"the" Mrs. Astor

Friday, October 30, 2009

No one can say that Miami Beach politics are dull. We have a 23-year-old running for commissioner who has never worked or gotten a college degree, but was able to lend himself one hundred thousand dollars. He runs nasty ads against the educated and seasoned Michael Gongora without thought about what people think about his real estate sugar daddy putting that money into the campaign. But, nothing beats the mayoral race of Raphael Herman. The head of the Cuckoo Party, Herman has run for the last six elections with stories that he had a knife fight with Osama Bin Laden. He showed up at City Hall last weekend bloodied claiming that the fire department beat him up to keep him out of the race; when police arrived, he refused help but demanded that the Secret Service (Obama was in town) fax him. As The Herald reported, "Herman, who is 63 and claims to be an Israeli commando, is eccentric even by Miami Beach standards." Even by Miami Beach standards, indeed.
He still gives me that look when I leave. I've been checking up on KiKi as much as possible lately; nearly one month short of his nineteenth birthday, he is becoming more and more lost. He still likes to play the games and down a good meal, but often he drifts off, staring into a corner or a water bowl. Sometimes I don't know what is more cruel: His getting lost in the world he once ruled or my not wanting to let him go.

She's back.... My inclination this year was to lay low this Halloween, but Mr. Astor has the weekend off and a big hankering to go out (i.e. Dress Up), so we are bringing back the sexy doctor and Sheila, The Head Nurse (of Boca), for a spin around Lincoln Rd. and Twist. I really don't feel like going out, but we decided to spruce up the routine; I also don't have a death wish of a broken ankle. What you do for love.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009



Small town politics can be as annoying as an itch in the wrong place.

Mayor Mattie Bower seems to be firmly in place to win re-election; we just have to watch the non-turnout. But the commissioner race is getting nasty with front-runner Michael Gongora being vilified on the fact that he was arrested for drunken driving years ago. The opponent running the negative ads has never run a race for anything, doesn't even have a college diploma, and--at the tender age of 23--announces that he has the experience needed to be in a national position. As the local paper wrote this week, it is better that a party town like this votes for a candidate like Gongora because he "parties" and "enjoys the nightlife", like someone we would WANT to represent us, than any of the others. Amen.

Sunday, October 25, 2009



The new gardener continues to bring in more and more plants; his business is aptly named Mr. Plant. I'm sure, though, that our nosey neighbors think I am running a nursery out of the front yard.

Mr. Astor had yesterday off and, as I feared, the afternoon degraded into a pool of debauchery. As if we needed reinforcements, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish joined in the revelry and before long we were passing out titles like lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. I'm not one to pass on gossip, but it was reliably reported by her household servants (in our pay), that Mamie woke up next to a Yankee from Boston. She had not awoke next to someone whiter than herself long enough to make her check her pulse rather than her wallet. There was a very amusing period in Ye Old Gin Hall when a strikingly handsome boy from Columbia entered and set off a social tsunami. Mamie's claws came out and pawed the boy into a dark broom closet, but it was Dr. Brad and Bon Qui Qui who walked out with the prize. We managed to stay above the fray, somehow, and awoke virtuous with a hint of piety. That won't last long.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In case you don't know it, there is still civility and tradition in this world. Karl-Philip Prinzhorn married Countess Anna von und zu Eltz at the parish church at Altaussee, Austria, this week. The bride's parents are Count Alexander and Countess Maria von und zu Eltz. The groom is the son of Thomas Prinzhorn and Countess Therese zu Hardegg, and a stepson of F├╝rst Karl von Schwarzenberg.

Alas, we seem to have forsaken such standards.
Stepping (or Goose-Stepping) to that...
It is so easy to make fun of the Republicans. They have managed to get themselves down to a percentage of acknowledged voters to just 20%; as I've said before, they are becoming the Whig Party of the new century--a party increasingly out of the loop, and soon to become extinct. But, one thing that makes me think they are on to something: The Republican Party's spokesperson, Glenda Beck, just this week suggested that the Obama government was placing On Star programs in new cars to monitor every one's movements. Think about it. I for one still trust only signs: Go That Way, Enter Here, Wide Load Ahead, Watch for Snakes, Brake for Dears. I mean, it makes sense to me, at least.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You know Season has begun when there is a drag queen scandal in the papers; it's what Central Casting sends for "What South Beach Really Means To Me?" Shelley Novak has succeeded in capturing the stage in a long-fought war for attention with a seemingly innocent comedy of error. After a recent benefit for animals, she picked up her fake fur and went home with Adora's camera (reported in the paper to be in the pocket, but told to me by Shelley to have fallen into a tear of the lining--a MUCH more believable account). Adora called, Shelley looked and found the camera, and invited her over to return it. The rest is South Beach history. Yes, Season has taken off.
Call me silly, but I find it difficult not to like Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) of the Torchwood series. Recently I came across this delightful little Youtube exhibit using clips of Captain Jack, time traveler, visiting Captain Jack during the Blitz in London. We think it's precious.




And, just who doesn't love a man in uniform--especially one who is omni-sexual? Show me that person and, I will show you someone kidding themselves (and probably a Christian Republican).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I must report that the Twist cookout for commission candidate, Michael Gongora, was a fun and successful evening. Here I captured what could only be described as The Powers That Be in Clubland here. Edison Farrow, Twist owners Richard Trainor and Joel Stedman, Michael Gongora, Halo owner Babek, and Score owner Billy. There was only one owner missing and that was Tom from Palace, but he certainly wasn't missed. Poor Michael lost the last election by only 31 votes, emphasising our need to get out the vote in an off-year election.
Judge David Young showed up with a lot of good advice and a generous donation.

Thomas Barker was with his German friend, Tommy.


We may have succeeded in stopping the White Fly, but the damage was dreadful. Our gorgeous trees were decimated, leaving gaps and way too many vantage points for the condo building next door to peek in and, if you have ever been here, you know that NO ONE here wants anyone to see what goes on. So, the only reasonable course of action was to purchase new plants and they filled up the back yard yesterday in preparation for planting.



This was just the beginning; further deliveries filled the front yard with exotic, but tasteful new plants. Great sections of the back yard are being torn out for what we all just adore: A Whole New Look. Now that the oppressive weather is over, perhaps we will be given a breather. Oh, I spoke too soon; the cool weather has triggered an assault by ants wanting to get out of the "cold" and into the house. It is always something.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Miami Herald was so cute today; even cuter than its main rival, The Jack and Jill Reader. They added to the list of creatures I am battling a new one: The Woolly Mammoth. I'm not exactly going to be sharpening my bamboo reeds (another plant out of control) for a battle tonight. This was just their way of saying, "If you thought last night's drop in temperature was bad (into the sixties), wait for tonight when it will go down to near Ice Age temps of 50 degrees. Still, after three months of 95 by day and 85 at night, it will be dreamy--as long as it lasts only a day or so. We wouldn't want to overdo it.

It was a wonderful relief to go outside today. It was crisp and clear with not a mosquito or white fly in sight; although I wore Capri pants, I did have the good sense to don a short, fashionable jacket for my bike ride. I suspect the fur vaults of Bal Harbour are being raided today in some manner akin to the assault on Rome by the Visigoths (although, here their name are undoubtedly Visigothstein). By tomorrow the town will be awash in leather and fur, and a parade of this will undoubtedly take place on Lincoln Rd. Like a good, frugal New Englander I will opt for a blue blazer, but it just might have to be cashmere.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just When...

...you thought it was safe in our backyard. Yesterday, the new gardener ask, "Have you seen the bees?". I replied, "Funny you should ask that. One got into the house yesterday, and I had never had that happen." "Come with me," he said.
He took me over to the walkway along the south side of the house and there it was: a huge beehive on our neighbor's property, but nearly hanging over ours. I had never seen anything like that so close, and the gardener said it was growing fast. It's been one bloody thing after another this summer. On top of that he warned to be careful as most local bees have bred with the African species and "are extremely aggressive". Tell me about it; I was bitten by one several weeks ago, a particularly nasty one. What's next?


Then we can go to the Theater of The Absurd: Miapolis. This project that just been unveiled to occupy Watson's Island between South Beach and the mainland. Appropriately, The Baroness Seitzinger sent it to me as all overdone, preposterous idea seem to immediately be run by her.
It is not lost on anyone, of course, the blending of the words Metropolis and Miami. The project advertised here promises many benefits to the city and total private investment. This on the heels of the bankruptcy of the new, tower The (Empty) Everglades and the tragically low occupancy of all the other towers built with investor money and blind ambition downtown. I told The Baroness that I had a large box of Imperial Russian War Bonds that I'd be willing to use for my investment (she opted to keep collecting jewels as they were so easily hidden during revolutions).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nature continues on its rampage here; last week raccoons filleted a 74-year-old woman and yesterday a swarm of bees killed a dog. Fortunately, I may just have stopped the White Fly from killing our famed twenty foot ficus trees.

I must correct the reports of a Great White off the coast; it was just Mr. Stuyvesant-Fish swimming along Mrs. Wilmerding's boat Sunday. And while some of us enjoyed a calm weekend of tea and reflection, Mamie and The Baroness were frightening tourists. When the Wilmerding boat was entering Government cut, it passed an out-going cruise ship with thousands of passengers lined on the decks. In a move that can only be explained as the result of Demon Rum, Mamie pulled down her bloomers and mooned the cruise ship, slapping he sumptuous, white ass with a fan. Over two thousand passengers had to be treated for reoccurring nightmares on that ship.

The town was further shocked by the resignation of Geraldine from her long-running weekend shows at The Palace. She just couldn't take being dicked around by the current management, although she lasted longer than most.

In a long letter to me, she expressed her regrets and worries and kindly reminded me that when she worked for me she felt safe and loved. And, that she was; I constantly pushed her to take bigger and bolder steps as it was apparent that she was one of the most talented people I'd ever met. I coaxed her to quit her day job as a houseman because I thought it tarnished her image (and she ended up making much more money performing).

The real loser are the appreciative customers who worshipped her. I can picture Geraldine doing just about anything she wants: costume design, more performance art, and even a local TV show. she and that wonderful group, Queen Cabaret, she belongs to can easily outflank all the other artist/performers in this town. I can't wait to see the first move.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have been of delicate health these days between the total war against the White Fly, the incessant heat, my unending stomach problems, and the knowledge that at any time Nature can turn on me. (Just what do the possums talk about when I forget to leave them leftovers?) So, today I gathered what little strength I had to go down to Twist to see Miss Vickie, a major force in Broward County's transgender rights campaign, and the enchanting Penelope, one of her best friends from that community. In the very short time we were together, I overhead Penny mention her children and inquired about them. She has a nine-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. I was somewhat astounded, and yet not very much surprised, if that is possible to relate. I asked her how the children have adapted and she said the son was always fine, but the daughter has some issues early, but dropped them as time went on. My, my, I thought; what a wonderful world we live in for who wouldn't want Penny to be their Mom. That brings me back to Cat Stevens and.....

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I'm so sick of The White Fly that I could agree to artificial plants now. I have two companies fighting it and perhaps, just perhaps, we have stopped its spread. In the meantime, Tom from New York reminded me of another horror of nature that occurred last week. A 74-year-old woman went into her back yard to scare away some raccoons and, instead, was surrounded by five or six of them and attacked. As the police reported, "She wasn't just bitten, she was filleted."

I hate Nature; it always seems to have the upper hand.
I met with the organizer of the Task Force's Winter Party and we agreed that my first project will be to handle the liquor sponsors. Special needs people like Countess Bedelia can now rest assured that they have a sympathetic ear at work for them. Now, THIS is a natural.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Now I know the End of The World is upon us: Gourmet Magazine is closing. I feel dizzy walking down the stairs; my IRA is decimated, the white fly is eating my hedges, and now I can't count on a new recipe every month. What's next, a strike by pool boys? Nothing is what it was.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

We launched the mayor's gay campaign last night at the same place we started two years ago: Twist. Our lovable, seventy-year-old grandmother/mayor remains very popular and enjoys great admiration for not being in the pocket of the Cuban lobby, the Jewish lobby, or the developers; they had all gone over to her opponent two years ago since everyone knew money wins. Well, it didn't. So ordinarily, Madame Mayor would be a shoe-in, but it is an off-year election and strange things can happen. So we reminded everyone to vote and remember the woman who created a gay business advisory board (which I foolishly declined an appointment to) and funded the first Gay Pride parade on The Beach in 25 years.
The owners of Twist, Joel and Richard, were tickled pink by the turnout and we all enjoyed a great cookout in the garden. Please note (as if I have to tell you) the handsome gentleman on the right. He was Mattie's driver and escort, is a fireman, and is president of the fire fighter's union. He is named after a Greek god, for good reason. Everyone was going ga-ga over him and as we made our way to the garden, I overheard him ask the mayor, "Will it look strange if I hold your hand?" "Oh, no", Mattie laughed, "if anyone wants to touch YOU they won't be reaching for your hand." We all cackled over that one.
Dr. Brad wasted no time in finding a home for his left hand. I remember telling Dr. Brad that I was willing to set myself on fire in order to be rescued.

Only in South Beach: A photo of The Queen, The Mayor, and The President.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

I spent the afternoon yesterday shopping with Mr. Astor. He is a professional shopper; he doesn't miss a beat or a sale, but we spent way too much time in the Halloween section of Target. He snapped up kooky littles things faster than we do pool boy wannabes. My favorite item had to be the vampire Mr. Potato Head. I mean, really, where does it stop? Where is the decency we all base our society upon when we have things like this available to Little Johnny?

I bought all they had. On the unlikely event that any child comes to our door I will offer them two options: Become a pool boy, or deal with Mr. Vampire Potato Head.
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