"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Famed Ocean Drive has been sealed off to traffic for the weekend again, something I have always felt should be permanent. Then maybe we wouldn't see the bumper-to-bumper nightmare every day with the Hummer competing with the Bentley and both being out-manouvered by the beat up Monte Carlo from Hialeah with the tail pipe dragging and sparking.

Warm breezes blew in from The Bahamas and Sea Breezes flew over the bar from early on. A great deal has been made over a little comment I made in an exchange with Thomas Barker the other evening. I was maintaining the high road by saying, "Decent people don't drink before 1 PM." and Barker had the nerve to say, "Then, what do you call that champagne you had?" I shot back an authoritative, "Champagne is NOT alcohol; it is a breakfast beverage when served with orange juice." (which, given my condition at the time, seemed to hold little weight and has been thrown in my face ever since.)

Whatever. Big change is in the wind, and despite what Jesse says, I am, NOT wearing sequins tonight. Chiffon is definitely the choice with a balmy wind like this; turquoise with matching shoes.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Despite the machinations and misguided decisions by the mostly-absent King and Queen, court life continues to flourish. I guess any existence based on plotting, intrigue, gossip, cleverness, and position exists on a type of social centrifugal force.

Departures from Court are immediately made up by new arrivals, but The Inner Circle remains as stratified as ever as privileges remain jealously guarded. Where you sit, what treatment you receive, and whom you acknowledge as an equal mark those privileges. The Court offers a strange type of comfort and reason that is rare in a city so shallow and tawdry; it is the focal point of social life for its members. Those members protect each other by standing up for another’s good name and hiding that same person’s peccadillos. Courtiers actually work to get to The Inner Circle.

And despite my irrevocable decision to leave Court, I linger on, also knowledgeable of the perks of position. Riley is always commenting on my “wielding power”, but real power is never seen, only felt; and almost all would agree that whatever I did has been for the good of all. To the best of my knowledge no one has ever been banished from Court, although some have been moved to the fringe. It’s lonely on the fringe, but fabulous if you wear it well.

Carl Fisher invented Miami Beach as an escape from the mainland, a place where nothing was ever taken seriously, a city positioned for frivolity. Reality was never supposed to nip at the well-turned heels on the land he bought which is now South Beach.

We just follow the plan.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

To The Countess Bedelia

The Southern Court here at The Palace, its staff, retainers, and courtiers will today all bow to the North in honor of the birthday of a great lady and friend of everyone here, The Countess Bedelia.

1PM The announcement of The Countess's birthday will commence with the first official drinking of the day.

4PM The official toast to the birthday will be hosted by myself as serious drinking begins.

6PM The guns of The Great Southern Fleet will fire a twenty-one gun salute in honor of the great lady; very, serious drinking starts. (Hopefully, all twenty-one rounds hit Hialeah.)

8PM Captain Jeremy leads a ceremonial burning of a peasant village in honor of The Countess after which drinks are passed out in thanks.

10PM My carriage is prepared for departure as it is "Strawberry Girls Night" and hundreds of drunken lesbians are at the gates.

Happy Birthday Countess!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Art of the Belly Shot

Every Friday the incomparable, Geraldine performs a cabaret and during intermission takes a belly shot off of one of the customers. Usually, the victim has no clue to what is going to happen, but here's how it goes:

First, ask for a volunteer to assist you in your next performance, announcing that you need the help of a cute, young boy. There is always one drunk enough.

Coax his shirt off and place him on his back; stools will do as well as a floor. Stools put him at a convenient height for the act, but the floor is conducive to acts of a different sort later.

As the crowd watches, explain to the little lamb that you are going to put a lime in his mouth, salt around his belly button and up to his nipples, and that you will take a tequila shot out of his belly and lick everything off.

Add a good amount of salt (better too much, than too little on a body like this).

As you prepare to pour the shot, put your microphone in his crotch and tell him to "hold it". This keeps him still (and if tries to run, you can grab him by the crotch).

Do the shot, and start licking, very slowly around the belly button and up his chest to his salted nipples. He is not dangerous now; he's liking it too much. In fact, he's beginning to think he may love you.

Spend a little time working the nipples. This extra work will pay off in the next step and, anyway, you don't want someone else finishing your job for you.

Then....Gently straddle him and suck the lime, leaving it in his mouth. Suck it as he sucks back. Suck it as if it the last lime you will ever taste.

Throw back your head in ecstasy as you feel his erection and accept the applause of the grateful crowd.

(Note to Self: Get a dress and wig out of storage and give Geraldine a paid night off this Friday.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Poor Thomas Barker; he's been looking for something for a long time. Friends and lovers? No, he has many (some would say many, many) of those and they are categories often mixed with each other. Influence? No, he has lots of that with his connections, column, and publicity business (Thomas wields influence; I wield power.) No, he's been looking for his ass. As he laments, "I'm a white boy with no ass."(although those of us privy, know this is more than made up in other attributes).

So for Christmas, Thomas got from one of his many admirers (none of this is to suggest that he is a whore or anything like that, just popular) a pair of jeans cut to accentuate the back regions. "How does it look?" he asked, all aglow. "Just lovely," I replied. "Like a bra, it lifts and separates." And, in a town like this with a boy like that, well, that's dynamite.

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's time to come out of hiding. One of the reasons I moved here was to shake off things like "celebrating Christmas" and--except for our own party--I did manage to avoid every little "celebration". Still, our party was fun and The Court turned out in record numbers for an evening of free everything; what a loyal bunch. For those who know them, I've posted just some of their pictures.

What a difference three days make. On Sunday, FernandeKute (my favorite DJ) was doing his thing as Fernando.

On Wednesday, he proved Divine is not gone.

It was another balmy night in the seventies so dancing commenced on the patio.

A very nice touch was delivered by one of the newest members of Court, The Count La Mot. A clever man, La Mot knows that NOTHING smooths entrance to Court like presents, and he brought a great number of bejeweled, gold bags containing ornaments.

They were a great hit and a brilliant way to signal the end to the party. The following day I entered into another short hibernation from parties. Now, the coast is clear to New Years .

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Although I proclaimed that I was not attending any Christmas parties, I don't think I violated that edict by dropping in on Edison Farrow's weekly martini night, this week on the roof of Cafeteria. It was 10 PM, 72 degrees, and a balmy wind blew from the north.

Good thing, too; because I brought up all the problems Cafeteria had with The City, it's ruinous delaying of it's opening, and how the superb rooftop seemed under used. Edison told me that The City let them open the roof, erect an elegant setting and then told them they couldn't serve liquor, food, or play music. What were they thinking; a meditation garden?

Once again, the outrage from a city where drinking is not just a God-given right, but a duty, together with ample legal pressure, removed the ban on alcohol but still restricted use of the roof. So I thought it genius that Edison convinced the Gay Mens' Choir to perform, and I was truly impressed. Not only by their talent, but the idea that you can't regulate someone singing just as it is not any government's right to limit dancing. I offered my idea that City Hall be burned to the ground with it's occupants inside (a bit draconian I admit, but an idea who's time had come). Edison, ever the cautious diplomat, smiled.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Here is one of the classic examples of over-government there is here. The Neptune was built in the 1931 when such buildings were constructed with an infrastructure of wood. The endless assault by moisture, wind, heat, and salt air eventually destroys everything; The Neptune was never meant to last 80 years and began to waste away and became unsafe.

This is where The City steps in, as it does in everything whether you are building a forty-story condo or changing the door on your garage. You can't destroy anything with "history" in it; the facade must be preserved. In the case of The Neptune, it was a cheesy Mediterranean/Arabian hybrid that was common in the late 20's, and the same cheesy design could be replicated, NEW without have to maintain a crumbling edifice on which the balconies must be bolstered up. The result: higher costs in production and a myriad of City "inspectors" keep their jobs. There is a department in City Hall that studies old, hand-painted postcards of buildings to keep them original.

The commissioners who run the city generally are completely out of touch to the business or social needs of South Beach. Miami Beach is made up of South Beach, the flamboyant and expensive tail that wags the dog, Mid Beach, an equally expensive residential area made up of old farts, and the terribly sad, North Beach, a much-neglected ugly sister which the other two try to imagine doesn't exist up there in that attic. The Commission is mostly made up of Mid Beach loonies who have "an idea" for everything except how to make life easier on business. They try to regulate the color of umbrellas, the display of food in front of restaurants, the number of plants, and even tried to stop street performers such as the fabulously popular, Mr. Disco who--in his polyester clothes and platform shoes would demonstrate disco dance in front of his boom box.

I used to love watching Mr. Disco. He would make a brief introduction to the song he was about to play and then dance; he was a great hit and always drew big crowds. That's what did him in; Commission Nancy Fishbaum (not real, but close) wanted him and the others off Lincoln Rd. and pushed a law through forbidding public performances. The outrage was enormous from the South Beach community and Mr. Disco joined other performers and had the law declared unconstitutional. Although he made a brief comeback, the toll might have been to much because Mr. Disco stopped and not to long ago I ran into him in a store and he was mumbling about taking too much medication.

We just elected our first openly gay commissioner in a very bitter battle that included all the nastiness one could imagine. The next time The Commission tries to stop disco dancing maybe there's one on it who will stand up for the freedom to dance on any street corner you like.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The time had come to end my Babylonian Captivity and the gods had opened the gate for me to leave. I didn't just leave I ran; I ran down the street as if my bloomers were on fire and needed to put out the flames with 7 & 7. It had seemed as if it had been ten days or so, but a check at my posts showed it had not even been five.

When I arrived at Court the comforting faces of old friends awaited and we caught up on what seemed like an ocean of gossip and rumors. Nothing had changed except that the new back bar was so much more given to actually hearing what the person next to you was saying about so-and-so.

Everyone was ready for belly shots and as usual the entire room of friends got smashed. Nothing had changed; I got all the usual calls: "Wasn't that a blast? How do YOU feel this morning?" Well, like poo-poo really, but there's a price to pay for having fun. I really wish Mondays didn't exist.

No bordello of gossip would be complete without Thomas Barker (he was one of the late afternoon callers). He was going to yet another Christmas party tonight. I made a vow not to attend any this year, but might have to show up for ours on Wednesday. I wouldn't want THAT crowd talking behind my back.

Oh, and if you don't check out The Countess's recipe for Chrismas cookies you will be depriving yourself of a great holiday treat.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lori & Dori Schappell--Revisited

I have received so many "hits" on conjoined sisters, Lori and Dori Schappell, that I will repeat my story of meeting, this time with photos in the text. It was a wondrous night.

One day my roommate in New York told me a childhood friend of his was visiting and she was bringing Lori and Dori Schappell, conjoined sisters. This friend had been researching the girls for years and they were coming into town to be on The Joan Rivers Show. With my penchant for dinner parties in mind, he asked if I would plan a dinner for these girls; he didn’t have to ask twice. The problem was the guest list; I would have to be very careful. The sisters are joined at the forehead.A carefully chosen few arrived that night along with our dear, neighbor Colleen O’Neill. My roommate, Kerry, called the girls at The Plaza and I listened on an extension. “I’ll meet you in the lobby and I’ll be wearing a cowboy hat (yes, a gay Texan) and a pink neckerchief. How will I recognize you?” I nearly fainted. In a few minutes he departed and I started preparation for who-knew-what. The only thing we could agree on was that it obviously couldn’t be a sit down dinner and we needed plenty to drink; plenty!We lived on the 35th floor of Waterside Plaza and the garage was on the first three levels.

As later recounted to me by Kerry, they all got in the elevator on the first level and then stopped at the lobby where a woman with two children got in. The woman was a typical New Yorker and tried to be aloof as she pushed Floor 26, but the children were astounded and kept saying, “Mommy, look. Mommy, look”. The mother kept pressing 26; it was a long ride.You never can really be ready for something like this, but Lori and Dori were delighted at the attention.

Lori is of average size, but Dori never grew beyond the age of 13 and had designed a stool on wheels that allowed them to move together. To make things all the more strange, Lori dressed in a rather frumpy way, but Dori was wearing a doll-like red velvet dress with lace trim (she reminded me a little of Claudia from Interview With The Vampire). I never left their side and could hear Dori whispering in Lori’s ear constantly, “What a cool New York party. Look at the view. Look at the food.” As you said something to one, the other would answer as she performed a 180 degree turn to face me. As the other asked a question a turn would happen again. This could get dizzying in a spirited conversation.At one point it was decided that all the girls would go to Colleen’s next door. When they left, all of the guys fell into each other’s arms; I didn’t realize then that we did that not because we were glad to have survived, but because we were glad not to be them.It was then that we heard guitar music and went next door. Dori was playing and singing Country Western songs; none of us could speak after that, although I so wanted to hear “I Fall to Pieces”. Later she would change her name to Reba and actually release recordings. The sisters tried to put a good spin on their lives, but theirs had been a life of horror, even torture. Their parents had given them up to be raised in a mental institution and only in their teens did a social worker realize they shouldn’t have been there. Dori enrolled in a Pennsylvania community college and the college sued for two tuitions, even though Lori would face the other way reading love novels (the girls won the case); every day they took a bus to the laundry that Lori folded clothes in. They slept on a convertible couch.We really turned it out for them that evening; they got cherries jubilee for dessert. They really turned us upside down, too. Every now and then I read about them and remember how happy they were that night at the “Cool” New York party. Sadly, although the technology exists now to separate such a joining, it is too late for Lori and Reba. When one dies, the other will shortly follow; but, then, they told me that night that they would want it that way.

I hope to meet them again as the represent all that it takes of overcoming a roll of the dice they got. I came away with something that night, vague as it might be, but something that pointed out the need to look at others' fates.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Strangeness in the night exchanging glances.
Wond'ring in the night
What were the chances we'd be sharing love
Before the night was through.
Something in your eyes was so inviting,
Something in you smile was so exciting,
Something in my heart,Told me I must have you.
Strangeness in the night, two lonely people

Friday, December 15, 2006

The reigning Miss USA, Tara Conner is in trouble. There is a hint of "behavioral and personal issues" which has caused officials of the organization and Donald Trump, himself, to pause and reflect on Tara's suitability to continue in the role of America's Sweetheart.

No word yet on the issues, although the internet will surely hook on this fast. Poor thing, she's been competing in pageants since she was four and made it so much further than Jon Bennett. But, why when I look at those breasts do I see the ugly head of LUST rising all around her.

And, she's only 20 so drinking is a big no-no with the officials of the pageant. I guess I could be wondering about those crazy Arabs and why they're not happy unless they are slaughtering each other or whether that Senator Johnson is going to recover or just be propped up in his seat by the Democrats, but now I wonder about Tara and just what she did.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

When you have nothing to do but drag out the past, you take notice of inferences of pose, and I think of this one.
As everyone boarded the QE II, you were invited to position oneself for a tender little memory of your voyage. The photographer said, "OK, pose", and I did what came naturally. He was a little shocked, showed it to some associates, but so what; I bought the picture and DID what came naturally. I mean, it's so natural is so many ways I just don't get the question.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yes, self-imposed exile to the country estate is not all that bad; it certainly is peaceful and I can amuse myself with re-arranging my glass collection and waiting for the mailman to arrive. Yes, I'm bored already, so I took a cab to see KiKi. I brought him a special meal and took him for a walk; he had noticeable difficulty walking and seemed to walk off balance. It was as if we were mirror images of each other, and although and my dizziness and imbalance did seem to go away, it was a well-taken warning about burning that candle. It was also amusing to receive so many calls offering to bring me food, even my remedy for everything, chicken soup; if they only knew I had enough food on hand to survive the Siege of Leningrad (and very well, I might add).

I took another cab to meet with Jeremy and Riley and it was agreed that I will turn over the Court to them for the time being and concentrate resting and on just WHAT I am going to do about the tsunami of holiday visitors coming next week. How did Christmas get so close? These are not my relatives (most of them died under suspicious circumstances like being smothered by a pillow), but those of my housemate, Terry. The entire family joins together like some Dr. Suess/Twilight Zone episode and harmless games are played and all sorts of family warmth is enjoyed, mostly out of a bottle. It's fun for them, but if I have to play that complicated Christmas gift trading game one more time.....

And, as was pointed out, in skipping the antics of this town for a while an opportunity will arise to bring some things out of the past. The Story of Peggy the Pig will finally be one of them; it is right up there with have Lori and Dori, the conjoined twins I hosted a dinner for. And--since we DO pay our bills--there's always delivery from Gulf Liquors ("I'll take six bottles of scotch and three bottles of gin; same brand"). No, only kidding.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I know, I know...

...the last three months have place a toll on my well-being that IS a w0rry for my health. Twice I have been taken home for fainting and my vision is blurring (THIS with no alcohol)...at advice of court, I will take a rest.

Don't misbehave.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Once again, no matter how many pleasant distractions I tried to conjure up, I could not sleep, a recurring problem of mine. So I awoke early and did something I so seldom do: walk the beach at dawn. Yes, ME at Dawn, and I don't mean Dawn Davenport

I caught one father trying to chum the waters with his son while his wife was swimming.

No problem: the temperature at 7 Am was 74 degrees and it was relaxing--even for a stiff, old broad from New England like me--to kick off the shoes, wander, and wonder. I wondered about that polonium because Pimpernel is right about it being so wrong a poison. "in point of fact, everyone in the community of people who worry about such things agree that polonium was a very stupid thing to be using for that purpose. For one thing, you don't want your victims lingering on speculating about their poisoners (death bed statements and all of that). You poison, the victim dies, excavate a tomb, its flower time."

So true; in the good old days you'd empty a vial of poison concealed in a silk hankerchief into the drink of the victim and that was it; he'd clutch his throat in the middle of the dinner table, sputter out a few unintelligible words and collapse into the foi gras. Of course, there was always what I jokingly referred to as The Five Year Plan, where the poison was administered is such minute quantities that there never could be suspicion. "Poor Uncle Krinkwell; I know he's a nasty son-of-a-bitch, but he doesn't deserve ulcer problems like that." (They didn't call me Lucretia du Bois in home economics for nothing.)

And with all this brou-ha-ha about using wild animals for amusement, what do we stumble upon at Twist?

We found Scotty committing a no-no by performing with a wild bird (he said they were trying to break the record for the longest kiss between man and bird). I mumbled something about animal abuse and the boy with the mohawk at the bar being a far more exotic bird and the crane whooped, "Who do you think you are?" and flew off.

That left only the boy......

Saturday, December 09, 2006

American Countesses For Sophie Unite!

They've tried to get me now, but I can't figure out how it was administered. I've attended no diplomatic buffets or met with political dissidents; I cook at home most of the time or dine with trusted friends. But shortly after arriving at and attending to Court matters I had a dizzy spell and nearly collapsed on a poor houseboy. (The rumors of my chasing him TO collapse upon him are scurrilous lies.)

Since I had not even had morning tea, my suspicions immediately fell on the cab driver. I always make a quick assessment of the drivers; is he Haitian and I'm likely to be listening to someone in Port-au-Prince ranting or an aging hippie I might get an interesting local bit of lore from, and so on. Today's was Russian and I usually like to bandy my limited memories of it from high school, but I was tired and simply gave him the address.

Who knows how that Bolshevik administered the polonium to me, perhaps a small, undetectable mist as I opened the door to leave or the touch of hands (though mine were gloved) in the giving of a tip. I remember the poison-tipped umbrella in the New York subway in the 80's.

And the reason? It is obvious. I was about to write about a superb twist in the fates of History and throw my well-regarded opinion in favor of Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, great granddaughter of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

When Franz Ferdinand insisted marrying the noble but not royal, Sophie Chotek (pictured here), his angry father,Franz Josef, put forth a series of humiliating rules. Sophie could never be an Arch-Duchess and none of their children could inherit any of the Hapsburg royal titles; they were essentially banished and bullied. She had to enter state functions at the very end of the line, she could never sit with her husband at the opera or the theatre or even during a carriage ride in the Vienna Woods. Her husband could not ever write "My wife" in his letters.

Oddly, it never affected their love for each other. Since they could never live in any of the royal residences, they chose to live a much less regulated and happy life outside of the Imperial Family. Casual pictures of them at home show a warm and loving family. In June of 1914 they were both shot dead riding in an open car in Sarajevo; her husband's last words were, "Sophie, please live for the children." The Hapsburgs made their funeral as humiliating as possible: a fifteen minute service unattended by the family and their caskets shipped in a milk train to a private vault, However the foolish and thoroughly unprepared Austrians used the event to start World War I, and the deaths of about 20 million people.

Great granddaughter Sophie just filed a petition for the return of Konopiste Castle near Benesov, Bohemia, it's furnishings, and all surrounding lands because when the Austrian government confiscated the royal properties of The Hapsburgs that castle was owned by her decidedly non-royal great grandmother. And, in a "what comes around, goes around" type of thing, maybe Sophie Chotek won't feel so humiliated, finally.

I managed to get of my telegram supporting the claim before I collapsed and was taken home in Ditmar's armored carriage where I proceed to vomit all day. Radiation poisoning is not a pretty way to go; those Russians will stop at nothing. On the other hand, since I'm feeling a little sassy right now, maybe it was just the hangover.

Friday, December 08, 2006

When you read of stories that reak of animal abuse by parading these noble beasts around like Goya executive Francisco Unanue did for this child's birthday, you have to gag at how vulgar people have become. Beans don't buy you the world; taste and breeding does.

Our very own B & T Mark relieves his corporate stress by giving massages to the great felines. Unlike YOU, Mr. Unanue, he doesn't do it to amuse fellow dilettantes; he does it to relieve both his own stress and that of the big cats.


In the land of the Stupid, the Free, and the Rich here in Miami, you don't always come across stories of a crackpot venturing into the home of the wild beast. You often have those of the crackpot inviting the wild beast to his home.

Such was the case yesterday at the lavish home of Francisco Unanue, the fabulously wealthy executive of Goya foods, in Coral Gables yesterday. Where some people of wealth would have taste and employ clowns to tie balloons for amusement, Mr. U. showed that his bean money could hire beasts from Wild Animal World to amuse the kiddies.

One can only imagine what was going on in the mind of Georgia, the 62-pound cougar. Was she just tired of being hauled from party to party (I know I feel that way sometimes) or had she developed a general dislike of rich kids' parents trying to show how cool they are? Whatever hit her yesterday, she picked up a little girl who was a guest at the party and mauled her. "Not in Coral Gables", you might scream, but yes. Poor Georgia was put down, but it was probably better than living the life she led and somewhere the term Reckless Endangerment must come into play here. Check this site out and scroll down to "The Ninth Life"

Mr. U., you have to realize that the days of the big Bawanna Ju Ju are over; you run a bean company not The Congo. And, yes, you have made a big, big mistake because--call me Miss Cleo if you like--but I see a lawyer in your future, and he's not yours. Next time stick to cake and clowns, stupid.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

About the only exercise I get is running through the whores of The Palace--oh, I mean HALLS--and shopping. So with only a limited number of whores and halls at The Palace, I used my day to shop, although reconnaissance might be more applicable as I just get so confused. Then I went to the Wolfsonian Museum, which contains the rather remarkable private collection of Mickey Wolfson of Art Deco. It's another one of those Miami things: a private colleciton so valuable and stratified that only a city like this could attract (case in point, Naomi's Erotic Musuem two blocks up.) The current exhibit, "Modernism in American Silver", displays (along with many other pieces) this cocktail shaker to which I was strangely drawn.

While there I ran into two friends, Ken and Steven who are both involved in the arts and we decided to take tea in the museum shop and chat although we weren't offered this service, pictured here. For some reason we honed in on its poor, underfunded sister, the Jackie Gleason Theater, who like all whores is trying to sell herself to the highest bidder. The Beach voters wisely voted down its demolishion and the erection of a new theater for Circus du Solei ( I LOVE Le Cirque, but they wanted public tax money for a private venture and all their horseshit didn't fly with the voters, who are finally smartening up to City Hall antics for kickbacks and such.)

Ken is already deeply involved in the theaters of The Beach and said his focus is on maintaining and restoring those buildings to their original Art Deco design. But we all agreed that The Gleason was a fine attempt to maintain the deco feel, but was showing some age. Steven wants to re-do the whole building in "Art Deco Egyptian", like The Egyptian theater here in Hollywood, only "with an interior of gold leaf, the proportions of which would be mesmeric". Ken rolled his eyes (he, too, knows what The City and it Design Review Board is like). So we ended it over a few cocktails at nearby Twist, that I (yes, I'm at City Hall so much that everyone thinks I "know" people there) would check with powers I do now in other realms to see if we can have a local design contest. Those always amuse me because they tell you so much about the people you live around; I already know they're crazy and just would love to see sketched down on paper, or papyrus if they are really good and crazily. THEN, I would hire you.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A plan is Afoot

Look at me. I am the product of an over-indugent lifestyle. Cocktail hours that turn into days, cookouts that become a major stepping stone to feeding Dufar with leftovers, and the inability to say, "No".

I have to wear dresses like this to hide unsightly bulges brought on by sinister forces like The Countess Bedelia. I never eat dessert; I always felt that if you didn't accomplish everything you set out to do during a dinner, dessert is not going to redraw the map of Europe. To my dying day, I will attest that it was she who put the chocolate cream pie in my face on the fainting couch. Like all good, ex-KGB agents her soft hands glided down my sweaty cheeks and said, "Have a piece; it will make you feel better." I downed it under duress; she stole the plans for a new battleship.

I am embarking on The Astor Diet, (soon to be published). One aspect of it is that not one drink can be taken before four in the aftermoon. (I know this will bar me from several Ladies of Quality Clubs, but I have some fierce viels.) With The Countess du Barry due to arrive in late January all culinary hell will break loose, and I will be a maiden strapped to the mast of a great culinary ship trying to survive by turning down all that we know will be offered. I have other options, too. (It was suggested by a court rival that I check myself into a convent for the period; I, instead, got myself posted as a page-turner for the boys' choir.)
No matter, visit of du Barry has already resulted in a grand dinner and celebration named, "Tiaras at The Palace" and will be held in our new room. Great things await.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Worried about the falling dollar? Historically, in times like these it has been prudent to put cash into something of value, and Miami Beach is making an offer you can't refuse.

The annual Art Basel Miami Beach, now the world's largest contemporary art show, is about to begin. CNN Money estimates that between 400 and 500 million dollars will change hands this week and described Miami Beach as "...the perfect setting for the orgy of conspicuous consumption...". Banks from other countries have representatives here just to help their clients' money transfer needs and the likelihood of being run over by a Bentley or Rolls is very high over the next few days.

House guests, too, have arrived; Tim and the exotic Felix flew in from Sante Fe on Saturday and more will be arriving during the week. Like the other visitors to the show, they will be immersed in the huge number of galleries available in posh hotels, tents, and even 18-wheelers. Artists, dealers, and just plain old art buyers will take up about every available facility; the value to the city in commerce is immeasurable and is one of the many things that make this city special and fun to live in. There will be many deals done in foreign laguages, too, so Tom Tancredo can make that complaint again. But, then, Tom probably couldn't afford a pencil drawing here this week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Having successfully packed Jeremy away to Las Vegas for the next four days and having warned all the friends that I was not going to answer email or phone calls for two days, I fully expected that my plan to stay with KiKi during these days would be uneventful.

I enjoyed my time with KiKi more than I can express beyond the fact that he means more to me than any living being. He is very fragile now; his old feistiness still comes to a boil, but he has no strength to carry anything out. He is a lost soldier, but he is MY soldier. Once again I have been called to the mat for cooking for him (the latest: a butterfly pasta, in an alfredo sauce with bacon, chicken, and cheese.) I fed him by hand all week; I know pets can position you to do these these things, but who cares. I did it for my Grandmother.

So, for all you wondering why I haven't returned calls, or been "available", shied away from openings, or just not been where you expect me to be all the time, this photo is for you.