Tag Archives: birthday

The New 40?

15 Feb

Dudes. 

…I’m outting my Mom. Today, she turned 60. And it’s really wierd. 

…Not because Mom is 60 necessarily, but that 60 isn’t remotely what it used to be -but our brains just can’t help going there in picture-processing. 

My Gram, at 60, looked not only exactly like a Gram, but also, every bit of 60. It wasn’t a crime then, to be that age, for one thing. And it wasn’t a crime to look it. 

Life had kinda kicked that whole generation in the ass…when you think about it…from being born in the Depression, to two back-to-back wars, raising a shit-ton of children in the Donna Reed years,  through sexual revolutions, civil unrest, a bunch of assassinations, forever chain-smoking cocktail parties, and then watching their kids deal with everything from Vietnam to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

…No wonder they looked every second their age (and sometimes, even more.) 

But Mom’s generation…the ones that survived Vietnam and drugs and AIDS and free-love fall-out… they sorta flipped this switch on the aging rules, which will never flip back again. All of a sudden, they were thrown into 80’s fitness kicks and people started divorcing themselves from butter sauces and “cholesterol ” became this whole thing…as did the magnification of youth-creams and serums and face-lifts…which my generation picked up and fueled even more. 

A state of social consciousness on the necessity to never grow older became this “thing.” A mother literally looking young enough to be their own daughter became some wack kind of goal in life…screwing with every time-table and half of the faces in Hollywood. 

(Blinking should never be a kegel exercise…but that’s just my opinion.)

…Mostly, the worrisome thing is that what was hidden under the “health” mantra, seemed to at the same time shame any woman who looked like she belonged or could claim her current decade on earth, any time at all after 20.

…Which super sucks. Not only for the woman in question, but the generations who follow her…thinking that these are (and must be)  the rules. Which gets into this whole political bent, I’m not even gonna get into right now. 

…But what I guess I’m saying is that:

My Mom turned 60 today. And she is a survivor of a lot of shit and a succeeder through even more, and I think that instead of hiding that fact, and this day– instead of masking or down-playing it…instead of pretending it’s less time, with less work, or less reason to shout that shit from the damn rooftops–one ought to embrace the flying fuck out of it! 

So: Happy Six Decades of planet-life, and the winning of every single day that got you here! Be proud of it,  Mama! 

Cuz, sure am! 

Love, 

~Your Kid

Advertisements

Your “First”

4 May

image

You will never forget them.  It’s impossible, given the hugeness of their role in your life.

…Today, mine would have turned 85.

I was four years old.

…I still remember the house address we live at, the exact layout of the living room furniture.  I remember a cardboard record sleeve, covered in pink with floral artwork spilling over it, leading to the face of a woman in a giant hat on the front, still photos on the back.  And the record itself, spinning on the turntable by the wall, Mom resetting the needle to a specific song.

“Okay…you wanna try it again?”

“Yuh.”

“Okay…here we go…”

…And the needle went down and caught on the groove, and the intro of a song I will remember…I think even if I were to one day forget my own name…started to play.

…And my eyes, would look hard at the record cover…the picture of this lady…and I’d think about how she looked when she sang this song…that green coat and flat black straw hat, dancing around the wet cobble stones, throwing lettuce leafs in the air, and pretending to be a queen…and I opened my mouth and let it burst out of me.

I was trained to be a character actor, as I trained for that talent show.  My very first time on a stage. I would be five when I performed it for real…just me and a piano, and my own little green jacket, with flat black straw hat.  But I was four when I first met The Lady, first saw the film on VHS, first pointed to the TV screen and said, “I want to be her when I grow up.”

…I didn’t know what an Actor was…nor The Lady, but she talked funny and I liked it.  So I started talking funny, back.  And Mom had noticed. Apparently I had an ear for it.  Apparently, I nailed it.  Which is how we got on a road to a talent show to begin with, which is how I got on stage for the first time, and freakishly won…which is how so much of who I am, all began.

Today The Lady would have turned 85, had she lived.  And for two decades of my life, she was the star I had set my ship to sail towards.  I mean what better role model could a young girl have?  She survived war and famine with grace, was understated, and elegant, classy and joyous,  she was gentle and kind to animals…she spent the last years of her life as an Ambassador to war-torn nations.  I spent the bulk of my adolescence obsessing over her, reading every article, buying every book, seeing every movie…and learning as much as I could about how to be a better person…on total accident.

…My intent, because of her, was to be an Actor. That was what I thought I was studying for…like I did all those years ago, with a record spinning cockney voices into the air. But I learned much more.

…I learned she WASN’T the flower girl pretending to be a queen. She was a queen…pretending to be a flower girl.

…And the more I realized that, the more I opened up to other influences…building my cannon of acting teachers and role models…first in black and white, and later in more contemporary atmospheres.

You see, I realized even at age four, I wasn’t ever going to be the pretty lady walking down the stairs in a white beaded gown on the way to a ball. I was (and am) the scrubby street urchin. It’s more fun, for one…and the joy and limitlessness to dream about the what-ifs, is endless. The pretty lady in white always seemed stuck somehow. Unhappy. Even with all the wealth she was surrounded with. And I’d rather roll in the mud with some mates raising a ruckus any day, than attend Ascot…even if I DID get to wear that hat.

…And so this lesson formed my life. Obviously.

…And The Lady, though my first and best girl, became not my only model for measurement. Eventually I would find Bette Davis, who’s swilling booze and articulate bite of dialogue seemed more a natural to me. And Ava Gardner, who could do these magical things to men by just looking at them in a certain way. And Judy Garland who would be doped up ten ways to Sunday, slurring even, then open her mouth and sob out a song that would make you forget to breathe for a while, it wretched your guts so hard. There were countless others…but all of them who caught my eye seemed to be damaged or dark or simply more complicated than The Lady, who had started it all. I don’t believe it made me love her less, just realize my own place in the artistic arena.

Hardly anyone can be as genuinely a good and beautiful person (inside and out) as Audrey Hepburn. But I’ll be thankful for the rest of my forevers, that in the years when a human is forming their sense of self and ideas of the world in general, I had the fairest lady of them all as a role model and guide. It certainly isn’t her fault I ended up falling off the wagon by way of the Tallulah Bankhead variety. The point is: I can recognize the value, I understand the need, I see the importance of a positive influence.

…What Audrey taught me was to work hard, to live simple, to be kind, to help others, to be gracious. I may not live up to these idioms all the time, but they are there in my head…and when I fall short of them, like a good ol’ Catholic guilt complex, I can still hear her voice in the back of my head, urging me to be better. And maybe that “goodness” was too posh an outfit for me to wear. I know myself well enough to acknowledge that. But I suppose the point is: I am who I am today…whether you can see it or not…due in large part to one of the gentlest, classiest, fashion-iconic, charity-building, humans to walk the earth. She was (and will always be) a very special hero to me…

…And I guess what I’m saying is: “Here’s a toast to a Dearest Lady, very close to my heart…with endless thanks, on her 85th Birthday.”

Cheers, love.

~D

I Don’t Have To, Cuz It’s M’Birthday

28 Apr

image

I’m terribly busy with this glass of wine, reading my new books.

…Portland OR, and Powell’s are to blame, but I think it was in the end inevitable that I would want to blow off any real blogging for the day.

It’s my Birthday.  I don’t have to.

…So there.

More will be revealed later, when I feel ready to peel my eyeballs from my new toys.

Right now, I want to be selfish and just go back to playing.

…So I’m gonna.

…And it will be good, and informative, and funny, and dramatical, by turn…depending on whatever it is I am consumed in at the time.

…But right now, I’m consumed in washing my face, and brushing my teeth…so I can snuggle up in bed with glossy pages, and funny Brit accents, and Joss Whedon anecdotes, and Hedda Hopper bitchings, Nazi flounderings, Midwifery, and period English Drama in real, live, paper book form.

Birthdays are awesome.

…Even 33rd ones.

~D

Still Hawt, At 200

28 Jan

image

There’s this man I know…well, a lot of us do. 

…He’s all sexy, and moody, and opinionated, and strangely prefers women with a brain in their head, and the occasional bout of reason and thinking. 

…He’s excellent to argue with: a fitting bite to his tongue and such a frustrating air to his assured “rightness,” that you just wanna punch him sometimes, all the while knowing it’ll end up turning into just the greatest make-up-sex EVER.

…He’s been a guest star in many a fantasy,  in many a genre…hell, even the Zombies can’t keep away.  His passport has been stamped by every country, where he’s been taught to speak in every language across the world, making him a legitimate International Playboy on a level that Hugh Hefner only WISHES he could attain. And though he managed to live comfortably, naughtily, seductively in our pretty little heads for generation upon generation…they finally managed to find his actual physical perfection of representation in mortal form, only within the last several decades…(which the Queen later wisely knighted.)

Then, as now, he lives on…in our hearts and before our eyeballs, sending massive ‘uuts’ shivers down our spine and within our nether regions…whilest book clubs continue to worship him, and Lit Majors continue to reason with him, women continue to pine for him, and men continue to be compared to him as one — if not THE — most romantically fierce and frustratingly sexy piece of man-meat (with fortune and title), ever to walk the earth.

And today, he turns 200.

200!

200 and still spanking our emotions and desires harder than whoever-the-fuck is number one right now in ticket sales…(and who will soon be completely obsolete and forgotten.)

Two Centuries of popularity that has only grown wider. Think about that, friends, and drool your way through the rest of the day…as I know I won’t be the ONLY one pulling out a well-loved BBC version of “P & P” tonight, to pay undieing honor to The Man…and the Woman BEHIND him: that deliciously devilish, Miss Jane Austen.

…As a lesser artist, (but an artist, none-the-less), I have an aching curiosity about what she might be thinking were the Austenian founder, here with us today.

How could you possibly perceive that your novel would go on to become such a living, breathing, growing thing. A thing taught in Colleges, studied by scholars. A thing used in historical references and self-help love-books? A thing that Hollywood (whatever the hell that will one day be) is constantly grabbing at as a “sure thing” win in an industry where NOTHING is “sure” at all…ever. A thing that brings honor to your home country, and ridiculous horror spin-offs from others. A thing which created whole new genres of fiction-spin-offs and fan-fictions. A thing which everyone has heard of, even if they have never read or seen it.

…A thing that can secretly fix any heartbreak, and which is your automatic go-to on a sick day, a rainy day, and prob’ly (if you could swing it) every day in between.

Look what you MADE, Jane Austen! When-your-first-edition-started-selling-two-hundred-freakin-years-ago-to-this-very-day!

LADY POWER UP, FRIENDS!

Tonight is Mr. Darcy night!

…Let us all pour out a delicious glass of our favorite “something,” and either join up via bubble bath and book, or eat him up with our eyes on film…giving thanks to the creation of a favorite lady-author, and that little book called, “Pride & Prejudice!”

Here’s to making it a world-wide fetish evening that puts Valentine’s Day to shame.

…Dunno ’bout you, but I’m in.

~D

%d bloggers like this: