...of picking up doctors' files and trying--fruitlessly--to get a glimmer of hope. I am putting all the files together (the big controller in action) for tomorrow's visit to Baskin Palmer, probably the best unit of it's kind in the nation. Still, the comment by today's doctor to Ramon that it might be "blindness or death" didn't exactly set the stage for a June Taylor dance number. He's turned over power of attorney to me, nothing I ever wanted unless there's a billion dollar baby involved.
No one will ever tell me that Thomas Barker doesn't know how to work a situation, especially one like the Wine and Food Festival. Somehow, after ingesting enough alcohol (God forbid he should try some of the food) to bring a horse to it's knees, he mustered enough decorum to pose with Martha Stewart. When asked if she "...would like a photo with Thomas Barker", Martha replied, "Uh, why not?".
Indeed; we love you, Thomas. (Too bad Martha couldn't get a chance to see the meals being eaten off your body almost every other night!)
Every day gets worse; I'm lost, but know that Everything must go on.
...unless it's overdone." So wrote Gianni Versace, and who better than Gianni to know about being over-the-top. The South Beach Wine and Food Festival stretches across the street from his mansion as if in honor to him. And there was no better way to take one's mind off of things than to go for a walk on the beach (even if you don't like sand).
I was an hour and a half late for Jesse's send off on the roof of Cafeteria; I am never late and took my body's warning not to go near the bar. Edison Farrow graciously greeted every guest; what a pro.
The roof was packed and the the mood festive. The cold snap is finally over, it was 70 degrees at 11PM, and nothing makes the residents of South Beach as happy as when they can be in short sleeves (or backless dresses). Everyone talked about taking it easy this week and, yet, there they were sipping cocktails and comparing beads. Ironically, while discussing the question, "Do you ever feel guilty about the utterly shallow existance we seem to lead", I was looking at Carl Fisher's office building, the site of The Van Dyke restaurant. I could see the penthouse he used to bring prospective land buyers up to in the 20's. The answer was simple: Carl never intended this island to be anything else than a non-stop party. How you handle it determines if you survive.
Favorites; what would the world be without them. Tonight is Jesse's last night here until he takes over Jeremy's apartment in a month; so, in accordance to accepted South Beach custom, we will send him off in style with a rooftop party.
My dear, friend Mamie stopped by yesterday after an arduous afternoon of lunching at the new, Sardinia restaurant. Flush with food and spirits, she accused me of using Jesse as "white bait", a term meant to use an innocent lamb like Jesse to lure in Latinos. I was shocked and admonished her abruptness (while reeling Jesse in with quite a trove of fresh snapper).
Today I had the opportunity to go for the throat. After doctor number 12 in just this month, Ramon told me they were referring him to one more. That was it; I called the office, introduced myself, and only had to mention the term "insurance fraud" once before the doctor came on and assured me we were one step away from action. I assured HIM, I was, too.
or..."Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night.
There was no reason--given my mood--that I should have gone out last night except the compelling notion that it was Bryan's birthday, and Bryan is one of those rare Creatures of the Night who never, ever, asks for anything. He's sweet, quiet and--quite frankly--humpy; I loved the fact that his mother and sister attended.
I went to see KiKi today, brought him a hearty lunch, and that picked me up.
I noticed that the Stuyvesant Fish mansion was for sale for 50 million dollars; while not the most expensive home in New York, it has one of the richest histories: that of being the residence of the "holy terror of Society", Mamie Stuyvesant Fish. Mamie comes up every now and then with me because she was so much fun, and I crowned my friend, Jason, with her name at our court for having the same sharp wit, money, and utter disregard for convention that the original Mamie had.
Mamie was a close friend of both Caroline Schermerhorn Astor (The) and Alva Vanderbilt, bitter rivals in the stratified social world of The Gilded Age. Mamie's position as one of the Dutch "patriarchs" suited Mrs. Astor just fine, and Mamie was a tough, independent woman who would later fund and promote the suffragette movement with Alva. But most of all Mamie thrilled society by thumbing her nose at it; and in an age when convention ruled, she was the most unconventional figure around.
Some of the great stories I remember reading about her include inviting Newport society to a dinner honoring a foreign prince; when the eager guests arrived they found a monkey in a tuxedo. When Grand Duke Boris visited Newport, he was prevented from attending her reception for him when tied down at the nearby Oelrichs mansion; undaunted Mamie announced to the 200 waiting guests including, J. Pierpont Morgan, that none other than the tsar himself was about to arrive. Two taps sounded on her ballroom doors and her butler announced, "His Imperial Majesty, Nicholas, Tsar of All The Russias!" The entire room curtsied and bowed and when they lifted their heads, they saw Mamie's buddy in social pranks, Henry Lehr, dressed in a robe and crown. The newspapers vilified her when she threw a luncheon for dogs and gave her own a $10,000 collar; she didn't care because she didn't have to. When she wanted her guests to leave, she had her musicians play Home Sweet Home. And my favorite: Mamie never liked the stuffy afternoon string quartets and was way ahead of her time when she introduced that period's version of show tune music. When asked by a reporter what her favorite instrument was, Mamie replied, "The comb".
You have to find humor somewhere to survive.
It just happens. I was overcome with melancholy today, knowing that no matter how much you give, how much you care, there are times it doesn't help. When I found myself snapping at dear friends, I knew it was time to remove myself from the scene. I ran into Thomas Barker, who also wasn't up to snuff. We commiserated over his dozens of drink tickets at Twist and at one point looked at each other and said, "I'm not having fun" at the same time.