Wearing the Plumage

I saw an amusing article about the Pitti Peacocks–men attending the menswear show in Florence, whose sense of style is flamboyant and will not be denied. These gentlemen will never say no to whatever stupendous vision can be encompassed by a tailor and a heart that beats high.

Let them strut! There is something heartwarming about the lads and their efforts.

Not that ANYTHING can rival our ancestors in this department, for heavens sake.

Oh my, those KILLING looks over the shoulder…through those tumbling curls. Guys, you are IRRESISTIBLE.

Still, let us not disdain today’s dandies. And do check out this charming little documentary (includes a really fine Attenborough imitation).



Once again Netflix has managed to scrape together some kind of entertainment for me, and I am grateful. It WOULD have been nice had there been a little more costume and a little less blood, but there let us not be finicky.
This one caught my eye because Neil Gaiman is listed among the writers, though I doubt he did much writing for the actual show. But, he created the character in his Sandman series, and the Netflix show is based on that. It started as a Fox show, but when it was cancelled, Netflix swooped in and picked it up, no doubt thinking that their stable of bored old ladies might like it.
Bored young ladies too, actually.
Lucifer is played by a rather comely actor.

Lucifer is BORED with managing hell and scarpers–to LOS ANGELES. He has a fancy car, owns a nightclub filled with young ladies writhing about who have seemingly forgotten to put on much in the way of clothing (it occurs to me that perhaps men might also find this this show unobjectionable) and he is having a GRAND TIME.
Not to mention, he has amazing skills:

1) he can make his eyes glow RED!

2) he can make people confess their secret desires!

3) he is immortal! Mostly.

But something happens, I forget exactly what, and the next thing you know an ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL LAPD lady detective appears on the scene, and crime solving happens.

They become a TEAM!
Because the lovely lady is the detective she of course

1) is in a failing relationship

2) has a cute hip daughter (who is knowing beyond her years but also LOVING)

3) and a past.

So we’re good to go! And actually, it is rather fun. Lucifer is as I noted a handsome lad, and also–he has a British accent! He is a stalwart son of Wales!
Also, he has WINGS. And a handsome ANGEL brother who is trying to get him to return to hell. NOTHING DOING, says Lucifer! Also a gorgeous lady demon who works at the bar. For the rest of the story, please to ask Netflix.

We will rock you

A recent biopic of Freddie Mercury has been delighting fans and disgusting the critics, and being ignorant about the fellow, I watched a rather ponderous little documentary about him. Ageing colleagues and admirers spoke tenderly and at great length about the man, who whatever his faults could certainly fill up a stadium. Thousands of people wedged together beating their hands together in his praise!
Queen may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but who can resist that strutting anthem: "dum dum THUMP, dum dum THUMP–You got blood on your face, you big disgrace/Waving your banner all over the place…."
Remember that moment in Knight’s Tale when the medieval joust audience suddenly starting bouncing about to that beat?
But, there are many musicians who can fill stadiums, and many of them managed not to die of AIDS. Freddie was one of those orgiastic fools frantically infecting one another with what was at that time not only an incurable but a fatal disease.

Well, well, a short life but a merry one.

Well, here it is 2019–we have made it around the sun another time, haven’t blown ourselves to bits as yet despite much effort to do so.
So, Happy New Year, dear friends!
The holiday season was even more fraught than usual, what with a complicated meeting planned for the very last days before Christmas–well, well, I blew off the last day and rushed home to my dear family! And we partied like 1999! And then I jetted off to Los Angeles the day AFTER Christmas, to visit my new grandson. Returning in time to join my colleagues at work for a festive holiday lunch yesterday.
Whew. Just saying.
Having spent the required hours baking and freezing, I was able to feed the assembled hordes, and our festive Christmas Eve party went very well–my Brooklyn grandson genial and full of good cheer, welcoming one and all to admire his trains and enjoy the cookies.

Which they did, bless their hearts. We celebrated Christmas day with particular attention to the little fellow who was ecstatic with his Kismus Pesants and particularly with the FOUR LOLLIPOPS that Santa Claus left in his stocking. Then a grand dinner at my brother’s house, with the family–a shining day!
And the next day, off to LA. Where I met the charming lad who has just joined the family.

AND THEN of course I came down with a cold and was barred from touching him or breathing on him.
However, I can report that he is a darling fellow. And it turns out that he plans to attend the upcoming family wedding this July, so the boy has the right attitude to important family events.

And here’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Further Developments

Another twist in the exciting drama that is my new job! Which possibly I should keep my mouth shut about, not wishing to celebrate the season by losing my situation, as Scrooge tartly remarked to his clerk Bob Cratchitt.
But really! How can I not share this exciting news!
So, I left you with the tantalizing prospect of our 6 travelers poised on the brink of their travels but possibly doomed to stay home for lack of the appropriated visas. But NOT SO! We persevered, we got the visas, we had FedEx deliver them on the day before departure, and all was well!
The cost was somewhat startling, but there it is, we prevailed.
Off they went to Moscow, ready to discuss interesting topics. Sigh of relief!
And then one of the eminent scientists had a heart attack, and had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate heart surgery.
This shed something of a gloom over the proceedings, though the various events and festivities could not be cancelled of course.

You will be relieved to hear that he survived, and will be brought home next week.

There was a story in the Journal about a secret group of Americans whose shameful secret is…watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Of which apparently there are a multitude.
Well, Netflix has gamely entered the lists, as I may have mentioned before.
OK, as I DID mention.
So, as it turns out, I have watched a couple of these.
OK, maybe quite a few.
See, nobody is killed with gouts of blood and severed limbs, no children are threatened, there is always a happy ending (usually a festive wedding) and even the dogs are well treated. Though I must say, I haven’t noticed many CATS.

So here is the plot:

  • Christmas is coming!
  • But poor Patti or Sharon or Marie or whoever has NO ONE to celebrate with, or alternatively she does but he is a jerk.
  • But [very handsome] man is suddenly on the scene!
  • It is (of course) snowing, and festive drinks stand by.

And, there is always a moment when the guy must remove his shirt–a spill? an accident?–and it is immediately obvious that he has spent much time in the gym.

=Eye candy for the ladies.
Also, these are not superstars. They are very good looking, but not the gods of real movies.
So we’re comfy, do you see.

And Netflix has kindly added a superstar contender.

And I’m saving this one for when my children are home. I KNOW they’ll want to watch it with me.

My new job is keeping me from you, dear friends! No time to dash off a note or two at the office, and when I come home it’s dinner and collapse.
But I wanted to tell you about our latest endeavor, planning a mighty meeting over in that vast northern kingdom where vodka and caviar cheer the heart. Half of our company already had visas, but 6 did not, and for weeks, I have striven to collect all the necessaries. Yesterday we were ready to make our visit to the consulate! The cost of the visas: unknown, to be discovered upon arrival. Payment CAN ONLY BE BY MONEY ORDER, by the way.
The embassy is open for visas from 10 to 12. It was getting past 11, but the place is close by, pas de probleme! Except, yesterday was the grand funeral of a past president, many streets of this fine city closed to make way for the magnificent cortege. Sigh. We drove north, not quite to Alaska but a very long way and then dropped down to the embassy from above. It was now 11:55. The guard was not pleased to see us, but my charming boss–who speaks Russian like a native–soon had him beaming, and we entered the room with the various windows for conducting business.
We had the wrong kind of documents inviting us to the country! The kindly lady explained that it would take 10 days to create the kind of visa our documents would give us.
As it happens, the group has tickets for flying out on Saturday. In 3 days.
But not to worry! We could get a different kind of invitation from the hotel! So, back to the office (again, a very circuitous route) and my boss contacted the hotel–and this morning, we got the new improved invitations!
So, back to the embassy–no funeral cortege today!
No, instead of that there was the obligatory office holiday party! Lots of festive food, and then the EO delighted us with an amusing topical version of the TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. We merrily sang ALL TWELVE verses. HA ha ha! Such fun!

Then we darted off to the embassy once more and once again presented ourselves, together with lovely new invites AND 6 money orders in the correct amount.
It turned out the visa forms were wrong for this kind of invite, and the invite itself should have said “Tourist Aim” , not “Tourist”. So, back to the office where I corrected the visas, and my boss contacted the hotel for the corrected invite. They were all abed by then, however so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Which is Friday, and the group is leaving Saturday.
I’m sure it will all work out!

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