Her New Clematis

Here’s my newest clematis:  an anemone clematis called “Freda.”  There were about 10 left over in the parking lot of Wegmans, last week.

My newest indulgence:  a Clematis montana "Freda"

Self’s newest indulgence: a Clematis montana “Freda”

Self has decided she’ll take a chance and grow it in a pot, so that she can fill up her front porch:

These little suckers are going to burst into bloom ANY DAY NOW!

These little suckers are going to burst into bloom ANY DAY NOW!

A very fulfilling end to self’s Easter.  Happiness, happiness.

Stay tuned.

Thoughts on the Hitchcock Festival Ending Next Week at the Stanford Theater (Downtown Palo Alto)

Ever wondered what driving while loopy might be like?  Watch “North by Northwest.”  (BTW, ever wondered what the fine for “driving under the influence” was, way back when?  Two dollars!  Seriously!)

Ever wondered how Cary Grant might do comedy?  Watch “North by Northwest.”

Want to find the anti-ScarJo ScarJo?  Watch Eva-Marie Saint in “North by Northwest.”

Want to know where the Coen brothers might have gotten that idea for the first “Fargo” chase scene, along that lonely stretch of highway?  Watch “North by Northwest.”

Want to know why Grace Kelly became Princess of Monaco?  Watch the audition:  “To Catch a Thief.”

Want to know what a sweater girl is?  Watch “Young and Innocent” and “To Catch a Thief.”

Want to know why blondes and noir go together like white on rice?  Watch “To Catch a Thief,” “Vertigo,” and “North by Northwest.”

Want to know who did the orange dress first?  Watch “North by Northwest.”

Want to know how to wear a backless dress with ultimate panaché?  First, lose 20 lbs.  Then watch “North by Northwest.”  Shailene Woodley could probably do it, nach, if she’s still the same weight she was in during filming “The Descendants.”

Ever wondered what Martin Landau looked like when young?  What he looked like playing a thug?  Watch “North by Northwest.”  (He was so magnetic!  He and James Mason, both!  They almost oudid Cary Grant!  CARY GRANT!)


Cary Grant is stoop-shouldered and very very very thin.

The double entendré/ sex foreplay pillow talk between Cary Grant and Eva-Marie Saint in “North by Northwest” would have been shocking back then.  It is extremely exhilarating to listen to.  Not once is explicit reference made to a body part.

Self loved, loved, loved Eva-Marie Saint’s vulnerability.  She is the né plus ultra of vulnerable sex kittens.  An early Kim Basinger.

Over the course of two months, self has seen many, many Hitchcock movies (What a name for a famous director, come to think of it).  Her favorites are “Vertigo” and “North by Northwest.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

More Flowers! As Well as Another Passage from DON QUIJOTE

More Irises Blooming Today!

More Irises Blooming Today!

Happy Easter, All.

Self is about a third of the way through Don Quijote (the translation by Burton Raffels).  It is epic.  Going from Anna Karenina to this (bypassing War and Peace) was the right decision, after all.

Here’s a passage self read this morning, from Volume 1, Chapter 38.  It happens to be about war and about Don Quijote’s reflections on gunpowder —  an infernal invention that forever killed nobility and knighthood.  Self finds it very moving:

Those were indeed blessed times which knew nothing of demoniacal cannonading ‘s ghastly fury, the inventor of which must be in Hell, receiving his due reward for so fiendish an invention, which allows a vile, cowardly arm to pluck the life out of a brave knight, who without knowing how it happens, or from whence it comes, and in the full sway of that courage and energy which burn in brave hearts, is struck by a wandering bullet, fired, perhaps, by someone who fled in panic at the roar and glare when he touched off his cursed machine, thus cutting short and forever ending every thought, and indeed the very life, of one who deserved to live all through the long ages.  And when I think of this I must say that my heart is heavy, having taken on this profession of knight errantry, in an age as loathsome as that in which we now live, because although I am myself afraid of nothing, nevertheless it makes me regretful to think that gunpowder and tin may deprive me of the chance to acquire fame and great reputation, across the known world, for the courage of my arm and the keenness of my sword.

Polka is about to bloom!

Polka is about to bloom!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Happy Easter/ Call for Submissions

Watched “North by Northwest” yesterday afternoon, thought Cary Grant was absolutely fabulous.  As was Eva-Marie Saint.  Of note:  Ms. Saint reminded self a little of Scarlett Johansson.  She is, so far, self’s favorite Hitchcock actress.  So much more alive and vibrant than the rather static Grace Kelly.

A friend invited self to the San Mateo Gem Show (No idea what that is, really) and self kept saying she would go, she would go, and in the end she did not go, she watched the Hitchcock movie.  Self wonders if she did the right thing — it’s the morning after, self feeling the usual insecurities, blah blah blah

She’s waiting for a decent hour to call son and wish him a Happy Easter.

In the meantime, there’s a Call for Submissions from Memoir Journal for a special issue on the theme of GUNS.  (Guns and Easter seem to go perfectly together, don’t ask self why).  Essays must be previously unpublished and may not exceed 6,000 words.  To be considered for a contest prize of $1,000, there is a $20 entry fee.  However, submitters who desire publication in the issue but do not want to be considered for the money prize do not have to pay a submission fee.  Deadline for submissions:  June 5, 2013.

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