat down to have a look. Eartha Kitt was the guest, and she was interesting and pretty and a little bitter, but that's fine, and then Dick started listing the movies his next guest starred in. I wasn't paying any attention at that moment, to be honest, but suddenly I realized they were all William Holden movies. I held my breath. Okay, probably not, but let's say I did.

And there he was, in a nicely fitted dark suit and perfect narrow 1969 tie, in one of his sober periods, I guess, talking about African conservation efforts and being serious and dreamy. I was swimming in a world of magic show. Dick asked pretty good questions, too. Bill told Eartha it was okay about her leopard furs, which I thought was nice. He said when she bought them, leopards weren't endangered, but don't buy anymore. 20170206_202606
As if that wasn't awesome enough
, Dick told us his next guest would be Rex Stout! I never before saw him in a TV interview, so I was super excited, and of course he was good. He was a brilliant man, erudite and charming. For this interview, Dick was kinda awkward, but it rolled along well, anyway. Mr. Stout told us he was working toward better copyright laws for authors and explained about that. I think they've gone too far at this point, but he made a good case for how he wanted it to be in 1969—when he was nearly 83, by the way.

I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone! But honestly, even in my family, there isn't a single person who could understand the thrilling sensation of seeing a talk show featuring both Bill Holden and Rex Stout, and purely by accident. Screenshot_20170206-212834Sometimes this sort of thing makes me feel a little lonely, but not for long. It is what it is, I'm just me, and that's just fine. Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.38.15 PMNo one cares, you dweeb.

Interestingly, as I was picking up my other son from his job after the show ended, a local radio station played "Crazy Baldhead" from Bob Marley's Rastaman Vibration, which I was just talking about last week. A nice piece of serendipity to conclude the affair.


It was a really long day

I did a lot of stuff. Got to do a lot more stuff tomorrow. Kwai
You know how you'll look up a recipe online and a reviewer will say I LOVED THIS! I MADE IT EXACTLY LIKE THE RECIPE ONLY I CHANGED EVERYTHING AND IT WAS SO GOOD!! Or, I HATED THIS! I MADE IT EXACTLY LIKE THE RECIPE ONLY I CHANGED EVERYTHING AND IT WAS SO BAD!!

Besides important things getting done, I made these chocolate cookies from a recipe online, and I was going to make two needed changes; leave out the cayenne pepper, and use a different sugar because of that being sugar I don't have. Anyway. I started by putting in 8 oz of butter accidentally instead of 6, and so I compensated by adding an extra 1/4 cup of flour and 2 tbs sugar, and slightly increased the cinnamon, pepper, and baking soda. I left out the recommended 2 tbs milk, and then chilled it for only 30 minutes instead of an hour. And you know what? I kind of love these cookies. So when I get to not thinking about all the other stuff I've got to do, I'll find the recipe for you, and then share what I made instead.


The Purple Rain cocktail, and its attending effects

I made The Drink again. The drink formerly known as “Moist Panties” because of this whole thing about people and their cognitively dissonant vocabularies is now known as “Purple Rain.”

And my photos turned out lousy because it has rained a lot and that rain is certainly not purple, just messy and ugh. Well, one is a good photo with lousy composition, the other is better composition, but not by much, and not even Photoshop could do much with it compared to the first one from the other day, which is in the post before this one.

Purplerain

Purplerain2
ANYWAY. Here is what’s in it:

3 oz Tanqueray Ten (I will be trying it with Hendrick’s pretty soon)
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

I imagine it generally garnished with flowers, but they are all soggy right now in the middle of spring, so it got a lemon slice today. And I truly believe you should shake it rather than stir it, before straining. Anyway. It’s purple, and you can taste the violet, yet that’s not cloying, and I am super proud of this creation, so I hope you like it as well. I made it so it can be easily decreased to 2 oz or 1.5 oz gin. Let me know if you need help with the fractions.

Also, you might wish to know I made one today because I was having some lasagna cooling-off time (pictorial of that tomorrow, I expect, at the other blog site,) and reading some truly salacious gossip about my boyfriend Bill. Iwaslikewow.

He’s been dead since I was 16, so I don’t care much what he did when he was kicking around Hollywood and various continents except for too bad about all that booze, because I like my dead stars with some spice to them. It’s much more attractive, for some reason, though I tend to prefer my live fictional boyfriends (who number rather fewer) to not go around creating havoc or making a lot of really bad life decisions.

But Bill isn’t even my type anyway, you know. My living type, if I have one, is tall, skinny, dark-haired or formerly dark-haired, intellectually eccentric, and not prone to getting into much trouble. (My living type is male me, only without perimenopausal additional pounds. I would apologize for this, but it would be dishonest.) Bill is, truth be told, my own bad life decision at the back of a dark bar or on a vacation far from home, etc. And I prefer him that way. I feel that while I made some enormously bad life decisions in my actual non-fictional youth, I did not have nearly enough fun making them, or even make enough of them to do much with novel-writing now in middle age. I don’t have much of an interesting past, is what I am saying. Bill is part of the interesting past I would enjoy having. Frankly, he could still get it as Max Schumacher, though, if I had a cocktail or two, and so I made this one.

I don’t know how seriously people take me…and I just remembered my oldest daughter told me today that my blog is inspiring…so whoops, plus also I will not repeat the thing about Jackie Kennedy although I’m pretty sure she’d be okay with it because she is a cool chick.


Plus ça change...

AKA serendipity unfulfilled.

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Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 4.18.50 PM

It's still play for pay this year. But worth looking for. This picture links to the article it's taken from:

Screenshot_2016-04-03-15-38-41

Amusingly serendipitous, or not, tonight I could trade my desire for this film for a fresh episode of Grantchester, which is a TV show based on the Sydney Chambers books such as the one I was reading a year ago today.


Chatter about childhood and anti-heroes

The other day I was watching The Wild Bunch while coloring my hair. It isn't a favorite movie; a lot of violence and shouting, and the marginally likeable people all die. But it's a great film in many ways, and showed people the reality of mayhem in undeclared war, which previous westerns had either avoided or just touched on.

 
One concept that wasn't new but was just taking firm hold was the idea that sometimes the bad guys are more moral than the good guys. Sometime let's start to take up the difference between ethics and morality, and then change the subject for more shallow territory. Anyway. Holden's bunch certainly didn't have ethics on their side, but the groups of people working against them were largely immoral.

Oh, dear, please don't tell me in a Google Plus reply about how I did not perfectly state this because of some math that you know or something. I just couldn't bear it this week. Take my meaning, instead. In fact, always do that. I'm fingerpainting here; it's what I do.

The "anti-hero" was my hero from the moment I discovered him. Yes, him. They were all male, and at the time, it made sense that they were. They were mostly late 19th-early 20th century mavericks who bucked increasingly systemized thought and the people who used those systems to take advantage of weakness in others.

So many people relate to those characters and (often sheepishly) look up to them, yet in everyday life, and in what passes for the democratic process, they remain lazy or contented to let the hand-rubbing money barons run things for them. I've never understood that. It upsets me greatly, so I'm going to change the subject, only slightly.

Rifle

I loved playing sheriff and also holding up the bank that was also my tree where later I talked to Jesus after I had First Communion and felt like a direct line should be established. When I was sheriff, I wore a denim vest with a tin star pinned to it that my mother made from layers of aluminum foil. But a neighbor complained there was nothing under the vest, and though I was five, this was apparently terrible.

Let's pause for a moment and reflect on a (very) large rural yard in 1970. If you are part of the always online generation, you can't begin to understand about that, and I want you to pay attention. It was a sweet wholesome life for a little kid. There were probably about as many nutballs per 100 as ever there have been, but they very rarely counted in our lives, because we did not have the world wide web telling us they were everyone except ourselves. What could you see beneath my vest in 1970? A narrow bit of skin between the two sides. And arms. Far, far less than any typical bathing suit of the time would display. But this person perceived something more. And what I want you to understand is that the person with the perception was the one I needed protection against. People who think five year-olds in play vests are on sexual display are akin to fundamentalists who never let siblings see a baby undressed. They have creepy attitudes about humanity and you should never pander to them.

But Mom didn't let me wear the vest alone anymore, and I've always hated layers, feeling trapped by sleeves and fabric clinging to my neck except during a brief Annie Hall fashion obsession a few years later, so I became a full time bank robber for awhile. I had money bags with fake bills in them of tremendous denominations, and six shooters with caps to stop anyone who tried to catch me. People who interfere with other people's happiness and dignity easily stood in for the bad good guys, and I tended to picture them like Jackie Gleason, which is nicely prescient toward Smokey and the Bandit, I do think. Or like Hamilton Burger, the D.A. in Perry Mason. He wasn't bad, but he was totally annoying, always assuming rotten motivations based on superficialities.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.48.41 AM

I'd build escalating stories in my head about someone who was in trouble for being misunderstood, and being taken advantage of because of it, and I'd rescue them between bank jobs, and give them some of the money.

There's no point to any of this, in case you've been looking for one. I just wanted you to know I haven't really ever changed much. When I was younger, I was usually filled with some sort of moral outrage toward people who behaved either from selfish motivations, or from lazy assessments of something without regard for the bigger picture, and whatever lies beneath their first glance. People who thought how they felt about something mattered more than whatever was actually there. Now, I'm just weary of it all.

Machine

Hey, as a sort of aside, are you a fairly clever person, but kind of linear, (which is okay, but I mean, balance, and so forth,) and you make a sort of joke or half-serious statement perhaps to make a point, and someone like me replies in a way that takes you off balance and so your initial assumption because you took (me) literally is that (I) didn't understand what you meant, and so you explain the joke, kind of ruining the whole thing for both of "us?" I'm sorry I never really get that about you, and I'll try harder to match my communication style to yours sometimes, be less oblique, etc., but also, I think you should be aware that this makes it seem like you think you are smarter than everyone, and that simply cannot be true, especially on the internet, where everyone's IQ is either 132 or 146, and also, there's maybe a pinhole in your intellect where lateral thinking resides. Just food for thought. You could maybe just put your finger over it.

HoldenHorseWildBunch


Frustrating myself

Here's a short thing I wrote three and a half years ago. I liked it the way it was, though it is far from perfect, and so I never edited it. What it is is perfectly me. This is my voice.

But—NaNoWriMo. You know, I don't rush it. I don't spew garbage for a word count. I don't over think it, either. I decide what to write. I look up details I might need, and I go for it. The next morning I reread it superficially, adding a word here or there to clarify syntax, and then I move on, knowing it can be repaired, beautified, or built upon later.

Yet the story turns banal beneath my fingertips, and other than when I'm writing dialogue, I lose my voice. So this year's effort is nearly all dialogue or speech, because I can't bring myself to dull my inner vision by typing it out.

The clouds have lifted and the energizing sun is filtering in through my window. Maybe that will help. Because I need to use my voice to write about something other than my self.

This is completely about my self, from April, 2011. 0411


Friday Five: Cowboy Bill

Okay, sorta. This kept morphing into one idea, then another. First, a huge young portrait you can see larger if you click on it.
Hugecowboy

Three from Alvarez Kelly, 1966.
Alvarez
Alvarez
Alvarez
An odd one from Escape from Fort Bravo, 1953
Bravo
And this brings us to five, but I feel I owe something to dear old lostie, who's been patient with me about DINAO, and also is tweeting the most hilarious European vacation travelogue ever, so here's a comparison, and anyone who cares to may choose which Holden chest they prefer.

Picnic

I much prefer the real thing to the shaved version, but it was considered a more youthful look. I resent Picnic kinda like I resent Sabrina, except backwards, maybe. Humphrey Bogart as Linus Larrabee was absurd. David could have run me over with his car and I'd have stayed with him over that guy. But if Joseph Cotten had played Linus, as he did on Broadway, I'd be satisfied. In Picnic, though, my boyfriend Bill is kinda like Bogart as Linus; he did a great job but it was all wrong.


My Boyfriend Bill

if he were still alive, would be 95 when this is posted. Now, let's face it. Even if he hadn't died by "misadventure," no way was this guy making it to 95. Odds were against him living past 70. On the other hand, my dad did. Of course, in my dad's family, dying at 77 was actually somewhat early. Okay, back to wherever we were headed.

My love for William Holden developed slowly over about 30 years, and then suddenly, bam! I could not get enough of him. At nearly 45 years old, I was crushing hard like 1977 ripping pages out of Tiger Beat hard. And after about a year of rewatching his films and catching up on so many I'd never seen, he started invading my thoughts. In 2011 I plastered one of my Tumblrs with him, posted about him here several times, and then last year I saw so much of him at other Tumblrs, etc., I was jealous. I mean that in the possessive sense. I've never minded sharing Gene Kelly or Hugh Laurie, etc., but Bill Holden was mine. What did a lot of young persons know about that world I was birthed into, the world which shaped who he became, and informed my sensibilities as I grew up and as it passed away? This world, the one we're in right now, is unrecognizable by comparison. To love this glowing yet damaged creature fully outside of context is to love a different person than do I. Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 10.58.30 PMYes, I cropped his wife Brenda Marshall out of this photo. It's a metaphor.

But that's mostly preposterous, of course. I know this. I know what it says about me, too. It's not, though, like I'd get into internet fights about it or whatever. It's just a reflection. 

It's like how I am about James Garner. I can barely speak of it and risk suddenly being surrounded by a spontaneous retroactive adoration that waters down this particular intensity I've held onto for over 40 years. It's weird, but it isn't really weird at all. It's dreadfully, drearily ordinary. I so dislike confronting how ordinary I am sometimes, don't you?

William Holden was like Dean Martin in certain respects. He did what he did because that's what he did. He was both laid-back and very fussy. He appeared to be all surface; handsome, handsomely wearing what he wore, looking effortless, like sprezzatura.

Looking back, it's obvious how smart Dean Martin was, and that he was laughing at everyone else and how seriously they took themselves. I mean, their effort. He was serious when he needed to be, without all that energy-consuming effort. 

I'm not sure Bill Holden was quite so smart, but I do think he possessed the same sharp view of himself, other people, the whole world. Some people, they're tortured by it all, and he was one of those people. And so, Africa, right? But also so much booze and cigarettes and needing to bathe over and over again. Perhaps trying to wash away something he could never take back. Anyway, it wasn't all effortless effort for him at all. Yet he kept at it. Alone

I can love all that only retroactively because I've seen it in others, first hand, and because I'm fascinated by the puzzle of it all. In the every day present here and now, I like my puzzles to be crosswords or mazes on a little screen, and I am way, way over tortured passion. But it is a seriously groovy fantasy, not unlike when you're 15 and you find out a movie star you love prefers other men and you think, because you are 15 and silly, I could change him. He'd want meScreen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.00.29 PM

Nah, it's not really like that. It's just intensity, power, a sort of kinetic chiarascurro, and that's exciting; knowing what you know now, all that experience filters your view and colors your desires. You know how to play with fire, or at least imagine that you do. Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.03.53 PM

Is someone reading this and thinking very earnest thoughts? Let's turn the record over and consider this. It is raining hard as I write this, the iPod across the room is playing a gentle jazz tune, I forgot to wash some of the paint off my legs from when I was working on a new canvas earlier, and in a few minutes, when I turn out the light to sleep, I'll press one of the pillows to my side in this great big bed, and contemplate something only briefly earnestly. 

From here Panties

To here
Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 10.53.04 PM

Bill Holden was a movie star, a box office hero. Did he want to be revered for more than that? Did he want to be revered at all? Probably not. Who can ever live up to it? 

I watch this and grow sad and think, yes, he died too soon. It was a "wrong" death. 

But I cannot be serious for more than 9 minutes at a time. (And as pt 2 appears to be missing, that's just as well.) So then I go back to thinking of him as my boyfriend Bill, just before I drift off to sleep.

Like this, Supper

Or this,  Cognac

And especially like this: Tracks

More photos collected here.