Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Last year, at the TCM Classic Film Festival, I missed seeing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on the big screen. There was a conflict. Angie Dickinson was appearing to discuss Ocean's 11 at a special screening by the pool. It was the first night of the festival! How could I pass on that live and in-person glamor? Still, I wish I'd seen Marilyn in glorious Technicolor. I mean, she's MARILYN.

Has any star ever shined brighter than Marilyn? Has any film icon been open to more interpretation? And this is such a sweet, albeit dated, film. A decent little musical.

I felt so much when I watched it this afternoon. First of all, I was acutely aware of where it falls in Marilyn's film canon. This was one of three major movies Marilyn made in 1953, the year she became a star. She had worked so hard for it and now it was hers. She was 27 and dating Joe DiMaggio. She would probably never be this happy again.

After 9 years, 8 films and two divorces, she would be dead. So when I watch her in this movie, I wish I could freeze her here. Or rewind her life story, letting her make better choices. Giving her a chance. That's the thing about Marilyn: We all want to rescue her.

Jane Russell is better than I remembered. This is important because, watched in 2020, this movie is as much about girl power as it is about sex. For the movie to work as well as it does, we need the two main characters to be in balance. We have to like both of them and believe they like one another. We do. As sublimely silly yet focused as Marilyn is, Jane is down-to-earth yet idealistic. And yes, they love each other as good girlfriends should.

The movie has some nice musical numbers -- "When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right," "Isn't Anyone Here for Love?" -- and a true classic in "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." But today, my favorite moment was when the two little girls from Little Rock reprise their opening number as they walk down the aisle, each to the man of her dreams. And they all lived happily ever after!

Tuesday 4


1. What is your pet peeve of the month, year, lifetime? Protestors (in other states, thank God!) who put their police and first responders at risk by flouting the corona virus restrictions while claiming "liberty." As wise Americans have been saying since the 1880s, "Your liberty to swing your arm ends where my nose begins." Their neighbors, police and local hospital workers have a right to feel safe, too. 

It's funny, but I think the virus may have taken care of my all-time pet peeve: space hogs. I've always resented the people who buy one seat on the train but take two, leaving others to stand, or the women at the health club who believe their gym bags have a greater right to the locker room bench than my fanny. But currently we aren't crowding onto trains or into the health club.

Boo! Hiss!
2. Do you have a pet? Tell us about your pet. A pet? No, I've got these two fur friends. The upper berth is Reynaldo. Connie contents herself downstairs. These two rescues are good friends, to one another and to me. I am so grateful they are in my life. 

3. What are some pet projects in your life? Lately, I'm fixated on finding the perfect little plastic thing to put over my pop-up drain and catch my hair in the shower. The one I purchased at CVS works best, but it's not tall enough to let the water drain quickly. The gray one from Amazon is the perfect height, but the holes are too big. I ordered one from Walmart.com that stays in place perfectly, but lets too much hair through. Geez! I hope my client gives me a meaty project, and soon! I need work to distract me from playing Goldilocks as I search for the perfect little plastic thing.

OK, but not perfect

4.  Do you feed the birds or other animals in the wild? I don't, but this question still made me smile. This was my late mother's passion. She got such joy out of her yard! Not only the flowers and lawn but the critters who lived out there. She had a bird feeder and loved the squirrel pine cones I'd give her for her birthday every year.*

The house I grew up in was built by my grandparents when my mom was in high school. It was the house she left when she married my dad. Then, about four years later, when I was almost two, my grandparents sold the house to my parents, so she was back. Consequently, my mom felt she had a relationship with generations of birds, squirrels and rabbits. 

*A perennial project of the local Girl Scouts. Handmade from a pine cone, peanut butter, birdseed and string. It supported the girls and made my mom happy. The perfect two-fer!