Sunday, March 5, 2017

Of Rain and Film Noir~~~~




Hello Darklings,

I have been a naughty girl (well woman) by not posting so much, but with the damage the rains and winds have done I’ve been busy.

It’s been hard working on my garden, but I’m so glad that my orchid plants and my koi fish have been kept in the green house safe from all the cold and rain and debris, putting heavy chicken wire on the roof of the green house has protected the glass I’m happy to say. 

But I’ve had to put off doing work in the garden because we never know when the next rain storms will come, last night we had an unexpected heavy squall come down with torrents of water and wind.   I sat next to the window in the front parlor and watched as the rain came down in sheets being pushed along by the wind, water running down the steps of the front porch like a water fall, rolling down the driveways like rivers and the street gutters running fast and heavy with the run off.  In a dark Gothic way it was magnificent.

Fortunately no power outages, no trees falling over blocking roads in our area.  And having the fire crackling in the fire place made things feel cozy and comfortable, one would think that someone would be sitting at a small table reading tarot cards on such a wild, wet night.  

But no the dogs were snoozing in front of the fire in contentment, with Wiener dog snoring loudly, and Doyle in his comfy chair dozing and snoring in counter point, the Sunday paper collapsed like a blanket on his lap.   I decided to not turn on the T.V. and instead had a book in my hand to read, but watching the rain proved more fascinating for my night time viewing.

For the last few weeks I’ve been helping my sister until she can hire a good medical report secretary who can also do bookkeeping and maintain appointments for her.   She’s had a few candidates and one is very promising, just need to check out her references.  

Early yesterday evening Television was a bore, so I turned to some DVD’s that we had purchased, maybe I should use the Red Boxes but one never knows the quality of the discs that are distributed.  But I had to buy (a bit at a time) the American Horror Story Series,   but when one starts watching one has to be prepared for a marathon of watching you just can’t stop, you need to see the next “chapter”.   It takes all our strength to not stay up late watching only to wake in the morning exhausted. 

Well we (Sis and I ) started AHS: Coven,  We had seen AHS: Asylum last month, Sis wonders what goes on in the minds of the writers, she’d like to analyze them.  But in seeing Coven, if we ever can arrange it I’d love to go to New Orleans, but not during Mardi Gras that scene is too crazy.   And who knows what delightful little bizarre trinket one will find.   I understand the food is out of this world.  And I’d take in all the tours, even the ghost tours.  

I meant to talk about the S.F. Film Noir Festival that Sis and I attended in January,  once again we stayed at the lovely Hotel Rex and we dressed in our best late 1940’s to mid 1950’s clothing,  and once again we figuratively “drowned” ourselves in Film Noir,  this time with more foreign entries and including more modern entries, that in their own way surprised us, but I personally can’t help but feel that Film Noir should be more “black and white”  which is why in a way “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”, “Blue Collar” and “Straight Time”  some what disappointed me.  But the others did not.

Gina Lollobrigida was beautiful in “Four Ways Out” and we had the classics such as “Criss-Cross”, “The Asphalt Jungle” and “Kansas City confidential” .

On days when there was no matinee we indulged in shopping and spa treatments and fine dining, but I think I’m going to have to go to the gym and work off a few pounds, not being able to walk the dogs because of the rain had me gain a few and it always is telling at the waist line. 

Rififi had me on the edge of my seat with the 30 minute not speaking portion, “Victoria”, a 2015 film from Germany, did show how Film Noir is developing in the 21st century and although a fantastic film, I have to confess for this Elder Goth I prefer my Film Noir in Black and white and in the gritty times of the 40’s and 50’s.   Yet is was a good across the years selection, and I certain would suggest that you view these films as both vintage and contemporary and how we as a civilization have developed as well.

I have listed here the films that we saw:

CRISS CROSS 
THE ASPHALT JUNGLE 
KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL 
VIOLENT SATURDAY 
FOUR WAYS OUT / LA CITTÀ SI DIFENDE 
BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET / I SOLITI IGNOTI 
RIFIFI  / DU RIFIFI CHEZ LES HOMMES 
THE BIG RISK / CLASSE TOUS RISQUES 
THE KILLING 
CRUEL GUN STORY / KENJÛ ZANKOKU MONOGATARI 
THE LADYKILLERS 
THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN 
ONCE A THIEF 
THE SICILIAN CLAN / LE CLAN DES SICILIENS
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123  
THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT 
BLUE COLLAR 
STRAIGHT TIME 
CHARLEY VARRICK
THE BRINK'S JOB 
SEXY BEAST
THE AURA / EL AURA 
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD 
VICTORIA 

But for 10 lovely days Sis and I enjoyed ourselves, shopping, resting, pampering ourselves and even though it rained we had a great time.   And once again Doyle did not disappoint us.  He arranged once again to have us picked in in a classic 1950’s Cadillac complete with Chauffer (his friend who owns the car),  Sis and I came down into the lobby in our best 1940’s clothing paid the bill and had fun seeing a few folks that were there following us to our waiting vehicle, the looks on their faces was priceless.

We drove back across the Bay Bridge, across the section that echoes from the 1930’s and then through the tunnel (aka Time tunnel) across the new span built just a few years ago, the old workhorse bridge now completely gone, vanished, back to our homes and into the 21st century and reality.

But we can dream a little and enjoy it a bit. 

Now the dogs are dressed in their warm coats, and Doyle in his heavy jacket and I am going to put on my very warm coat and we are going to take a much needed walk to work off those 5 pounds.

Later Darklings

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Of Rain and Floods and hearts and wine~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I've been singing "Rain, rain, go away come again another day, another month, another year!"

I have not seen such disastrous conditions since 1997 and even then although bad it was not THIS bad.

Even San Jose near Coyote Creek is flooding and that is unheard of at least for the last 100 years.

The rain is doing a number on parts of my house, area's where I have been planning to be painted are now flaking off. 

Fortunately neither mine or my sister's basement have flooded which I am grateful for.  But conditions all over are bad,

We've had the lights go out several times and for hours at a time,  the good thing is that Doyle had an emergency generator installed so we could keep the freezer and the refrigerators running and if need be any water to be pumped out.

Previous damage has been repaired.  

But Darklings if I was a writer this would be perfect Gothic weather to write dark poems or prose to, even my sister has seen a serious up-tick among her patients who suffer from chronic depression.

She roped me in (well she asked me and I said yes) to help her with the reports as she was getting a bit overwhelmed and since I've done medical writing I understood what she wrote.  So I've been a bit busy.  That is why I have not been posting of late.

Valentine's Day was very sweet,  and I don't mean candy,  Doyle treated me to a spa day, facial, massage, mani-pedi,  dinner at our favorite restaurant, and enjoying a drive in my vintage Buick, he dressed like Humphrey Bogart, me dressed in my favorite evening clothes looking like a dark-haired Hillary Brooke from "the Woman in Green"  with the complicated up-sweep hair style.

Several people followed us outside as the parking attendant brought the Buick to the front door and held the passenger door open for me and held my hand to assist me in.  I loved the looks on their faces, they don't see that kind of Class anymore.  Of course the attendant knew us and the car, he insisted on parking it deliberately taking two spaces to avoid scratches.   I was concerned that someone would complain but I guess when they saw the car they gave it a pass because no one said anything. 

Eventually I'll get around to review the films that we saw at the Film Noir Festival.

But I wanted to say I'm fine.

Doyle and I tried a new wine (well new for us) recently, the 2015  Cline Cellars Cashmer Black Magic, on a score of 100 I'd give it an 88, some people would not be impressed by it but I found it to be very easy to drink, it has a nice smooth buttery feel in the mouth. Now it does have  a slight tart cherry note but  because it has some chocolate in there it softens it a bit. It's a  blend of Petite Sirah a Sirah, a Grenache and a Mourverde.  Some people would find it Fruity, smooth a very decent wine for $13.00 but I think if you shop around you could find it for less.

And Apolthic wine have their white wine out, which we will try later on. 

And now that we have a few days of sun, I have my handyman and my gardener making the most of it.

Later Darklings





Sunday, February 5, 2017

Of auto theft and neighbors coming together~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I was planning on doing a run down on the Film Noir Festival but things took an exciting turn for the worse.

Of late, well more like for the last 2 or 3 months there has been a plague of Auto Thefts, almost all of them Honda's,  they are prized for their interchangeable parts.

The other evening Doyle and I were relaxing, the dogs were snoozing and  we were watching our guilty pleasures of "Rosewood" and then "Sleepy Hollow"  when suddenly  just before 10 p.m. and the program finished we heard a loud Whump!!! Sound,  it started us, causing Belladonna and Wiener Dog to bark furiously.

Doyle looked out the window and at first didn’t see anything, then he saw that one of our neighbors across the street car had been side-swiped.   He put on his slippers and grabbed his flashlight  to check.

I followed after getting my slippers on and securing the dogs,  it seemed that the car plus several others that hit the neighbors car was down at part of the street were work being done so it was blocked off to through traffic, people were coming out of their houses,  it was a bit of a mess and people were wondering what happened,  Doyle told me to call 911, I went into the house since I didn't have my cellphone and I preferred using the land line and called giving as much information as I could.

I was told by the dispatcher to tell people to stay around the police were coming and they were going to need as much information as possible,  I said I could not tell if anyone was hurt but the police would determine that.    I went outside and told the folks that were close by to stay where they were the police were coming and they would need everyone’s statement.  

Suddenly it seemed as if one of the cars at the end of the block was revving up and people were backing away, I had started to go back to the house to get a coat it was cold, but as I was on the porch I saw three cars all sedans, speed up the block to the cross street, the last car nearly rear ended the one in front of it and they all took off,  Doyle yelled at me to call 911 again and tell them they headed west on the cross street, now it was hit and run but at least no one was hurt..

I called again  and the Dispatcher took my information wanted to know what color cars, confirmed my address and said if anyone is hurt to call back I said O.K.   Then I went out and said the police were still coming, but now it was discovered that there were a total of  4 cars involved, one that hit the neighbor’s car plus three others.

We began to suspect it was those thieves that had been doing vehicle thefts of Honda’s because all the cars involved were Honda’s , even one neighbor's car that had been stolen in December was a Honda.   We talked to the owner of the car that got hit, he and his male partner were just flabbergasted.   

We talked to another neighbor he said he called 911 as well, but from what I was informed by the dispatcher I had given more information.

The lady from down the block said that she saw the guy in the disabled car get out and she yelled at him are you all right but he got into another car, she said “You know you sort of get frozen, like what do you do?”   We could only agree with her, I mean what do you do.   Doyle was talking to a neighbor's wife and her sister,  and folks was talking to the neighbor whose car was hit , everyone was commiserating on what happened.  But what do you  do? 

My sister came out hearing the commotion, Brian was away visiting relatives and I filled her in, she said that she had been thinking of leaving her car parked on the street but something changed her mind, because her car would have been right were the street lamp was that was also hit, knocking the glass lamp off.

The police showed up and everyone including Doyle that saw something gave statements,  then one fellow a neighbor started picking up auto pieces on the street, and putting them next to the damaged SUV,   people started going into their homes and the poor guy is going to have to deal with his insurance company in the morning.   

Inside the house Doyle and I watched from the window  the left-over of this disruption in our quiet lives, the cops left except for one, we overheard about dusting for finger prints then the road side truck came to quickly remove the abandon damaged Honda,  pretty quick we thought. 

When we were all outside one of our neighbors and Doyle speculated that the crooks thought they could get to the main street  and then to the freeway and discovered they couldn’t, the first car slipped on the wet road hitting the neighbors care, since they didn’t know about the road blockage.

Our  neighbor told us that he’s so fed up with this State and our city now being now a sanctuary city that he and his girlfriend are moving to Idaho,  his daughter wants to go with them, since she’s 17 now she doesn’t have to do what is dictated by her Mom, our neighbor's ex-wife.    Doyle said if it wasn't for our Medical benefits situation we’d go as well, even another friend of mine is moving to Portland, Oregon and another to Seattle.   

Our neighbor said he was so pissed at what happened with the riots at the Berkeley Campus on Wednesday night, even his daughter told me she’d prefer to go to college in Idaho, there she knows she can think and speak freely.

And now after this latest debacle Friday night, I wish we could too,  at least if we could have a “gypsy wagon” and just move from place to place, California is becoming such a “Nanny State”.  

But now today Sis and I  have some grocery shopping to do, so if the rain holds off we should be fine, then when we get back I’ll pay some more bills and balance the check book so at least that part is what passes for normal.

Doyle is going to go to some friends house, retired cops and watch the Super Bowl game.

I know we are on a journey, both mental, physical, emotional and spiritual and as my Daddy use to say “Getting there is more than half the fun as long as you can avoid pot holes and flat tires”.

Which is true, we do have those “pot holes” of life experiences but we learn from the pot holes and we grow from it and expand our knowledge.   Today even with the grey weather is a day from finding out about things, about interacting with people, about discovering things and adding to our life experiences.

I know that certainly that was what happening last night, people discovering that it’s too easy to freeze when something happens,  sometimes feeling like they are helpless yet wanting to help.  

 But experiences can be fun as well,  the little joys we discover,  the main thing is to do one’s best to enjoy the journey,  it can even be with simple small observations of people, situations, objects, of anything. 

I know that even though in a way I felt helpless in that I could not give more information, although Doyle managed to get a license plate number from the odd car that was not a Honda,  I did what I humanly could, just as I know folks did what they humanly could and in that journey of experience we all learned something about ourselves and the world around us.

Our neighbor had his car towed to a repair shop the next day and will be dealing with the insurance company, his vehicle was pushed so hard it went up onto the sidewalk,  even he told me that he's glad no one in the neighborhood was hurt, we felt the same. 

And now Sis has come to get me and we are going to do some serious beginning of the month shopping.   I may pick up copies of vogue, elle, marie clair, vanity fair, I so need to look at something pretty.

Sis suggested we take a side trip to TJMax or to Macy's first, I'm all for that.

Later Darklings






Friday, January 20, 2017

Of Film Noir, Presidential Inaugurations and Dysfunctional Dolls~~~

Hello Darklings

I know What a combination!

Well my sister and I are leaving in a few minutes to go to the Hotel Rex and check in for our 9 day stay for the Film Noir Festival.

Our vintage bags are packed and ready to go,  Doyle has the Buick ready, yes it is going to get wet but he'll take care of that when he gets home.

Sis and I are looking forward to Spa Days,  shopping, the films, and just relaxing and enjoying ourselves.   The films are more modern but it would be interesting to see how they hold up to the ones from the 40's and 50's.  

We had a chance as we packed the last few things to watch the Pomp and Circumstance of this Presidential Inauguration but really----secretly---we wanted to see what Mrs. Trump would wear and both Sis and I yelled "Jackie Kennedy all the way!"  a classic style of outfit with matching gloves and shoes,  she also reflects the style of Prince Williams wife Catherine, simple, chic and classic, oh be still my Vintage Heart.

Of course how the presidency is going to go is another matter,  I'm not saying I'm for D.T. but seeing what she wore I think is a reflection of the hope of some folks.

Doyle promised to record what she'll be wearing at the Inaugural Ball. 

But have I given up my vintage Gothic heart to 1960's classic styles?   Not Quite.

A web site Dysfunctional Dolls, is a off shoot or maybe the parent company of Gothic Beauty Magazine and they sent me an e-mail saying that their make up is back for folks who are into Goth and Cosplay,  I had to check out their lipsticks and I have to say I was not disappointed, with colors like Blood stain Red, Cemetery Red, Bold Diabolical Red, and affordable as well as not animal tested, well I think I know what I'm going to order.

I know it sounds like I'm turning my back on Besame Cosmetics, but I'm not, just the other day my special order of it's Victory Red lipstick arrived with the special Victory pin, like what the ladies use to wear during World War II.

So in the space of a few days I have been treated to special discoveries which gladdens my heart.

About the repairs on my home, we were able to fix the protective glass panel in front of the stain glass window,  the basement window will be worked on when I return, and when we are past the worst of the storms I'll have the screens fixed on the back porch.

My gardener said that all the bulbs that had been planted have rotted because of so much heavy rain,  some may have survived but we won't know until early spring,  so it looks like I'll have to temporarily do annuals, which is fine.  

But now Doyle has told me that the bags are packed and do I have my film passport, so off we go to another time, another era.

Later Darklings

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Of dealing with the Winter Storm of 2017 or Is the drought over?~~~



Hello Darklings,

It’s been awhile since I last posted,  and I’ve been busy.   Mostly with house repairs.

We had a terrifying storm here, winds were whipping things up and knocking trees over, flooding, mudslides and the reservoirs filled to capacity and over flowing. 

But I’ll get to that in a minute. 

For New Years Doyle and I celebrated with dinner and dancing on the USS Hornet, I was surprised my leg held up so well but it did,  many people wore period clothing, including uniforms from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s,  Doyle is ex-Navy and had his dress whites, he looked so Humphry Bogart in them.   I had a chance to see old friends who love to celebrate the same way. 

So we made promises to get in touch and visit with each other,  one of them has a vintage car that Doyle maybe interested in.  Sis didn’t come with us this time, she had been dealing with a number of clients suffering from Holiday depression, she said the best thing she could do was a cup of hot chocolate and bed and get plenty of sleep.

The weather was clear enough that we could see the spectacular fireworks across the Bay, I was curled up in my vintage mink coat and trust me Darklings, I needed it, a wool or down parka coat would not have been enough to cut the breeze coming off the Bay, I would have needed several layers of thermal underwear to be warm enough.  Doyle also wrapped his arms around me for added warmth, either me or him I’m not sure.  And then after an hour it was “Good night Ladies”  time to go home.

I swear celebrating New Years on the Hornet is like going back in time, you hate to wake up to reality the next morning, but it did come.   Now I have to remember to write 2017 on checks and such.

The children are getting over their colds, now its dealing with the aftermath the dry persistent cough, which makes the chest ache so much.   Both Chris and Coralline hate the menthol cough drops but it’s the only thing that works while at school, but everything tastes like menthol to them, they do like the Ginger and Lemon Tea (decaffeinated) That seems to help them a lot.  Of course they got prescription cough medicine so they can sleep at night.   It’s going to take a while.

In the meantime we had horrible, terrifying rain storms here, with high winds, flooding, mudslides, power outages and everything.   We lost power on and off for a few days,  it’s a good thing my heating and cooking is gas, but I worry every time we lose powder because of the refrigerator and freezer, but fortunately no food spoilage.

But the winds did a number on the house,  a few roofing shingles came loose and we had a leak,  I called a roofer and he nailed down heavy tarps until we got some dry days,  it got fixed but now the ceilings in two rooms are going to have to be painted.

And the WIND!!  It was a good thing I had glass protective panels put up in front of the stain glass windows, some tree branches blew against one of them and broke the protective glass, but the stain glass is fine,  I called a glazer and he came out and fixed that one for me, but another window may have to be done later, its one that allows light into the basement that got broken as well so we have it boarded up for now and have that fixed for later.

My water cisterns are full to over flowing, the good thing is the way everything is set up when it overflows it goes down this pathway and out into the street, the outdoor fish pond over flowed but I only keep my fish in the indoor one in the greenhouse, I only keep the free mosquito fish in the outdoor one, and by now a lot of them are swimming in some storm sewer somewhere.   There are some minor things like the screens on the porch are shredded I’ll have to replace those, but that’s minor compared to some folks that has had trees fall into their homes.   One of the trees in my yard lost a large branch but nothing broken.  So we survived very well compared to others.

I keep thinking of that opening line from that cumbersome Edward Bulwer Lytton novel where it starts with “It was a dark and stormy night….”   Suddenly the power went out!!  And just go from there. 

In spite of the chancy rainy weather, Sis and I are going to indulge in the 2017 Film Noir Festival, in S.F.  we’ll be staying at the Hotel Rex with special rates and it’s on Union Square close to the stores, some good eateries, and an easy 20 minute (depending on traffic) ride to the Castro Theater, we have our “Passports” for the series and are looking forward to it, this time our clothing will be more 1950’s early 60’s, think Kim Novak in “Vertigo” or Grace Kelly in “North by Northwest” and you’ll get the idea.   It will give us a chance to shop, indulge, rest and have some wicked fun. 

To me as an Elder Goth if you love old movies then Film Noir is the way to go, although this time they’ll be serving up some more modern fare but it’s enough to wet one’s appetite.   Doyle did promise to record my favorite shows while I’m gone including “Sleepy Hollow” which is back and “Supernatural”.

I’m not sure if I’m going to go on a wine tour in the fall this year, it depends upon a number of things,  health (which is good), budget (depends upon repairs beyond what the trust will pay), availability (always a variable), and mood (sometimes I’m just not into it) and other plans the look like more fun (always an option).

But I am hoping that Doyle will buy this vintage car that was offered to him, the garage is big enough to hold 3 vintage cars, but we only have my Buick right now, so we’ll see.

The other night I recorded “Creature Features” on North Bay TV (out of Santa Rosa) because they were going to have an interview with Karen Lewis, the 2nd wife of Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis,  she wrote a biography about Al Lewis and her, titled “I married a Munster” (play on words) and skipping the parts of  the movie, that tired chestnut titled “The Screaming Skull” it was enough for me to decide to buy a copy.  I remember “The Munsters” as well as “The Adams Family” although I think I’m more Adams Family, but it seems that being with Al Lewis must have been a fascinating life. 

The next big event on my list is the Vintage Fashion Fair in the Spring at Michaans auctions usually in May,  but I’m always on the lookout for retro things that would appeal to me.  

And now my Sister says that dinner is on the table,  it’s been so cold that we are having homemade clam chowder in sourdough bread rounds,  with a green salad with mandarin orange slices,  to get our vitamin Sea ( C) ok poor play on words. 

Stay warm my dark ones.

Later Darklings