"the" Mrs. Astor

Monday, October 31, 2005

After The Fall

Ouch! I was walking back to the house with Officer Brian, Ditmar, and Ditmar's parents (who had just arrived from Austria the day before) and did not see the broken street sign. I stumbled on it and hit the sidewalk. Everything hurts, but no real damage; unless, of course, you consider that scrap above my left brow. Now I feel the porcelain has a scratch and will now sell for a reduced price.

I really think I should leave the antics of last night to Brian for posting; it is truly embarrassing what you will do when you are wearing a leather mask with a little boy's blonde wig on top. Besides beating Brian, who was wearing an orange State Prison jumpsuit and real leg and wrist chains and eating out Ditmar, who was a serial-killer Heidi-of-The-Alps, our dinner with Ditmar's parents on Lincoln Road was a class event. (I did have a bit of a problem with getting the Belgian salad through the zipper on my mouth; next time think soup with straw.)

This is my old pal, Kenny Kenny who is coming down next week to throw a series of parties with another old pal, Susan Bartsch. Kenny was the uber-doorman in New York nightlife; if you crossed him it meant exile from at least two thirds of the club world as know to man at that time. In real life, Kenny was a sweet boy from Ireland who--if you didn't know better--you just wanted to hug. I wonder if we will all be doing this twenty years from now with walkers? I wonder--after last night--if I should move to Montana or Wyoming? OH! Sorry Knottyboy, that's your territory.

With The Palace still closed and all this time on my hands, I'm going to take Brian to The Erotic Museum today. Once again I will head right to that ten-foot penis throne.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

No More Bread Lines

One interesting result of the total loss of power (even the highly touted "emergency grid" of police headquarters went down) was that the bakeries were able to open immediately with their gas ovens and limited need for electrically-generated exhaust fans. Late Monday afternoon polite lines started to form at the many French bakeries on South Beach; I remember thinking Tuesday morning, while sitting on the seawall, that the warm ham and cheese croissant I was nibbling on, but mostly feeding KiKi, was a delight.

Yesterday, with the exception of The Palace, life was back to normal. It was sunny, warm, and dry and all the outdoor restaurants were packed; the police had lifted the ban on non-residents crossing the bridges. With Miami still in darkness and 90% of South Beach blazing in light, the mainland streamed to The Beach for dining and amusement. I had breakfast with Brian and his friend Moses, joined up with Peter (du Barry) for cocktails, and then Brian joined us for a trip up to Lincoln Road for a long dinner of trading stories from New England. Brian had said all he wanted to do was eat, drink, and laugh; he got what he wanted many times over. But, he wanted more.

Brian wanted to see Twist's exotic dancers. That's my term for them; Brian calls them strippers and many others, "dick dancers", but that is so lewd. So we all took a power nap (this was 9PM). I woke up at midnight, pondered the appropriateness of doing it and immediately jumped in the shower. We met up at 1AM in The Bungalow Bar building at Twist and started to giggle with glee at the talent before us. We had many favorites, but--as always-- Hugo won the contest (he was the one hugging me on Turnabout night). Hugo demonstrated some of his most exotic dance steps for the two of us, although "steps" might be questioned as I don't recall his feet ever leaving the floor. Nevertheless, it was an exciting performance which both of us applauded with many dollar bills. Satiated (my "exotic" limit is quickly reached), I left the madness and prepared for a long Sunday. Brian "thinks" he closed the place.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sunday 1PM

Monday 1PM

On Tuesday it didn't look like there would be any lavish pool parties for some time, but on Wednesday a crew of workmen showed up and started sawing and removing all those trees and the pool company cleared out the cement pond the next day. Today there are New Yorkers lounging around the back yard as if nothing--except for the loss of any trees--had happened. The neighborhood does have the feel you are in a giant beehive, as the never-ending sound off the sawing of trees continue.

du Barry did, indeed, show up for the surprise visit and, while we were having cocktails together who bounced in but Officer Brian. A short time later Brian's phone rang (how exciting it is to hear cells working again) and it was Jesse.

Jeremy is safe and is very busy with disaster-related duties; let's hope he stays away from peasants with machetes this time.

Friday, October 28, 2005


As of this morning, I had heard from everyone but my adorable Jeremy. His area of Brickell Avenue was badly damaged, and the cell phone situation is not getting better (lo and behold, cell towers need electricity to operate. Who knew?) I can imagine him off on some military mission deep in Miami where electricity won't be restored until late November!

I hope the rumors of my sister, The Countess du Barry of Newport, arriving for a surprise visit are true. Only someone like du Barry would recognize the value of formally announcing a "surprise visit" well in advance. I imagine the cryptic comment from "401" was du Barry; not many people would know that Ward McCallister's nickname for "the" Mrs. Astor was Mystic Rose.

And I hope that The Palace gets power back this weekend. The 50-foot extension cord from The Tides Hotel won't get us through Halloween weekend, and I'm tired of having to escort all those Latin boys to the darkened bathrooms.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


There's nothing like it! Without it you can't do very much; no ATM, no phone, no lights (and, remember, I once before noted that candlelight's romanticism dwindles after a couple of hours.)no news at all (who knew that battery-powered radios would become the rage?).

On Saturday I was chided for my preparations, but I had a very uneasy feeling about this storm, the first time ever. On Wednesday--as noted--I went grocery shopping and spent the rest of the day washing and ironing all my clothes. On Thursday, I went to the bank and took out $3000. not because I needed that much, but because I knew I would become a minor (very minor) lending institution to those many, many friends who never plan for things like this.
On Friday, I got my hair done. If I was going to descend into the pit of darkness, I was going with an hors' dourve, money in my purse, and sporting a French Twist. Sunday was Sunday, but Monday was the most frightening day of my life. I thought the whole world was going to blow away. In fact, three tornados formed on South Beach at First and Fifth streets.

Brian knowingly laughed when I told him this yesterday; we New Englanders know our shit.

Crawling Out

I'm amazed at the sporadic issuance of power that has graced me, so I am up at this hour.

We all survived. Yah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005


A surreal day. It was--as usual--me. After checking in at The Palace early in the day, I picked up KiKi and headed home. Comfortably installed, I set about to doing NOTHING. I reclined on a deck chair and opened up a book I had started several months ago, "Mrs. Astor's New York". KiKi was sleeping at my feet and I even ventured into the pool to remove leaves from the filter; all was going fine until I tuned into The Weather Channel. "Hurricane, Doom, Storm surge, ....." I freaked out; this was not supposed to happen until Tuesday, but now had managed an early engagement. Just as I was trying to organized everything, who shows up but, B & T Mark. I hear another, "Hello, Mrs. Astor." KiKi--who obviously was asleep at the helm--jumped up and went for him; sad to say, but a toothless lion.

I'm wearing yellow bloomers and a sassy Armani white and blue top, and Mark says he's on his way to something (oh, something) at a community church two blocks from the house (why they allow these organizations to flourish under my nose is beyond me.) "How nice", I think. He even tries to point out to me that the lead screws are stripped from last year and that I'm getting nowhere, fast. "How nice", I think again. Then the "ex" calls and says he wants KiKi back "Now". KiKi is the last bargaining chip he has and uses it well. There is nothing I can do right, today.

After that, I headed for The Palace and the world of The Twilight Zone. I didn't know that while I was foolishly daydreaming all day, the city was going crazy with last-minute preparations for Wilma. I think they call it A Fool's Paradise. EVERYONE is drunk when I arrived at five; my ostrich features flew out of my hat in the gusting wind. The 7th was totally there for me, oh so I thought. Maybe it was the robbery in Honduras or maybe it is the lovely on his arm, but, Jeremy, MY JEREMY, the captain of the 7th, is giddy and bouncy. Call me "old fashioned", but your protector can not be running around throwing his hands up in the air. (God forbid, he even was exclaiming that he wanted a "Sweet Sixteen" party thrown for him next Tuesday!) I became dizzy.

It was at this point that mayhem ensued. I was nudged into a corner by white guys! All of them were friends, but I had never experienced this before. They all wanted to "come ovah" for a pool party when I'm feeling so fragile and vulnerable. The threat was real; if I had tried, I wouldn't have been able to touch a Latino. This is where I crashed; I slipped the bartenders something and slipped out the side door like a cad.

By all accounts, we won't have electricity tommorah at this time, but the town is safe and happy and--As God is My Witness--we will be open for business in the morning.

Stop The Presses; The Peasants are Armed

I was getting some paperwork out of my office when I hear a familiar and reassuring,"Hello, Mrs. Astor". It was Jeremy! I would have liked to graciously glided up to him with my hand outreached, but--instead we fell into each others' arms like schoolgirls. Sobbing (fake) Captain Jeremy said, "You don't know what they did to me." I suggested we go the great counciling table, The Bar.

Jeremy, his men, and their AirForce counterparts had gone to Guatemala and Honduras for disaster relief from Hurricane Stan. On his last day of work, Jeremy was with an Air force buddy when the buddie's 4-wheel vehicle got stuck in the mud. At this point two men (two peasants) came out of the forest line to rob them. I asked, "Why didn't you shoot them?" and Jeremy said Hoduras is one of the few nations (especially one of the few with a huge American base on it) that doesn't allow American soldiers to carry defense weapons.)
He said these two men approached with weapons. I asked, "AK47's?"and that's when he fell into my arms again. "No," he whimpered, "MACHETES." MACHETES!?! Oh, my, the irony and humor wasn't lost and we laughed and laughed. I asked, "How much did they (the Hondurans) get?" and Jeremy replied, "$30". "Not bad," I said. "It was in Guatemalan money!", Jeremy stammered, and we all burst out in laughter. He wants to go back to the rusty swords to erase the memory of all this. I told him that he was The Captain, he could go to blow darts if wanted.
Jeremy's eyes glazed over at the suggestion.

Tomorrow, we will host the official Hurricane Party and Captain Jeremy and his 7th will be there. We will do everything to prop up his shattered self-image, although we didn't have too bad of a time tonight. My, how easy is it to get your captain thirsty for peasant blood when he has been violated by two. To my Jeremy's credit, he said that he saw in the eyes of the robbers that it was desparation, not anger, that drove them; that's my captain, human after all.

Meanwhile, no one knows what Wilma is up to, so we will just party.

Friday, October 21, 2005

WILMA, I'm Home

The outer bands reached Miami this morning; the reach and power of this storm makes us gasp. I feel for the residents of Cozumel upon which I lived for six months, and I know how little protection that beautiful island had. My, I hope all those people, especially my neighbor Beatrice, got out.

The City of Miami Beach just sent TWO Code Enforcement members with a notice and the overpaid, overweight employee basically told me that The City was advising us that they would be advising us. Why can't I get a job with The City and stop living this madcap life; I'd be great at advising people that I'm going to advise later in the weekend. I'd even notify them that I'm going to notify them.

The Countess Bedelia advised against wearing a hoop skirt in this wind; I'm thinking more along the lines of a sleek Ester Williams Catalina swim suit, lime in color with a mango-hued swim cap. There would also be the floor length lilac terry robe. Two nights ago, one of our waiters suggested that a giant dinosaur might break out of the gulf waters and EAT Wilma.
That was logical enough for me to have hope, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Still at It

As everyone awaits word on Wilma's direction, The Herald again dwells on it's second favorite hysteria, Pythons. Two men--curious as to why their exotic fish pond was rapidly being depopulated of the fish--found an eight-foot python enjoying a fish fry. They wrestled it into a pillow case, but not before both were bitten. (Pythons, of course, are not venomous.) Meanwhile, pythons and alligators continue to battle for turf; as of today it is Aliigators 36, Pythons 0. GO ALLIGATORS!

I did my hurricane shopping yesterday morning and already saw housewives buying 20 or 30 gallons of water. By last night's staff party at The Palace, I noted one word on everyone's lips, "hurricane". Most everyone had done their shopping already, too, which indicated that everyone was staying. (A Jeep Wrangler is being delivered to the house tonight and will serve at the getaway vehicle, if needed. KiKi has packed his tango hat for travel.) If Wilma still stays on the projected path, the major supermarkets will erupt into chaos tomorrow. The Cuban housewives are the most ferocious in shopping for their young; don't even think you will snatch that package of baby formula from her hands. The gays are the most silly; during Rita's approach a fight broke out in Publix between two queens over a bag of potato chips. The apparent delay of Wilma's arrival until, perhaps, Monday does leave open the possibility of another hurricane party by Ditmar.

I don't eat much at a sitting unless it is an "event", so I loaded up on taste. In recent years a wide variety of vacuum-packed foods have become available, so I was able to include such things as salmon, smoked oysters, spiced clams, and crabmeat to the list. (Having an outdoor gas grill is essential to this ordeal, if it takes place.) KiKi is well taken care of too, as his palate lends itself to tasty items (actually the very same I eat).

Chris is right in respect to taking precaution. The house is only eight blocks from the Atlantic if you count the beach itself, too, and a walk two blocks up to the 20th Street canal showed it disturbingly already up to the lawns of the homes on it because of the full moon. Everyone is holding their breath on this one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Day at the Opera

That was the term Mark used for it. I had been distracted on Saturday when I heard an inordinate amount of screaming. This was not "I Love the Drag Show" screaming; it was anger. I ran outside and saw these freaks with Bible warning signs against Fornicators, Drunkards, and Homosexuals among others.

Both sides were hollering at each other and Miss Tiffany was out there in her gold lame' Cleopatra Jones outfit bitching them down. (I need a more sane life.) As the protesters were out-numbered about 40 to one, I had an edgy feeling; my loyal members of The 7th were on the steps, drooling for blood. I stood at the bottom of the stairs arguing that we would all go to jail and that was not a good thing. (The police were just arriving.)

So, with both sides shouting each other down the police surrounded these jerks with their backs to us wearing orange battle jackets of some sort. Soon, it must have dawned on these guys that they were vastly outnumbered and they moved down to a straight club down The Drive to do it there.

A Day at the Opera, starring Miss Tiffany, The 7th, 200 men and woman, gay and straight, old and young who just wanted to have a fun afternoon.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Satyr Mondays

It was one of those Mondays; it's not like I ask for things like this to happen, but I never complain. First of all, Mondays is a very intense day and there is much sorting out of the weekend, the drama, the personal confrontations, and it is not usually a happy day. But, I managed through and ended up greeting many, many guests who don't usually show their lovely faces on Monday.

Then, about 2PM a PACK, I can only describe them as a pack of lesbians took over the front of the outside bar. They were so much fun: hooting and hollerin',being so out there. There was one point when the music became so intense that they decided to take off their tops and prance around. Polite Society would have shuddered, but I applauded.

There was a point when--although I would denounce the accusation that I started it--the entire bar started singing:
"I wish I were in the land of cotton,
Old days there are not forgotten,
Look away,
Look away,
Look away, Dixie Land.
I wish I were in Dixie, hooray, hooray
In Dixie land were I was born...."

I might have then started to fear about the breakdown of order, when who arrives? Jerry, everyone's favorite New Jersey cop, who promised to maintain order for ten days. (By then, Captain Jeremy will be back and in control.)

Madness seemed to be driving the late afternoon as everyone spoke of the ferocious full moon that had risen the night before over The Atlantic and what it would mean for Them. At 4pm--with my official duties now over although never ending--I enacted something I had been dwelling on for three days.

I owned a nineteen century bronze mirror topped by a Satyr's head and framed by various "activities"; it had three candle holders at the bottom. I loved that piece, but it had been sitting my closet for four years and I had decided to donate it to The Erotic Museum. I brought it into The Palace today to the "ooo's and ahhhh's" of everyone, and just before I left for The Museum, one patron shrieked: "Oh, my God; did you get an appraisal on that?" I was, like, "No, that is not the point. He needs to be in The Satyr Room with his brothers; I really don't care what it is worth."

I met up with Mr. Gary (Charles G. Haak, the curator of The Museum and several in Washington, D.C.) and we had a great meeting with Miss Naomi. I know a person loves something when they caress it with their fingers. She asked me if I really wanted to donate it and, I said only that would make me happy for it. She sweetly looked up to Charles and said, "I donated the mirror outside of The Ladies' Room; put this up outside The Men's Room."

Maybe I am shallow, but that made me so happy. I know that every guy leaving the Men's Room will stop and adjust their hair in my mirror with the evil Satyr glaring down on them.

It was a manic Monday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Only The Dildos for Now

The publisher of The Wire, Carl, and I spent FOUR and ONE HALF hours at the World Erotic Art Museum press party last night. It has been years since I have seen so much of Beach Society out at one event, so many bejeweled women, so many leather gowns, so many tuxedos (the usual type and the leather version), so much of everything. When I was just about to stagger out, I commented to Mr. Gary on how the food (catered by Barton G ) endlessly kept coming and he said, "Miss Naomi ordered (I adored that term) that fresh food be made available all night.

I am leading a contingent from The Palace to the museum today at one; it was too much to absorb even in four hours, but I will focus on one aspect of the collection: The Dildo Collection. I own only one dildo and it constantly complains about being ignored, but I spent an inordinant amount of time studying what was at the museum. There were terracotta dildos from Mesopotamia all the way to sequined ones from the present. They were made out of glass, marble, iron, agate, wood, bronze, jade (my favorite), ceramic, plastic, and just about any element that ever existed. Miss Naomi, (she stands about 5 ft. one or 5 ft. seven if you counted the beehive), at one point showed us a nineteen century French dinner bell dildo.

I have to sort out these pictures before I post them, but I will never be the same again.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

You're Sexy, Miss Naomi

The town is abuzz and agog over the opening this weekend of The World Erotic Art Museum. Typical of a private venture, this closely guarded secret just got out a last week. To no one's surprise, though, it is right around the corner from The Palace and for some time I had noticed work going on in the vast space on the second floor of 1205 Washington Avenue, but thought,
"Another graphics office another legal firm." But, no, it was the construction and installation of the World Erotic Art Museum.

It is the dream come true of Miss Naomi (Naomi Wilzig), a Jewish grandmother and Miami Beach philanthropist whose 4000-piece collection of erotic art will occupy the 12,000 square feet space. She likes to go by the name of "Miss Naomi" so as to not embarrass her banker husband.

In addition to raising money, I am good at tracking people down and with the opening days away I sent out the message to every manager and server in town to pass me word of anyone involved in the museum. Sure enough, at 7:30pm last night in a torrential downpour, I got a call from The Diner (of course--it is just one block away from the museum); "The PR man is here having coffee." Well, there was no time to get the carriage ready, so I unhitched a horse and rode bareback in the rain to The Diner and introduced myself to Mr. Gary, an unassuming gentleman from Kentucky who is helping Miss Naomi, but was obviously not fine-tuned in Beach activity. (We will correct that today.)

This is what I learned has been set up in display of erotic art dating from centuries before Christ to the Present. Rooms devoted to:
Art Deco and Nouveau/ African-New Guinea/India, China, & Japan/ The Americas/ Perfumery/ European (the largest, naturally)/Lesbian and Gay/ Gay/ Folk Art (!) and Black/Surrealism/ a room for Satyrs, Adam & Eve, Catherine the Great, Lady Godiva, and Leda and the Swan, / a room of shelves containing erotic sculptures and figurines of animals, pipes, and even erotic watches.

And before you even feast your eyes on all this we will be greeted by nude dancers around a fountain at the entrance. Pinch me, because it seems like a dream or I might have died in my sleep and gone to heaven (well, maybe not there).

I'm organizing another benefit today at The Palace, but will be allotting some time to Mr. Gary and Miss Naomi. I have a feeling this is going to be quite memorable.

Addendum: 12:58PM. I just got bacck from a private tour of The Museum (thank you, Mr.G).
It's hard to imagine owning 4000 pieces of art, let alone erotic art. I left stammering to myself.


Thursday, October 13, 2005


Yes, I am getting into my finest senatorial cloak, climbing into a hot bath, and opening up my veins. Because of a bad stock tip? No, all my money is invested in Halliburton and Victoria's Secret; I'm set for life.

No, this afternoon the legendary Lahoma van Zandt announced to ALL New York City that she had watched a video of me the previous evening "performing" in drag at a club Way Back When. No, No, No; I remember passing my video camera to someone, and I still have the original, but I NEVER thought anyone else got a copy, let alone the legendary Lahoma van Zandt. Good Lord, that's who I handed the camera to.

Those were giddy nights. My then boyfriend and I teamed up with our adopted daughter, Planeta Starr, to treat our favorite DJ, Perfidia with a performance. The audience was amazing: Tina Paul, Michael Musto, Michael Alig, Joey Arias, The It Twins, and on and on. We were the back-up singers to Planeta's version of "Be My Baby" by Ronnie and The Ronettes. I bought those bowed wigs at Pat Field's.

A little later--and this is unfortunately on tape, too--the crowd demanded an encore and we handed perfidia a CD of "These Boots Were Made For Walking" in Spanish, but she fooled us and played that funky song from the sixties, "People Are Finally Gettin' Together". Planeta was lost; our ecstacy was just kicking in and all we did was stare at each other and laugh. Everyone laughed!

Now with my senate career doomed (DOOMED I say), it is time for me to end it all.

Well, actually I can't right yet because I promised Edison I would go to his party tonight. But, tommorrow it's over! I can not live with the shame.

I did look rather fetching, though.

Don't Tell Me I Don't Know How J.Lo Feels!

Several weeks ago--before I fell apart mentally--I wrote about the rising problem of creatures not indigenous to The Everglades thriving and taking over sections of it. And I didn't mean Gypsies.

Since Florida is by-and-large lawless, stupid people buy creatures for their amusement and, when are bored of them, set them loose in The Glades. Pythons are the best example: never seen here before, they are having the time of their lives in The Everglades, since they have no natural pedators and the food supply is endless. It is a Roman feast for them.

Now we have had three incidents in two weeks. First a python picked a fight (probably after a few beers and a girl) with--of all creatures--an alligator. Big mistake; this is alligator heaven. Nevertheless, the 20 foot python fought the alligator AND SWALLOWED IT. Big mistake number Two; the alligator ATE it's way out of the python. It was all over the local news.

Two days ago another python captured and ate a FIFTEEN pound Persian cat named Frances. The Wildlife Authorities knew this because the cat was so fat that it prevented the python from moving and, when X-rayed, showed the fat feline the cause of the snake's bulge (they could even see Frances's little claws trying to scratch it's way out). The python is safe, moved to a reptile farm.

Yesterday, another python (dining must be getting boring in The Everglades) came out and ate a turkey from a farm. The only way anyone knew this is that the python asked for some cranberry sauce.

This is the expected result: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/12878415.htm

Now I know J.Lo was tomented by an Anaconda, but I'm not feeling too safe letting KiKi outdoors any longer without an armed detachment of The 7th Gay Calvary. He likes the attention of a man in uniform, anyway; the way we all do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ready for Season...

...in other ways. Marko is our newest bartender and he is from Croatia. He admittedly had never worked as a bartender, but agreed to train relentlessly under two of the most harsh teachers in the world: The Wild Hun of Austria, Ditmar and the ferocious, former Israeli commando, Amit. Many of us Ladies of Society with a Past would circle the main, outside bar as his training went on. Talking behind our fans as Ditmar curse in German, pounding his fist, stomping the floor, crying, "NO, God damn it Ve don't do it dat vay!" We found it fascinating and to our liking; it was almost sensual. At other times we watched from a distance as Amit firmly held a glass in front of him and demanded "How many ounces is this, can't you remember?"

It worked; for someone who did not know what a martini was the first day, he made remarkable strides. I ashamedly remember seeing that he had forgotten his notebook the first night and opened it. The first entry was "Gin and Tonic: Pour gin in glass, add tonic." I could read no more.

I, of course, was more gentle in my teachings. The first day he had the bar to himself, he asked what should he wear. I said, "As little as possible." "Wha...What?" he stammered. "Simply put, Marko: the less you wear the more you make. Look around you; look at your fellow workers."

He looked, and never turned back to look again.

I'm partial to this one.

Ready for Season (almost)

Two blocks down from The Palace, on the other side of the Versace Mansion, is a row of Thirties buildings which has been renovated and nearing completion. The are striking, stark white against the (usually) blue sky and look directly over the Atlantic. Everyone is quite excited about season which, for businesses like us start in a week or two.

But I like to stroll down Ocean Drive still, observing the old buildings, thinking of how wild it was in The Thirties to how wild it is now. Probably not all that much different if you factor in societal and moral changes. People always come to the tropics to have fun.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Intrigue at The Palace

I received a hand-delivered message yesterday (remember my cell was lost in one of those tropical storms). It was a bit earlier than usual, but reaked of intrigue and danger. So, I course, jumped up from my daybed of reading Edith Wharton and manically dressed. It seemed there were persons or person who "did not belong" at The Palace the The 7th was tasting blood.

Now blood is fine, but not on your terrazzo floors, so I donned a simple, if rather expensive Worth muslin afternoon gown (if you are going to be splattered in blood, let it be on muslin). It was a holiday weekend, and they now described a long line of crested carriages on Ocean Drive with diamond-buckled slippers, epaulets, old and new money, and titles galore streaming in.

Yes, it was the time for The Appearance. Funny all hostility seemed to evaporate like the fog when drinks and food are offered. The offender was not really a Bolsevik, just one of those with "new ideas". In the end, everyone got drunk, told each other how much they loved them and engaged in serious grab-ass. A typical Sunday; my housemates from New York and Rhode Island were endlessly amused.

My Captain of the Regiment and I had a serious conversation about going into a Betty Ford Clinic of Latino Withdrawal. This does not include Latino arristocrats; why, we read Holla magazine religiously. This is for the riff raff we find ourself attracted to. My suggestion was to to a "Step" program; you know we move from Spanish to Italian to Croations perhaps Hungarians and maybe make it up to the Baltics. The Captain said, "No" we would share a room in the Shock Therapy ward and have an enless parade of Asian boys to break us.

What ever might happen, the music was great and we were eyeing the Latino Fiesta in front of us.

Addiction is a difficult thing.

Such Cattiness

Really, I don't like Bolseviks anymore than the next countess, but you must be gracious to everyone in public; at least until The 7th greets you outside.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Fed Up

Why, oh why can't I just deal with decent, beautiful people like Edison, CJ, Scottie, and Martin? It seems the moment I leave The Palace my sensibilities are assaulted. By whom? The peasants, of course. They are always revolting.

I was making my way across Lincoln Road home last night and a gnarly woman asked if I could help her with bus fare; I must have been weak, because I reached in my pearled purse and pulled out a dollar to give her. But, no, she needed $3.50 to take the bus to Palm Beach. Palm Beach!

This is where my stockings were soiled because I had to thrash her with my walking stick. I am so sick of the "I must get back to Palm Beach" story. One, they don't allow peasants on Palm Beach, and, Two, why not just say "I need $22.50 to get to my trailer park in Volusia Springs."

I had a lovely chat with The 7th last night. The main topic of conversation was How Do We Slaughter More Peasants and New Hats. The first item in on their shoulders; I refuse to soil any more stockings. The second item on the agenda on up to me. I strongly suggested the adapting of the Italian Fascist Calvary hats with the black ostrich feathers. Truthfully, who wasn't in awe of The Italian Calvary? Fashionably daring and so practical. The 7th adored the idea and I will donate another strand of pearls to the effort.

Someone has to stand up for order.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

For The 7th

At the end of our idyllic lunch yesterday, Captain Jeremy bemoaned the rusty sabers The 7th was sporting these days. (All things go to the tune of rust when you live on the music of the ocean.) Given their loyalty and beauty, I did what any Countess would do. I boldly stood up, unfastened my clasp, and took off the rope of (afternoon) pearls I was wearing. I handed them to my captain and told him to purchase what he wanted (machetes). It seems that machetes intimidate The Peasants more than anything else these days and as long as he keeps them from my doorsteps, Captain Jeremy may have as many as he likes; machetes, that is. Look at the glee in his eyes as he plots another "putting under" of the peasants. I lifted my cup of tea to Captain Jeremy and looked forward to seeing him and The 7th later today. It's good to be back.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Day 1: Lunch my Captain of the Guard

Now I know things are turning back to where they were before the Month of Sorrows. Jeremy, Captain of The 7th, stopped by for lunch today and was talking about all the usual things: hypocrisy in a small town, the total adoration of Latinos and all the grief it brings, foreign wars, lost loves, court intrigue, and--most of all--revolting peasants. The mention of that term alone was enough to drop his fork on his dish "Eggs Metternich" and grimace. My loyal Captain; he's a hard one.

Although dark clouds over the Bahamas bespoke of yet another evening of tropical storms (like the one two nights ago that destroyed my cell phone), the sun was shining over Gay Beach and I was feasting on pan-roasted fresh grouper toppped with a roasted yellow pepper bouillon sauce.

All is returning to normal, I hope. I even lifted my veil to let a little sun dance on my face. Ah.

Day 1: Taken By the Cleaners

I awoke extra early on Becoming Myself again and prepared several suitable outfits for the day (remember the heat and rain makes this a necessity). I placed them out on the bed in their probable order of need and decided to get some water from the fridge.

I have guests coming tonight (the start of the deluge that lasts until Easter) and had hired my two "enemies of dirt" Victoria and Andrea to clean the house. These are the type of girls who carry every piece of furniture out of a room, scrub it, and return everything to it's place. Then I hired the "ex from hell" to do a little touch up painting. This whole gang needed the money and they can be trusted; trusted within reason I learned.

I always leave a a case or two of beer for the cleaners, but this particular week I had stocked the fridge with expensive champagne, brutally priced Venetian chardonnays, and more, much more. When I opened the door all but a few bottles of cheap wine for cooking were gone. I looked under serveral cabinets thinking of the way the move item to clean, but no.

I donned a smart morning dress with a hat tilted slightly on the left to shield the sun and walked over the the place of employment of my "ex".
"Did you like the painting?, he asked. "Oh, yes. It dried faster than
I would have imagined",I replied, "But, tell what happened to all the wine and champagne?" There was a second there, a second to think of an answer. "But you told us we could have anything." Tears were starting to well and we were not going there. "Really, Ramon, you know what is a present for guests, don't you." "Yes", he said, "I replace it today." "No dear", I said, "They were all gifts from salesmen; I'll make some calls today, but really." "I'm sorry, please...."

And then I felt IT: Mrs. Astor. As I left the restaurant with Ramon following, I said, "You did nothing wrong; it was just an error in judgment. And on top of all, it's just liquor, which simply can be replaced by the picking up of a telephone." Then I walked over to Ocean Drive turned North and engaged a haughtily gait that I have not enjoyed in months.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Wow, I have to apologize to all of you--my dear, dear friends--for what I put you through in the that thirty days. I was brought up in such a strict, Protestant, New England household that to show emotion was a sign of extreme weakness. You never cried, you never complained. Order was the name of the game.

But two hurricanes, being made titular Queen of The Palace, and two sad love stories made me collapse into what can only be described of as "human". God, I never thought I would come to that! I mean, to have feelings and tears. Sure, it was easy for me to cry at the image of a dog tied to an overpass in New Orleans, but I never thought a person could do it to me, too. Alas. No matter who designed your gown, it can be stained by tears.

The Queen had a long--if tipsy--talk with me today, making more sense than I ever wanted. She admonished me for not thinking of Alexis "ever"; she said I had only ever thought of what everyone else wanted. She was getting more and more tipsy as she raged about what I had done for The Palace and what I had not done for myself. Alcohol brings out many aspects of the human.
Crown Prince Boris drove her home as there was word of several peasant uprisings in the countryside.

Resolution: Wake up tomorrow the Alexis of September 4th (the day befor Katrina). I will take a little extra time to make sure my Day Gown is nicely starched and welcoming in manner. I might wear a sassy straw hat, too. I might become myself again.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Maybe all is not as bad as it seems. My thoughts about visiting either Argentina or New York brought out these responses which tell me most of my dismay is home grown and now I have two (or five) gorgeous invitations.

From my dear Jake in New York:

Milady, also known as the compassionate, the beautiful, and the long living, The royal houses of New York implore you to visit our courts. Beset by the finest jewels and wearing the finest asian silks, you'll dazzle our young suitors and drink from our finest cups the juice of Bacchus. We'll dance the Charleston and gaily sing with the royal symphony such delights as "Dancing Queen" and "I'm Every Woman". Milady, our King has not such long had such a befitting suitor, and as New York society becomes stale with the stench of complacency, such a precence could only do good for both our beleagured souls. Such rumour of peasant revolts and intrigue greatly upset our hearts, and we beseach upon you the invitation to our distant beaches where you will be recieved with great glory and rich splendor. The high society of New York has much desired to recieve such a dignitary such as yourself, and our shores have not been touched with such a presence since your last departure. There is no more fitting a retreat for a lady of such high regard such as yourself than the salons of gold and velvet which appoints our walls. Fullfil our entreaties your Grace. Your vast empire will be under no disability as Jupiter himself has promised to reign supreme over your land and granted you young Heremes to take your arm and accompany you safetly to our great bastion. Dear Lady, we hope our invitation has found you in good spirits and the postion to find yourself in favorable agreements to make such a timely and precribed journey. We await word of your decisions, and send emissaries carrying the ord of Dardunus and a bust of Venus, so that you may always be reminded that you, in fact, are the most beautiful woman to be born unto us mortals - a gift from Phoebus.
6:59 PM

And let's not frget That Pimpernel, the master of Credit Suisse:

By GOD, Girl! Your last blog entry, I'll be depressed for years......... Well, actually, no. However, it does point out the obvious. You really need a break. Pack your steamer trunks (and your swimming trunks) and get out of SoBe. Come to Switzerland...........

I've got to get out, to be sure; I am crumbling emotionally.

(And how rude would I be without mentioning the invitations to non-stop pasta dinners in Toronto with Mikevil and his husband, Derwood, and another to Missouri with Ed Grow and his husband Darwin. What sweet people, all.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trapped Like Rats...

...well rats with a $15,000 stocked wine cellar. Another severe tropical storm is battering us and no one can leave the Palace, but some of us must make a break for it. The 7th isn't here to carry me above their broad, masculine shoulders so, I've taken off my expensive afternoon reception gown and am down to my corset and bloomers. An adventurous group of young males have offered to try to get me out. (Maybe it's the fetching figure in the corset.)

Anyway the water is rising again (remember it has no where to go after about 5 inches an hour) and we have tied together five inflatable dolls in an effort to get to Twist, which is about three inches more above sea level that we are. God Bless Us.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Back to the Past

Really, if I don't climb back up to the attic of The Past, I may go insane.
The Coaching Ball is still held every year in Newport; such an anachronism: 19th Century
coaches are paraded up Bellevue Avenue ending with a ball at The Breakers.
I'm the one on the far left; I still have that lovely strolling dress and--thanks to the
South Beach Stress Diet--I can still wear it.

It beats the spinach and feta quessadilla I brought home tonight.

What Next?

I had to put down my oldest dog, Ina, today. She had stopped eating four days ago and if you knew how much this cow loved to eat! She had advanced kidney failure. Although KiKi was always my favorite, Ina--like all labradors--was very sweet. I can't even find a picture of her at the moment.

And, of course, now my "ex" won't talk to me because I could not leave the the owner/manager meeting and he needed to bring her in mid-afternoon to the vet. Good Lord! (No, there's no good coming from there lately.)

The 7th Will do Fine

That Pimpernel is still in Switzerland, but he sweetly offered to parachute in some Swiss Guards to protect me from another mental breakdown. I politely declined the offer as Captain Jeremy, here, has done a fine job of protecting The Palace and The Countess this past month. As I have said before, The 7th is always there for us. Why just this weekend I watched them put down several peasant revolts. Why are peasants always revolting? You try to be nice to them and they soil your gown. The 7th had no qualms at all about putting them back in their place. Isn't Jeremy cute?

Pimpernel did suggest I make a goal and acheive it before I go crazy. That goal is to stop working seven days a week; I haven't taken a day off in eight months. To attain that goal: Bring Jesse down here to act as my co-regent. He's smart, he's from New York, and he can do a fierce Beyonce dance.
I know I can find him a place to live or a roommate, but it will be difficult to find him a boyfriend down here. It is just impossible, but away from that family from hell he lives and works for, I think a whole Jesse will come out and be very happy.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Continuing On

I just don't know how longer I can, but I once again found myself out last night at Edison Farrow's "Karma Saturdays". In addition, I had on my arm one of the most infamous drag queens ever to have been birthed, Shelly Novak. (I think there is going to be some business conducted between Shelly and The Palace. I have goose bumps.)

So, as my personal life crumbles like blue cheese and my incessant worry that I've lost Johnny for good increases with every tear, I go out and put on a facade again of radiant happiness. It's a "war mentality" actually; you know, the Russian tanks are at the gates and you are baking a cake with the last flour and inviting everyone you know to taste it. You bring out your most (and last) elegant tea dress and crimp your hair a little bit more sassily. Those sounds in the background are not bombs, they are fireworks in your honor. My, I feel like dancing; may I take you hand in the next Polka. Oh, that's right we shouldn't bring up Poland, should we.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Stepping Down

The King and Queen are back from their whirlwind trip to France, England, Nigeria, South Africa, Turkey, and Bulgaria. They have business interests in Moscow and Malaysia, too but there's only so much you can fit into one month.

The day they left me in charge they also instructed me to work with my managers and make the changes we had been arguing for and prove that they would work. We first renovated both bars with everything from Venetian plaster to new plants; if we weren't going to be the biggest gay bar in town, we would be the most elegant. We brought back the drag shows, put a new music system in place, and threw benefits. A whole new, younger crowd became regulars; 12 of these handsome young men we made members of The Palace 7th Gay Calvary with Captain Jeremy at their head. A more loyal Imperial Guard you could not find. And while the other businesses on Ocean Drive closed and boarded up, The Palace stayed open during hurricanes Katrina and Rita and threw lavish parties in defiance.

We revamped the entire menu and I browbeat the chef over and over with: Quality AND Cost Control. Ditmar browbeat the new bartenders with Quality AND Imagination. Boris browbeat the servers with Quality AND Efficiency. And it worked. In what is notoriously the worst month of the year, we made so much money that I still don't know what to do with. Other club owners continuously "stopped by" to see what was going on.

Strange to say, I will miss working 12 hours a day 7 days a week; I love this place and the staff that, gay and straight, are devoted to each other. But perhaps I can now devote some time to Alexis. The Countess has been without a Count for a long time; the endless tricks are boring when you realize that screwing someone you don't know is pointless. A human has to have a reason to come home or a desire to do so; every night I come home there is only one decision to be made: which bedroom will I sleep in tonight so that I might fool the ghost of loneliness.

I will leave The Palace at ten this morning, pick up KiKi, turn off my phone, and lounge by the pool. (Until, of course, I hear the gallop of The 7th and the particular way they can play a luring tune on a bugle.)

P.S. I've already received three calls from The 7th; I am not resigning, I'm just going back to being a simple, elegant Countess. Also, now that I have a new nemesis (Tom) to dwell on and plot against, I will now have the time to do a good job on both. Intrigue never takes a holiday at The Palace.