"the" Mrs. Astor

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Normalcy has.returned to South Beach. Gone are the thugs, the "Yo, faggot", the guns (56 confiscated at clubs), and some of the partiers themselves with 1009 arrested. On a drive more familiar with Bentleys and Rolls' we hopefully won't see monstrosities like this for a while. There was only one club murder, but several stabbings. Remarkably, many businesses finished their "renovations" and reopened or decided it was again safe to stay open after 6PM. A customer asked me tonight "How will we ever stop it?" and all I could say was, "It has to be a takeoff on the old phrase, 'You vote with your feet'. This one is you vote with your locks."

I noticed the girl in orange looking Ditmar up and down, making eyes at him and followed her to her table. They were all from Atlanta and enjoying the clubs. I gave her the name of a doorman at Opium Garden, as they were headed there that last night, and knew he would remember me from my days (or nights) at Level with Gerry Kelly. One of the girls asked if we played any Beyonce and my eyes rolled thinking of Jesse (they rolled nearly into The Atlantic). I said, "Why, yes; I think we do." (knowing too well that our kah-ween manager, Raymond--who thinks he's Beyonce--had a huge collection). We put one on and the party began.

Back to the sweet life of South Beach.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On the walk to The Palace yesterday, I was confounded by the discovery of a pair of shoes. At first I thought, "Joan Crawford, Come Fuck Me Pumps", but immediately realized that they were more "Mamie Van Dooren Let Me Blow You Heels". They made my mind rush. What was more disturbing: Finding one shoe or a matching pair? Was this woman swept off her feet or in the trunk of a car? If I tried them on would I be blessed with magical powers or labelled as "cheap"? Thoughts swirled around my mind. I could hear Hastings saying, "Well, old chap. Maybe she didn't fancy them anymore." And I would say, "Hastings, the Woman, she fancies nothing more than the foot."

It was cryptic; the toes pointed toward the ocean. This was--to me--the great Payless crop circle. Was she forced by demons to pull a Virginia Wolff, or did a great sea monster snatch her with its tentacles and pull her to sea? With all that was going down, I could not delve any further into a mystery that only asked, "Are you better off now, than four years ago?" Life is crazy.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I had to see it for myself. With The 7th scattered to the winds and the ever-fawning courtiers dissolved into the mist, I knew any movement would be dangerous. The carriage was out of the question and even riding sidesaddle would have raised more than a bushy eyebrow, so I donned an old outfit from a costume ball: The Peasant Woman. (Saucy Chambermaid might have caused me to drift.)

The peasant outfit was a bit too clean and pressed to be authentic, so I first threw it down the staircase several times. (From experience, wrinkles are more accurately maintained by sleeping in the clothes, but a nap was out of the question.) Dirt was the second challenge. First I polished the mirrors with the outfit and then the blinds; this turned out a satisfactory version of Managed Filth. Then I remembered that I had a stuffed fish in a closet amd it polished off the whole look: Fish Market Peasant Woman. (It WAS a good thing Jeremy was away; he has orders to shoot anyone who looks like this.)

Thus emboldened that no REAL peasant would notice I was mocking them, I slipped out a side gate of Castle Astor and proceeded south to Ocean Drive. Several men tried to pinch me along the way, but I shunned their advances. (One offered me 3 kopeks for the fish or two for my kiss.)

When I reached The Palace all I could think was, "It is 4PM on a Saturday; normally this place would have been packed."

No more disturbing was the pack in front of Hotel Victor, home to Rich and Famous like The Countess Bedelia. Her friend, Paul, was in the background and he threw a worried look toward me (how did he see through my costume?). I took a photo (which I can't get up on Blogger) and one of the chicks said, "Why you takin' my photo, white boy?" And I quickly replied, "Anyone as gorgeous as you, NEEDS to have their photo taken", and ran.

So many more businesses are closed for "renovation" this year than last, including the posh National Hotel. The threat by organizers to sue for discrimination if you close your business seems to be less important than that of protecting your property and employees, and I never quite got the attitude that you have to open for business. Not ONE Palace employee could be convinced to work, especially after three had guns pulled on them two years ago. Even our armed security guard wouldn't work without a security guard, for HIM! 300 were arrested last night; that's double the first night number last year, and I guess the total will end up being about 1500. A sad start to summer.

I am now holed up behind the electrified gates of Castle Astor. (Plans to position cauldrons of boiling oil on the roof proved impractical as only 100% Virgin Olive was available.) And I am, alas, alone as the much-anticipated visit from KiKi did not materialize.

Ditmar is safe in Der Fuehrur Bunker in Morningside and the only other to stay, Mark, is safely put away in a home for courtiers with missing limbs (even though his accidents were not in the line of duty, I pulled a few strings). Doug and Henry are in New Hope, Mikey off to Spain, Jeremy kidknapped from The Cult of The Palace by his family and taken to Massachusetts, Miggy's found refuge in The Magic Kingdom, Scotty in Springfield, Susie took off to Key West, Showtune is singing for his freedom in Orlando, and Edison went to New York. The list goes on and on.

There has been no reported trouble, but it's early; in my experience trouble begins late Sunday as people run out of money, drugs, and still aren't laid. And then there is The Agreement: that alliance between City Hall, the police, and The Herald to underplay any bad news. When I say "bad" it is referring to murder, rape, and robbery; permitted bad news is a stolen radio, perhaps even a snatched purse (as long as the lady, or man, wasn't injured). This is a very small town; when a body is found everyone knows immediately, but you will never read about it. (Educated people don't read The Herald anyway, unless it's for the sales.) But no screams were heard, no sirens, and especially no CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP of police helicopters. It's early.

KiKi's no-show left me with an inordinate amount of meat which I was to pamper him with. At the moment I am marinating three steaks, three pork chops, and one half chicken in everything from Jack Daniels to orange juice. I will experiment today and try to keep the other friend who stayed in town, depression, from the door. (He knows how to get around the fence.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An invasion force of 350,000 is poised at the city gates, courtiers are fleeing in every direction, The Palace is in turmoil with a massive renovation about to begin. I was just about to sink a little lower into the murky pond of stress when I received an email from a friend who works for Google containing this urgent message from a fellow employee:

In a recent office move some of my belongings were lost. I am searching for two shoes (not a pair). One is a strappy, gold wedge with a charm buckle, the other is a rhinestone thong sandal. Both of these shoes are near and dear to my heart and integral pieces to my summer wardrobe. If anyone knows anything regarding there whereabouts, please let me know."

Nothing raises my spirit quite so much as stuff like this; it was like being reborn. I don’t know what made me laugh more: the fact that she would open herself up like that to her fellow workers, or that she kept “integral pieces to (her) summer wardrobe” in the office.

Sometimes, it’s the little things.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Meet The Family

Good Lord, does it ever stop? I had mercifully arrived home at Casa Astor early after a lack-luster afternoon of shopping that netted more for others than planned when the phone rang. It is not unusual to see "Jeremy" displayed and I answered quite authoritatively, "Not tonight, Jeremy." (My strength of conviction, was almost erotic.) "I'm in the car with The Family," he said, and I thought for a second, "Mikey, Mark, and Harpo?" when I remembered his entire family had flown down from Massachusetts and he was taking them to The Palace. "He IS the Captain of the Guard, even if he shaves his legs", I thought, and threw on a wrap and headed south.

I can't express how refreshing it was to be around intelligent New Englanders, but I CAN say that "Nana" rocked my ship of state. She was so like my own grandmother: sharp-witted, tough, razor-tongued, and opinionated. "My own brother told me I was the best person he ever drank with", she quipped when Jeremy's mom made a snarky comment about his drinking and he defended himself with having been "...taught by the best."

They stopped by South Beach for a night before taking Jeremy up North and away from the unwashed masses about to descend upon the town. Miami Beach was still today, and the scent of dread filled the air. The first words from whomever you ran into were, "Where are you going?". More than once, I felt the unasked second question, "Will you take me with you?"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An eerie calm has crept over the city; Miami is not a calm place, as a rule. Memorial Day Weekend here is not the refreshing start to summer enjoyed by the rest of the country. Within days 300,000 people celebrating everything hip hop, something referred to as UrbanFest, will envelop a city with 300 emergency personnel. The rush to escape the city begins tomorrow.

The sudden influx of so many people overwelms the city's ability to handle anything, whether it's a car accident or an order of extra bread. By day it's rather exciting with the outlandish costumes, hair pieces, and body jewelry; by night it turns into a State of Siege with armored cars, rooftop gunsnipers, and body armor. Much has been said about just how you stop, or at least limit, the mass visit. No one has ever found an answer, so you either run or hide.

Suddenly, that invitation to Sarasota is not so ridiculous.


Jeremy is off work for sixteen days and nights and I see danger on the horizon. Last night he tried to convince me to join his group on a "gambling cruise". These ships are at most ports and their sole purpose to to cruise out to the territorial limit, beyond the rule of law, and allow passengers to gamble for five hours or so.

The pained look on my face when he invited me made my intentions all too evident.

J: "But, it's a lovely cruise in the moonlight."

A: It chugs out three miles and turns off the motor. That, dear Jeremy, is stagnating, not cruising."

J: "There's a big, free buffet."

A: "Ingredients of 'big', 'free', and 'buffet' call for a recipe of food poisoning!"

J: "There are young crewmen; we can have SEX WITH A STRANGER!"

I paused to catch my breath, but not in a manner that might draw attention from the other patrons taking tea in The Palace's Winter Garden. I carefully looked to each side (using my incredibly well-trained peripheral), and whispered, "Really?"

SEX WITH A STRANGER is a topic spoken about constantly--if in hushed tones--in court circles here. Like all taboos, SWAS grasps the imagination and causes fires to burn in areas long cold. It is something you can't admit to, while wanting to scream out the sordid details from the highest turret. At court SWAS is , of course, one of those titillating subjects that always remains a bit more on the side of regretful sighs rather than action. Sometimes you talk about it so much at a sitting that the mere rush sends a girl home satiated, even shameful.

A: "Did I hear you correctly, Jeremy?"

J: "Yup, you never know what's running those ships down there."

A: "Surely you don't think that I am going to climb down some narrow, steep staircase only to find myself lying on a pile of coal while the sooty fingers of a Polish stoker unbuttons my lilac-colored bodice!" (I could almost feel the heat of the open, unattended boiler behind me.)

J: "Aw, Mrs. A, they don't use coal anymore; it's all turbines, very modern, very clean. I meant doing it in a stateroom, or even a broom closet."

A: "No coal....?" Yet another fantasy shattered, like so many others. And, worse: offered a broom closet and the clean, manicured fingers of a wine steward perhaps. I could contain my dismay no longer.

I called for my carriage and bid Jeremy, Leo, and Matt good luck at the poker tables and their broom closets. I don't gamble and have a finely-appointed walk-in broom closet at Casa Astor, one that a lady of quality could feel at home in. When I arrived home I took a peek into the broom closet and had a flash of a Filipino waiter in a white jacket with beautifully polished gold buttons, reaching out...and I slammed the door.

I prepared Brie and crackers, opened a bottle of wine, and watched a special on the Knights Templar. "Phew", I sighed, "Back to reality."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

"It Was Like Feasting With.....Alligators"

Well, Oscar Wilde actually said "panthers", but The Herald--that only true competition to Jack and Jill--finished the week with a story of an elderly lady who spotted a two foot or so baby alligator walking toward her Labrador and tore out of the house with a pistol. She fired four shots at the gator and amazingly missed both the reptile and the much, much larger dog. There was no word on passing traffic at press time.

Even I am not above panic; you can imagine my surprise with I spotted an alligator surveying the pool! Oh, it was only Walpole, an old friend I met in San Juan ten years ago and who came back to stay with me. A little eccentric, Walpole--don't call him Wally--fancies himself an exiled Russian princess and lives in the attic (which he also fancies is in Paris). The Princess is writing memoirs of the last Imperial season in St. Petersburg, but took some time to have a martini and talk about the panic pursued by the press.

It was fun to anticipate the lavish pool parties to come.

Walpole's dropping in was fortuitous, indeed, as I had just made a test for some future dinner of pears and brie wrapped in chicken breast and baked with an orange marmalade coating with nuts. (Ben was on his way to pick me up, so it was a short luncheon compared the average here.)

Walpole complimented me on the luscious, moist meat combined with the sweetness of the fruit. "How nice, Walpole. Have you tasted anything like it before?"

"Yes," Walpole replied, dabbing his lips and taking a sip of Santa Magarita, "young children."

We laughed and laughed at that one.

When Eartha was exiled from the United States professionally for denouncing the war in Vietnam and making poor Lady Bird Johnson cry in public, she picked up her 3 year old daughter, Kit ( Kitt MacDonald) and moved to Japan and eventually Paris although she traveled extensively and picked up many languages. (She sang one song on Saturday in Turkish.) Kitt is now her manager.

As is so often the case with a nation that proclaims itself the Land of The Free, President Johnson had her blacklisted and not one recording company or theater would hire her for fear of the CIA and FBI. (Aren't you glad times have changed--OH, what was that click on the telephone line?) she set up an two schools in South Africa. In 1978 she was nominated for a Tony award for her starring performance in another Broadway show, Timbuktu. It was her first major performance in the U.S. in ten years. When the show opened in Washington, D.C., Kitt was invited to the White House, where President Carter met her, saying, "Welcome home, Eartha.

Reason will always win out, but it takes time and pain, and most of the perpetrators have gotten rich along the way. As I mentioned to The Countess today, shouldn't there be heads being carried around on pikes by now.

Oh, and I've always been a whore for souvenirs.


There is nothing like being whipped into submission by a legend and that is what just happened at The Jackie Gleason Theater.

I knew it was going to be special when the band leader announced, “And, now, please give a warm Miami welcome to Miss Eartha Kitt!” The screams were deafening; I love gay audiences when a camp icon is involved and all of gay Miami—and then some—was there..

I was very shocked at the energy, sensuality, and strength of the 79-year-old who was just treated for cancer. She carried out some moves that, admittedly, even I can’t do and I am accomplished at some rather fancy ones. And what can one possibly say about singing the Peggy Lee hit, “Come On a My House…” in Japanese?

It was one of those major evenings of diversion and testimony to the spirit of “going on” (and that is exactly what we are all trying to do). Wow.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I love my friends; they share the worry and try what they can to divert. Mark insisted I join him at The Happy Place and Ditmar made me smile with both the supremely silly title to today's drag show and the use of a pourer as a makeshift chalice. The pourer is the real joke as it is never used; The Palace's drinks are so notoriously strong that it would probably make more sense to just leave the bottle in front of the customer.

We joked about Mark's Fankenstein boot, although it seemed so more practical than a cast. Carl stopped by to make sure I was still going to see Eartha Kitt tonight. Dr. Brad told us some funny things he came across while working in an emergency room some years back. He told us of hearing the scream of the very proper head nurse once. When he ran to help he found a young guy who had got a flashlight stuck up his ass. When the nurse asked him to spread his cheeks, she wasn't prepared for the beam of light. That made me smile, too.

Then my beloved Jeremy popped by and said he was bored this morning and shaved his entire body. "Jose's coming home to a surprise tonight: A 12-year-old boy!" And that made me really smile.

This is the face of Evil.

A concerned employee came to me with the story of a sweet dog which had been rescued from an sadistic owner who kept her caged. "She'll be good company", he said and the only comment I had was that I didn't care if she wasn't a designer dog as long as she wasn't destructive. No, no I was assured, but if I hadn't been so bloody distracted by all the shit flying around my head maybe I would have asked WHY the owner kept the dog in the cage.

I spent most of last weekend as La Casa with the dog, Mona, and all went rather well. Many toys were lavished upon her and she seemed quite happy with the apparent good life ahead. On Monday she proved why the previous owner had caged the beast. She tore the fabric off the dining room chairs, books from the book case, and even the wooden blinds. A simple muzzle would not have prevented her from jumping up to and tearing down the ceiling fan as she did. When confined to the bathroom, she chewed the toilet seat. I was face-to-face with The Hound From Hell.

My cries for help brought about a Greek Chorus of "Give her a chance; she's a puppy." I went to Mr. Dog Lover, himself my "ex" and offered him $150 to find the dog a home (immediately) and he convinced the charming husband and wife team of Aura and Greg to take the monster. I, of course, was not actually telling them the extent of my troubles, but did ply them with tasty goodies, lots of champagne, and an invitation to the pool in a shameful effort to charm them. They dumped the devil dog back at my "ex's" the next day. I guess it wasn't worth a pool party to them, after all.

The "ex" refused to return Mona because he knew I had called Animal Control, and has supposedly found a new home. It has been a horrific two weeks, just horrific, but it will take just a few thousand dollars to repair everything here.

I thought I had managed to get a grip on the depression that has been creeping through my life, but I really was only masking it with all the silliness around me. Depression is much too wise to be fooled by a mask. What a horrible week. The dog, the job, everything. It's really bad when Camp Astor doesn't even amuse me and I don't want to walk out that gate. I may need a little vacation to pull whats left of myself together.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I do not--in the least--support the notion that Stupid People have a right to live. Taxes would be a great deal less and the shaking of heads more rare, if they were simply eaten.

The hunt goes on. "Let's round up every gator with a mean look in its eye", screams the Miami "I'm good for something other than bird cage lining." Herald.

Yes, indeed, the tally so far of this mass-disembowelment has produced, a raccoon, three tennis balls, a deflated football, a mouse, a flip flop, something that could have been a croquet mallet, more mice, and--well-two arms of a girl so depressed that she hid under a bridge after calling her mom about her feelings.

Truly, if I have to start collecting money again to save these poor creatures from the bad press of the Miami Herald, I will. There has been a gross bastardization of the famous phrase, Only The Strong Survive. Now, it's Only The Stupid Survive, and if we don't stop this in its tracks you, me, and all our friends will find ourselves thrown in the Trash Heap of History (I love that phrase).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I couldn’t contain my drool when Wire Magazine owner, Carl Zablotney, took me to lunch and told me about the interview he had with Eartha Kitt today. It is SO like him to invite someone like me and crow about something like that. I hate him.

Well, I love him too, because without him I would have missed so many crazy things here on South Beach.

Eartha will forever be in my glory book for telling Lady Bird Johnson (current majority stock holder of Haliburton) that there was a reason why Americans were angry and it was because they didn’t want to send their children off to a nonsensical war. That made Lady Bird cry in public and Eartha was banished to Europe and continually harassed by the CIA. (WOW, just when you thought it couldn’t happen again.)

Miss Kitt had already conquered a life of abuse and torment and wasn’t about to let the White House tell her what to do. She—in true Josephine Baker style—made Paris her adoring home and in the late seventies returned to the States and Jimmy Carter publicly announced, “Welcome home”. Talent always thrives over politics, and Paris always thrives over Washington.

She told Carl that the one, major thing that kept her sane in the banished 70’s was the gay crowd, its embrace of her music and style, and its continued loyalty. (Who wouldn’t like a gal who taught so many of us to purr as the original Cat Woman on Batman?) She told him our money kept her afloat and our adoration gave her spirit.

Back in the late sixties, Newsweek quoted Eartha Kitt about the Lady Bird run-in. “I think we have missed the main point at this luncheon. We have forgotten the main reason…No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.

Carl—my BEST friend—is taking me to see La Diva on Saturday. It’s another time and there’s another war to send kids off to. Thank God Miss Kitt is still around

The only alternative publication to the Jack and Jill Reader, The Miami Herald, reported this today:

'A Miramar police officer shot an alligator in the head on Wednesday afternoon after the reptile crawled out of a lake, across a residential street and into a backyard at about the time children were being dropped off by school buses.'

Why? Sounded like a plan to me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I’ll keep this post to those subjects not worthy of complaint: Alligators and The Weather.

Day number two, and not one woman has been devoured by an alligator. Has the terror lifted? Has the Miami Herald stopped writing in a haphazard manner? Don’t be too sure on either count, especially the second.

The Herald—taking all-to-valuable time away from brush fires and purse snatching—continued its vilification of the alligator, although mindful of the fact that the poor creature is starving and lacking water for its environment. It still wrung its hands about the poor “jogger”, while not bothering to explore the reason she was under a bridge after just calling her mother about being depressed and also neglected to question why body number two was dressed only in blue panties while “it appeared to have been bitten”. Damn, I’d bite something that was floating in my soup for three days, too! Number Three was just so young; she couldn’t have known not to snorkel in a remote lake.

The ever-observant Constanza sent this message today: “…I must hurriedly dash off this note while en route back to Boston from my latest D.C. travels, for I have only just become aware of these rampaging gangs of alligators, out to murder or, worse yet, *sexuallymolest* some of Florida's best and brightest -- in which case most surely they have you in their sights.” Ah, a noble woman with noble thoughts, though misplaced. I may be a bit down every now and then, but I don’t swim in remote ponds and I certainly don’t wear powder blue panties in public. Worry not, Constanza, for whom the alligator tolls…

We just endured nature’s other Wrath of Florida, the weather; 36 hours of wind-driven rain and ferocious lightening only gave us a glimpse of what’s to come. Awake at 5AM from the crashing sound of thunder, I spent time researching rubber boots after experiencing the flooding of the day before and also started the legwork on purchasing a generator. No one thinks we will get away with anything this year. Oh, there's the bell....

Why, it's my friends, The Alligators. "Do come in, you must be famished. Have a seat and let me fix you a cool, refreshing beverage. Yes, I have seen that dreadful pool the Russian neighbors put in next door. Yes, they ARE rich. And Russian, too; you KNOW what that means. Oh, you noticed those children, too. How can you not; they are constantly screaming and splashing. You'll do what? Oh, no, I couldn't ask you to do that. That's too nice of you, but if you insist, I won't have to put out the cheese platter after all."

No women were eaten by alligators yesterday.

The Miami "We're Writing As Bad As We Can" Herald posted this photo on the front page today with little more than a caption of Pool Party at Surfcomber. Nothing about the fact that is was an Aqua Girl event or that it was in celebration of everything fabulous about lesbians. No, just a cryptic caption under a telling photo.

Overheard in Little Havana (translated)

"Yolanda, meida! Where is the men? Only girls; I see only girls!"

"Ayi, Mami! The girls, they eat pussy."


Meanwhile, the better-written, "alternative" paper, Miami New Times, came out with their yearly list of Best Of Miami and to our delight we found our own drunken little whore of a publicist, Thomas Barker. He was named The Best Party Crasher. The New Times knows what they are talking about, and he was all giggly and downing Grey Goose last Thursday here when it hit the streets. Thomas usually hits the streets about 5:15 in the morning when he stumbles home.

Finally, one of my babies has a new blog and, since he's cute, brilliant, viscous, and living in Europe, I suggest you look him up. Leopold (or Poldie, as he was affectionately know in royal circles here just a few years back) has eyes that see everything and a mind that dissects with deadly precision. Hi, baby!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Birds in Paradise

There are many, many reasons I am attracted to Miami. The facts that there are no state or city income taxes and that a rogue child is more likely to be eaten by an alligator than struck by lightning are two. One of the most important is that this tropical city attracts birds to paradise, like our barback-by-day/international entertainer by night, Geraldine.

Of course our in-house pteradactyl, Tiffany, is another.

Last Saturday new birds were spotted near our nest-- exotic ones.

Tiffany could not resist approaching them, complimenting them on their plumage. She told me later that they live on the mainland and go to a popular Latino club there. (I, of course, have never been there because of obvious, dangerous reasons.)

The hatchlings were happy to pose around big bird, mother hen.

Ah... I love Miami.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Warning, Will Robinsonl!

OK. I am sending the following warning to my beloved links:

Even though you may be precious to me, even though I may hold you to my breasts, and even though we talk (and drink) with each other regularly, I am telling you with no uncertainty that unless you update you blogs, you will be removed.

This is not to say that you will be thrown in the trash bin of history (I adore that phrase), but you will be put in the cupboard of the present, to be taken down like a fine teapot when needed. I will not mention names, but I can't awake to the Story of Stanley anymore or the Fatal Spill of Wine. It's not just me, mind you. I put up with your antics and peccadillos as much as you do mine, but just how am I to answer for your laziness to write; it only takes a few words or a simple picture of something that made your day worth living. I am grateful to those who came out of hiding, too; did you really want to be the Jimmy Hoffa of the blogosphere?

So be forewarned. Thebottle of internet whiteout is on my desk.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Enough is enough!

Three alligator attacks in as many weeks have created the usual shouts for revenge against the gators, pleas to lock up the children, and making the wearing of alligator shoes mandatory in all public schools.

As for the shoes, I say "If you can afford them, by all means wear them"; style hasn't been taught in those schools for about four decades. As for locking up the children, don't hesitate for another moment; I've been attacked by more children than reptiles since moving here. But the poor alligators?

To the best of my recollection, alligators (as opposed to nasty crocs) shy away from humans. They have a much better track record against poodles yelping at them at the edge of a canal. Do you know what you have to do to get bitten by an alligator? Be stupid.

I hate stupid people; they go around getting themselves into one mess after another and have to be bailed out. Exhibit number one is the first attack. Steven Martinez decided to supplement his income and gather lost golf balls in the bottom of a murky lake in Boynton Beach when he found that the resident alligator in that mud hole already had the concession and bit his ankle. A few days later an elderly lady fended off an alligator with the nozzle of her garden hose, but could not explain the bottle of gin in the other. And the other day, a Miss Juarez was supposedly attacked while jogging and dragged into a canal and devoured.

This had to be one fast alligator or one slow jogger, until it was revealed yesterday that the "jogger" had been seen sitting under a bridge, dangling her feet in the murky waters of a canal. You NEVER dangle anything in murky waters in Florida, but two innocent gators were quickly trapped and disemboweled. The first had a raccoon in its stomach and had undoubtedly saved some child from rabies, and the second had three tennis balls, and a deflated football in its (that's sad). Supposedly the rangers found the right one today, but you have to wonder if these ancient creatures are the modern world's natural predator of Stupid People. Stupid People multiplied like rabbits for many years under the protection of other Stupid People with guns. Nature fights back as best it can and we should applaud the alligator for stepping up to the plate in this one.

AquaGirl, the four day event for girls who like girls, is in full swing with pool parties, barbeques, lectures, banquets, beach parties, and all night dances raging. Now at year six, thousands of women attend these functions which benefit the Woman's Community Fund Grant Program. Like all social undertakings of this nature, the mood is up, the clothing as little as possible, and the marginal propensity for getting drunk very high. It is South Beach.

The week ended on a bright note when I read a thank you from the fascinating Monique in which she referred to me as "...the Last of the Mohegans" for being gracious. That made me smile because the last time I heard that was from John Gotti's daughter back in New York when the Telfon Don was put away (she wasn't referring to me at the time). However, although I may have been aggresively gracious, everyone is made to feel welcome and happy at The Palace. (Why else would Officer Brian call it The Happy Place?) Visitors like Monique, the Aqua Girls, and even witches from Salem just reinforce Cat Stevens' immortal line, "... there's a million things to be-- You know that there are". You just have to pick one.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Want To Be HER!

Sometimes--when things get shakey or you feel unsafe--the best thing to do is reach out an hug something silly. So, I must confess that I love The Duchess of Alba and want to be her when I gracefully grow old. Eccentric, stylish, and witty, Sevillana, La Duquesa de Alba, holds one of the oldest titles in Europe. In the pecking order of European nobility the House of Alba makes the Windsors look like parvenus. If you ever see a royal wedding in Europe she will always be in the second row as a symbol of her rank. She has an uncanny resemblance to Ruth Gordon's Maude in Harold and Maude and it makes me want to find her Spanish Harold. God, Mikey Riley is going to have a fun summer in Spain.

One reason for the erratic behavior of most everyone last night could be seen rising over The Atlantic. It was one of those hopeless nights. Things are out of control and--if you are The Great Controller--you feel lost, totally lost and do things like staying out too long with the boys. I can't blame them; they are lost, too, and we know that life as we know it is ending. At the general staff meeting yesterday I could see the faces of doubt and doom; everyone knows that The Palace is about to go through a radical change, to what extent, we don't know. The main topic of conversation last night with the soon-to-be-gone 7th was what we who stay on will do during The Big One, hurricane that is. So many are leaving, though, that it seemed the question was rather moot. I was very drunk by the time we finalized the disaster plan for the hurricane but not one for the present situation which sinks hourly into a quagmire of despair. Ian's ill, KiKi's dying, and I am alone at La Casa for the next six months. I've been here before: the rooms are so big and so empty that you are afraid to come home, and when you do it's sad.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Help Wanted (Young Men, Single, and Free)

Will is leaving us is a few days to take a doctor position with a hospital in Chicago. He was so cute: He asked if he would still be a member of the 7th when he left, and I assured him that "Once a Palace guardsman, always a Palace guardsman.

Ben is leaving for California, Michael for Madrid, and Jeremy for South America. Jeremy loudly exclaimed that the new captain of the guard "IS ONLY TEMPORARY!", as he will be gone for only four months. Mikey is studying Spanish in Madrid for the summer. Except for a few loyal troops, I will be exposed to the most vile brutalities of those revolting peasants.

Ben is departing for good, too, along with Will. A new happy hour/recruiting booth has been set up for Fridays between 5 and 9. Don't think you will get any preferential treatment just because you are young and gorgeous; know it. We will play Jeremay's favorite game, "How many peasants can you take down with a six-shooter?" It's more fun than Twister, but don't count that out.

And it was also sweet Andy's birthday last night, too. He's an All-Man type of guy who loves basketball, football, and Broadway musicals. He wryly noted that he and Showtune Matt are my main protection now and that The Palace might soon become a summer musical theater. The horror!

Monday, May 08, 2006

This past weekend really began with meeting Monique, a truly special girl who proved that you don’t have to be pretty to be lovely. I came home that afternoon to find my crazy bitch housemate, Terry doing his very best Desperate Housewife imitation in the front yard.

As it was his last weekend visiting Miami before he opens the house in Rhode Island, I took him to The Victor where I encountered THAT GLASSWARE again. And since it was obvious that I can not live without them, I set about a plan. We talked about renting one of those big air cushions that is so popular in NYC for people threatening to jump out a window. Strategically placed, it seemed possible that I could leap off the roof of the hotel with two in my hand, but impractical if I conceded the fact that I would have to jump four times for a set of eight.

Never subdued in plotting, I have embarked on a plan to sweet-talk Vince, the gracious General Manager of The Victor. I’ve already found out that he was the one who ordered them, which means that not only does he have good taste but the key to the china cabinet. The charm will be turned on heavily this week, a sort of Johnstown Flood of charm, and if I can’t dance like Salome’ well enough I will get someone who can. I will stop at nothing, of that you can be sure.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Return of Monique

Monique did come back to see Geraldine and Tiffany perform on Saturday and was happy to be welcomed with open arms. It can't be easy, but I adore the fact that she knows who she is and lives her life according to that. She was certainly the Belle of the Ball and after an introduction everyone liked her as much--well maybe not as much--as I did. Monique was witty, intelligent, and well traveled. She delighted us with stories of The Trannie Shack in San Francisco and was delighted by our stories of Palace life. It was, as she noted on Thursday, interesting how forces bring people together.

Oh la la Paris on a Sunday Morning

I'm getting back into my routine of life again, as boring as that may be. Every Sunday morning I like to indulge in a tiny pastry, a cup of Earl Grey and read Steph and Alek's week of postings on Oh la la Paris. I've long since given up on The Times; too much nasty shit. I'm tired of starving people in the Sudan. (Someone actually told me to finish my dinner this week because "people are starving in Ethiopia". I said, "They've been starving for thirty years; surely there aren't any left.") I'm sick of the war in Iraq (if the idiots in Middle America want their children to continue being killed rather than vote those criminals out of office, so be it.) And I'm sick of the Democrats putzing around like dodos. (If one more jerk comes to me with "I'm going with Kerry again", I'll strangle them--yes, Jeremy, YOU--on the spot.)

Call me shallow, but I like pictures of Prince Harry on a sunny Sunday morning, and Steph and Alek never fail to astound me with their ability to show just what a sexy world we live in. The art directors at Dolce Gabbana must have a ball shooting their ads; the boys show just how well sex sells--at least in Europe. There are so many pretty things out there.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lady Bunny with Alexis Arquette when Alexis was just a cute boy. This was in some seedy dive on the lower east side; King Tut's Wa Wa Hut, I think.
I got an email from The "Lady" Bunny this morning asking me to post this address to MoveOn.org in the continuing effort to keep the dickheads in congress from restricting the internet. Can't these assholes do something about the depletion of the treasury or the endless war instead of finding ways to limit freedoms of information and speech?

In addition I received this clip Lahoma van Zandt made of the outlaw parties we used to run to. The phone would ring and a voice would say, "The middle of The Williamsburg Bridge in a half hour." or "McDonald's in Time Square at midnight" and we'd gather up what ever it was that made us tick and show up for a riotous good time. Eventually the police would show up, ponder the situation, and politely start moving everyone out. They and the poor passersby would not know what to make of the gathering of all these freaks; no great crime was being committed, at least on the surface. One of the funniest was the one on the steps of the grand, main post office in back of Madison Square Garden on April 15, the last night for tax mailing. That was always a favorite night for me and I often visited on the night of April 15 to watch people anxiously filling out their taxes at 11pm in order to get them postmarked. Jeese, hadn't they ever heard of and extension (or a tax accountant like the fabulous Reggie Waldron I had). Holding an outlaw party there pushed it over the top; I have a video of that somewhere. I can't believe a lady of my social standing absolutely LOVED those freaks. Still do.