Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tomato Top In Hamburg

This is what happens when Canadians visit Hamburg: They  make the grumpiest waiters smile.  Can you see the one in the back? Totally overworked and out of good cheer, and you have to do is take "Pammie" to that restaurant. She had him grinning within moments, and even chatting her up.

That Tomato Top, she is fun and laughter incarnated, and what a blast we had.

She made the Mae Monkeys drunk! They collapsed on a heap on the table, right next to Pam's beer bottle.... nobody noticed, though. And she even made the sun come out after days of pouring rain, and for the couple of hours we spent on that terrace overlooking the river it was even warm enough to sit outside.

A visit to the mall with Pam? Awesome. She only wanted some make up, but she did wonders at the beauty store. The little apprentice girl who was at first too insecure to serve her she cheered on with the words, "Come on, you can do it! You're here to learn, and you can sell me make up alright!" Which she in fact could, and did, and she felt really good about it afterwards. In return, we got free samples of the perfumes we wanted, and NOT the tiny ones issued by the companies anyway but love little crystal bottles filled by hand!

After that is was ice cream time, and out came the monkey again... they shared every step of the day.

And here is the ice cream:

The following day, Pam and her hubby came to our house for dinner.

We ate, we drank, and then Pam decided to see what was under my bed... I'm kidding you not! We have a common friend on twitter, the sweet and utterly funny Emerenta, who "says" she hides under people's beds all the time, and that night, Pam was certain she was under mine, spying on us. So.... down there Pam went. There was no Emerenta, of course, but thankfully also no or very little dust... at least Pam came back out from under there in a pretty good condition again, but only after her hubby had joined her under my bed to check if maybe U2 was hiding there too..... man, Darryl, if I had singers under  my bed, it would certainly not be Bono but.... I know, you can guess. (Neil Diamond)

Speaking of which, Darryl looks like a rock star himself. What a cool guy! The blackest sense of humor ever, earring, and a really, really neat tattoo on his shoulder (SEXY!!!!). Which just goes to prove that we are a pretty cool generation! NOT old and stuffy, but, hey, crawling under beds to go after our musical heroes. (I'll have to check myself one of these days. Maybe Neil is there after all... sharing cookies with Emerenta. Can't be sharing with Bono, because HE is in Istanbul right now, no kidding).

Now Pam wants me t visit her in Canada next year. She even promised to meet me in London to join me for the flight back, which is a wonderful thing, scared as I am of flying, and maybe just the kind of enticement I might need. And how badly I want to go!!!

The most wondrous thing about this brief but really great visit:

Pam is a Mimosa. Yes, one of the girls I want to meet next summer when I travel the States. So now I know they are REALLY real. I mean, I know they are real since I chat with them every day on twitter, and there are no fakes on twitter, we all know that, right ( har har). And they keep sending me lovely (handmade!) cards and jewelry and other lovely gifts, and even quilts, and I send back stuff and it is never returned by the mail, so it must end off somewhere, but meeting one in person is still a different thing.  the other day I talked on the phone to the Pea ( who has the sweet voice of a teenager, by the way, and a very cute Southern slang).

But still. It's different if you've been under your bed with one of them. Trust me on this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Bucket List


You do not expect a bucket that would represent MY bucket list to look like that?

No I thought so. But before I tell you what I think a bucket for a bucket list should look like let's linger for a moment on the meaning of writing a Bucket List. Now that I'm doing it, it occurs to me that this is a highly intimate thing indeed. Because either I make something outrageous and funny up to entertain you, or I'm honest, and then you all will know what I've always really wanted out of life and never got, and where my regrets lie, and that might be a trifle embarrassing.

I mean, really. Before we think of a Bucket List, we must have thought about our own impending demise. And that we have not done what we wanted to do. Today, I asked my friends on twitter and facebook what they wanted to put on their list, and most of them came up with places they wanted to see, and Bunny said, "Meet you!" (aw, we will, Bunny. I promise. How could we not?) And also: does it have to be something realistic, something we COULD do at any time if we had the money and the opportunity, or are dreams allowed too?

Ok ok, I'm going to be outrageous and entertain you.

My Bucket List bucket looks like this.

And yes, with the setting. Of course with the setting, and those who know me by now will not be surprised, either by the dress, the surroundings or the color. I've decided to cultivate being a Drama Queen.

The Bucket List

1.  An author reading of my book at the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th St. in NYC. < Not an impossible dream, but still a dream.

2. Meeting the Bunny. And Leslie. And the Pea. Tom in Lexington, Sara in Minneapolis, Cathy in Atlanta, Keith in NYC (here the bookstore comes in!), Sue in Vancouver. And some others maybe.

3. Stand on the see-though thingie that overhangs the Grand Canyon ( yeah I know trite; but still)

4. Go whale watching off the Washington coast

5. Ride a Harley Davidson from L.A. all the way to Alaska (again, trite; I bet you find that on every third Bucket List in the world)

6. Drive a Porsche convertible through downtown New York.... all day long ( I KNOW about the traffic, ok? Been there before.)

7. See Earth from Space.

8. In fact, travel to other worlds on a space ship. Scotty, beam me up.

9. Write another novel.

10. Go to a Neil Diamond concert and be invited backstage before the show to meet the Master. And then say to him, "Scuse me, could you maybe introduce me to Alan?"

My Bucket List is done. And I think the only impossibles are No. 8 and 10.

Let's do some more living, folks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Being A Dame

As of today, I'm not afeared of getting old anymore, and here is why.

There are just too many old biddies out there having the time of their life, and why should I not be one of them. First of all, it seems imperative that there are PLENTY of pink and purple things to decorate myself with. Because no matter which Dame Seniore I look at, pink is always there, either in lipstick, clothing, pearls, wallpaper, champagne or Gin. There are even  pink purses available (don't I know it!!!!).

Feather boa!!! I knew there was something missing! And maybe some hair extensions too so  my hair can look as ravishing as the one and only Miss Piggy's.... but there's a dream that will not work out I'm sure. Also, who knows if her frog will ever fall in love with more than one rotund Piggy Dame.... nah.

On the other hand, if I practice the proper "wave" maybe I'll be given a pink Rolls..... well equipped with said pink Gin.

And  being a Dame Royale, they would have to keep me filled up if I wanted that, right? On the other hand, I'd have to wear pantyhose all the time for that, and always behave decorously and smile and sit up straight.... nah. BUT they would iron the newspaper for me....  This needs some careful consideration. Also, I could live in London all the time, and I love London. And I could order Thai take out every day, no matter how insulted the Royal Cooks would be. And I could order around the Horse Guards and race down Pall Mall in my pink Rolls and shoo the tourists. AND I could demand Neil Diamond for a private concert   -  at my whim. Possibilities.....

Can't tell about the pink if I were a Dame Criminale.

Seems like life has to be pretty much black and white so as to be not too conspicuous. I *think* I recall this particular Dame wearing a mauve bouquet in her cleavage at some point, but that may have been my wishful imagination.

So where does that leave us? No pantyhose, no make up, eat what you want, use as much pink in every aspect of your life, never let the gin run dry and shoo around as many tourists as you like.  And hey, get yourself a Neil Diamond ticket the next time he comes around.

That's all, pretty much. Summing it up, I think I'll be Dame Generale and just have the fun

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A New Blog, A New Life

Hm... not a great pic, but you are not supposed to look at ME but at my surroundings.

This how I look "at school", at least sometimes. A day job. Which seems a slightly derisive term but is not meant to be, in fact I really like what I do there.  It's my privilege to work with children and teach them fun stuff, theater and musical, things they learn to enjoy and use well in their natural surroundings after a while.

Next term, starting in two weeks, we are going to put the Midsummer Night's Dream on stage, but not the original Shakespeare Version. Rather, we are going to pep it up and place it in the 70s of disco music and glittering lights and bell bottom pants, and Oberon and Titania will not be fighting over a "Blue Child" but over a DJ they both want.

Oh, and Hermia, the poor dear? Her mother wants her to marry her friend's son who also owns a Hot Dog stand, and not the slightly dubious kebab seller from across the street.

These all will clash on one night right outside the disco clubs in a back street, where Zettel is trying to gear up for his show in Oberon's place. And is duly misused by the Elf Lord to upset his wife.... and so on. You know the story.

The snag is, the play is not written, and this is something I have to do myself, and fast. Time is running. And here comes Margit and PUSHES me into implanting my blog on wordpress so I can make an ebook out of it and why exactly do I want to do that? And why in the world do I feel the urge to introduce myself like this to said wordpress?

Whatever. please carry on. Don't mind me. I'll just sit here and try to figure out how this thing works. Good day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Have This Friend.....

You know, Hollywood is nothing.
Hollywood tells us how our dreams have to look, they give us PICTURES.
But Twitter, it gives us ideas, and then we can make the movies ourselves, in our heads. For instance, I have this one friend, Lanny, and she is the nicest and friendliest person, but I have no idea how she looks like or what she is really up to.
Only from her tweets, I have made this up about her:

Image you are leaving Paris to go to New York. It's early in the morning and you have just arrived and left your taxi, still annoyed at the driver ( he could be an evil-mooded Frenchman who hates the traffic at this time of day, or an immigrant who does not know his way around that well yet and got lost a couple of times, while you rant at him because you are afraid you'll miss your plane), and you step inside Charles de Gaulle to find it fairly crowded. It's filled with that typical airport smell of air conditioner, a whiff of kerosene,  lots of coffee, some fresh bread and luggage, the sounds of people chatting in a million languages, the ubiquitous announcer that no one ever can understand, and a couple of irritated screaming kids. Beside you on the escalator is a family from somewhere in the Middle East, the man up front and the veiled woman a few steps behind with a gaggle of children around her, up ahead some American tourists discussing the sights they have just seen on their trip through Europe, and a group of very efficient business travelers, and more tourists.

Despite your disinterested cabby, you are in good time, and the line for check-in is not too long. There is time for a cup of coffee and a croissant.
At an airport of this size, there are of course a number of places to get that, so you pick one that is relatively quiet and where the girl behind the counter does not look too sleepy.  In Paris of course, you get wonderful croissants, and if you are clever, you don't order  French coffee but something more international, let's say a Latte (honestly, the Italians are a lot better at making coffee).
And while you wait for that waitress to get your breakfast, you see this girl:

She looks as fresh as the dawn despite the early hour, and hey, NO sensible traveling clothes for her.
Oh no, Lanny is much too stylish for that. And of course she has a little more luggage than that, but that is being transported (Louis Vuitton, you know) by an obliging service man.
Lanny glides past like a fairy, utterly sure of where she wants to go, she has been here millions of times. Her face shows a trace of boredom, and she radiates a sense of being gone already, as if her mind is ahead of her at her destination. She is the epitome of a traveler, not really here anymore, but not completely gone yet either.
With a brief glance at her watch she sits down in one of the rest chairs in the lounge.

And as you sip your coffee you watch her get out her notebook to send off some tweets.
Transient. That is the word that comes to mind, seeing Lanny.
She belongs to no one, and yet she is never really alone. There is always someone waiting for her.
It is quite obvious she must be either in the fashion business or at least working for a fashion magazine, there is so much natural elegance and style about her.  Who else could type on those small keys so fast with those fingernails and the softly chiming gold bracelets? And the way she manages to cross her legs, that is well rehearsed. Oh, and no one else could carry off that hat at this time of day with so much grace.
A waiter serves her a cup of tea, which she accepts with a slight nod and another quick look at her watch.
Your flight is called, and she rises ahead of you to walk to the gate.
Boarding the plane, you catch a brief glimpse of her as she is being escorted to Fist Class before you fumble past your fellow travelers into your miserable middle seat and try to get comfortable for the long trans-Atlantic flight, and no wonder she will look rested and glamorous when you reach New York.

A few days later, strolling down 5th Avenue, a Maple Walnuts ice cream cone in your paw, dressed in comfortable tourist clothes, you might run into her again.

She is where she belongs, no?
But get it right, my friend: the plane ticket to Rio is in her purse already.