Saturday, August 04, 2012

Rest in Peace, Funny Girl!

June 1, 1926 -- August 5, 1962

"If you have nothing more to say, pray SCAT!" 

"If it wasn't for you, I'd be out in the middle of nowhere, sitting on my ukulele."

Those lines are comic gold not because they're inherently funny -- clearly they're not -- but because they were delivered by the incandescent Marilyn Monroe. 

She died of a drug overdose 50 years ago today. She's often thought of as a victim of the star system, a puritanical/patriarchal society and the wrong men. I've read countless biographies of her over the decades -- I've been a fan since high school -- and I know the sad saga well. A truly horrific childhood worthy of a Dickens character, a loveless arranged teen marriage, exploitation by photographers, tawdry casting couch sexual harassment (and that's exactly what it was), men who wanted to possess her instead of know her, miscarriages and abortions, champagne, barbiturates ... Offscreen her life was almost unremittingly tragic.

And yet on screen, she's so much fun. Marilyn is still and eternally magic. For the woman who was thought of as a joke by producers (who used her as they could and only when they had to) really was gifted.

This is her triumph. No actress who came after her has her power over the world's imagination. Children not yet born will know her name and face. One of the nice things about believing in Heaven is that I get to believe she knows this.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 4

Today's happiness: The Village Book Fair. I'm so glad that I live in a village of book lovers, where the library has three branches, and the annual fundraiser is an event. It's always offers such great values, too. This year I got myself the story of Barack Obama's mother for just $2 and a paperback Lincoln biography for $1. I also got a half dozen mysteries to send to the troops for just $3. (I bet the postage will cost more than the books did!)

Another thing I enjoy about the book fair is seeing which book is so over. There's one every year -- the book my neighbors bought in big numbers and then decided, seemingly at all once, to discard.

In 2006, it was The Corrections.
In 2007, The Nanny Diaries.
In 2008, The Da Vinci Code.
In 2009, My Life by Bill Clinton.
In 2010, Scarlett, the Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with The Wind.
In 2011, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

This year (drum roll, please) the dubious honor goes to Sixkill by Robert B. Parker.  I saw six hardcover copies of it. (There would have been 7 if I hadn't ditched my own copy already. It's really not worth re-reading.)


Saturday 9

1. Do you ever feel like you are nowhere? Ever? Of course, on occasion. But it doesn't last long.


2. Do you keep your cool no matter what is going on around you? I either try to see the humor in the situation, or I send my mind to the happy place.


3. Do you feel that career should be more important than your love life? No, but I'm better at it.

4. In what way do you feel that you are unique? I'm smart and I think fast on my feet.


5. Do you feel that there is a part of you that you need to hide from most people? Yes.

6. Have you ever held on to a relationship even though you truly knew it was already over?  Ever? Of course, on occasion. But it doesn't last long. I know that was my verbatim answer to #1, but it also works here.

7. Would you say that you are a winner in this game of life? The game isn't over yet, so I can't say for sure.

8. Can you tell us about a time when you were broke and yet still happy? In my late teens when I got my first apartment. I was all alone, by myself, completely independent, and thrilled by the experience. Even being broke seemed like part of my Ann Marie-in-New York/That Girl fantasy. (Though how she afforded all those clothes with her spotty employment history remains a mystery to me.)

9. Do you think staying celibate between relationships important? I don't think it's any of anyone's business but yours.