Think Good Thoughts About a Pussy Cat.

On the last day of Winter, Taffy did his final Roll of the Season:





Then Top Cat and I made dinner and packed it into a picnic basket with bottle of champagne and we took ourselves to the shores of the Long Island Sound. The wind off the water was bracing, and not a bit Spring-like, and the champers was ice cold and the gourmet sandwiches were tasty (but everything taste great on an Equinox picnic at sun set).

Watching the sun set over a body of water is good for smoothing out the mental ruts of worry and despair that is the groove of the day in Trump’s America.

If a Democrat had said half of what Trump’s been shitting out about John McCain, Fox News would be screaming non-stop Off With His Head… but Trump can even lie about McCain and nobody on the right whispers so much as a tut tut.

If a non-white mass mass murderer had killed 50 Christians and called Obama his inspiration, the Senate would immediately call themselves God’s Warriors and declare a holy war on every black and brown person in the world…but the Christchurch shooter can name Trump explicitly as his white nationalist guiding light, and the Republicans are all, “Words! It’s only words! Only crazy people think words have meaning!”



So we watched the sun set over the Bronx and talked about our travel plans for 2019. We have not yet hammered out which way we want to go once we head off the Orkney isles…to the left? To the right? Or should we journey straight ahead, down the Highland Main Line to Glasgow? Ah, Scotland. Maybe this is the year that I’ll get Top Cat to buy a kilt.

Speaking of Scotland, which is the birthplace of golf, which makes me think of my miniature golf event at the local library, which makes me think that I have devoted way too much of my life on this event, I have recently discovered that when I thought that fund raising was the hard part, I was wrong. I have raised $14,050 for the Friends of Bryant Library so far (and yes, it’s a record about of money), and although that was not easy, now that I am in the “management” phase of getting this event off the ground, I am working even harder. Soliciting press coverage by pitching stories to newspaper and TV, sending out PR announcements, lining up volunteers to staff the event, getting approval for library staff overtime, making sure that all our sponsors get their due in press materials, etc.

It’s taken me three days just to deign a scorecard for the golfers, because it has to have all our sponsors’ logos on it and trading down all those pixels from a dozen entities is, to say the least, time consuming. And I’ve never designed on the computer before. And I probably never will again. I am looking forward to the end of this event, and all the free space that will open up in my head and in my daily schedule.

And then I can concentrate on the new incarnation of Project Runway — yay! It’s back on Bravo!

I will miss Tim Gunn, but I’ve loved Christian Siriano ever since he let Rami Kashou carry him into the workroom in a handbag. (Season 4, and Chrisitan is really small.) Karlie Kloss, the model who is married to Jared Kuchner’s brother, is taking over hosting duties from Heidi Klum and she seems to be rather bland, but maybe she’ll get some juice once the series gets rolling.

(If you have not seen the utter creepiness of dips hit Ivanka Trump’s “congratulation” of Karlie in a video she posted, do yourself a favor and watch it here.)

I love watching Project Runway because I am 63 years old and I still have not learned how to shop for clothes. I still buy stuff that I will never wear, and I buy stuff that I shouldn’t wear. I really shouldn’t wear a light green and gray fleece jacket is ugly and boxy, and I should never have bought it but it looked warm, and I wear it as a last resort when all the good stuff is in the hamper. I’ve been seen in public in this ugly fleece. I look terrible in it.

Two years ago I bought an incredibly spiffy Calvin Klein jacket that I have yet to put on and take out. This is it:

OMG, I LOVE this jacket! It fits like it was made just for me, but I don’t know where to wear it to. Maybe I just like having it around, to remind me of some other, more stylish Vivian I could be.

Truthfully, I dislike 90% of what I wear every day, so I’d like to design my own clothes and feel well-dressed no matter what I’m doing. And I think that if I watch enough Project Runway, I will learn something useful about fashion.

Now let’s turn to something I DO know.


This came in last week in a donation to the used book store that I manage:

I am dearly bored by anything having to do with Paris in the 1920s but this little sticker caught my attention:

There is no library marking any where on the book, but it does have five little stamped dates inside the back cover which I assume are Due Dates. I wish I knew from which private, pay library our donor had stolen this book from.

This is a first edition, published in 1950 by Doubleday & Company, right here on Long Island. I checked…it’s not worth anything. True to form, tho, the author’s photo takes up the entire back cover:

In case you can’t read the text beneath the pensive, and k d lang look-alike, Mr MacCown, here it is:

Last year Alice B. Toklas said to a friend passing through Paris, “Gertrude used to wonder and I still do why Eugene doesn’t write his memoirs which would be so much better than all the books by bright young men about Paris whose authors didn’t really know anybody and Eugene knew everybody and has so many more stories to tell which were all unbelievable and all perfectly true.”

So of course I had to look him up. And Eugene Macon really was quite the Man About Town! This is Google-translated from French  Wikipedia (he doesn’t have an American Wikipedia page):

**Arriving from Missori in Paris in 1921 where he attended the artistic and literary bohemian of the Roaring Twenties and in particular Nancy Cunard, of  which he paints a portrait in 1923, Jean Cocteau who meets this “teenager with long hands, who walks like a panther and has animal eyes “, or Rene Crevel, whom he met during the winter of 1923-1924  and became his lover. Emmanuel Pierrat remarks that in the same way McCown deeply fascinates Bernard Fay  : “Mac Cown is the exemplary incarnation of these American angels who fascinate … His amorous gifts, no less than his cruel frivolity, appear to merge into a magnetism of which [Bernard Fay] have been the beneficiarie as much as the martyr. ”

A figure in the Montparnasse district and its cafés such as La Cupole, the Dome, or the Select, he moved to a studio on Rue Campagne Premiere, where he became a successful painter at theEcole de Paris. From that time, like René Crevel and Nancy Cunard, the features of Eugene McCown remain known to us by the photo-portrait by Man Ray.**

Eugene and Nancy Cunard in Capri, c. 1925


The only MacCown painting I could find in color, called The Spanish Woman.

Well, from his dippy author photo I can’t see the “magnetism” that made the artistes of Paris swoon, even though it’s taken by a noted fancy- art photographer named Lotte Jacobi. And, yeah, MacCown should have written his memoirs! Because they’d be a whole lot more scintillating than this tepid roman a clef, a synopsis of which I read in Gay American Novels, 1870 – 1970, A Reader’s Guide, by Dewey Wayne Gunn which relieved me of any desire to read this book.

And that’s the week that was. It was a little boring for me (not typical), a lot tragic for our civilization (as usual), and excruciatingly frightening for our planet (which is the norm these days). I hope 5 o’clock comes early today so I can go to my Happy Place, which is anywhere that a glass of wine can take me, preferably to a place where  Top Cat is wearing a kilt, Urquhart tartan, please.

Have a great weekend, Dear Readers. I think we might have reached the critical mass of Stupidity, and things can only get better, and that’s what I believe.

And to those on the other side of the world, for showing America and the planet how decent and honorable and giving a society, and humanity, can be in times of violence, anger, and sorrow:


God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.


12 Comments, RSS

  1. Megan

    Well it’s a great sentiment…’I think we might have reached the critical mass of Stupidity, and things can only get better, and that’s what I believe.’ I just get bitten on the bottom each time I have a nice trip int he car and comment ‘isn’t the traffic light it’s all going so well’ that’s when Murphy sticks his oar in. Still I hope you are correct! Love to see Taffy have a roll so I guess he is well into his spring rolling schedule? Yes yes mad men but also terrorists and I think no one should be armed but I like your sentiment and it does follow the previous rules of arming teachers etc. Who will look after the cats while you are in the Orkney’s? Wish I lived closer.

  2. Casey

    Now that Spring is here it will be hard to tear Taffy away from his nice warm rally dirt patch. And those are the moves I do after my second margarita.

    Oh well, what to say about Trump’s stupidity and vulgarity that hasn’t already been said by smart, decent, kind people the world over. Thanks for the laughs because if I didn’t laugh I’d cry.

    What a great jacket! You would look great in it, like Mrs. Peel from way back. I don’t think there is anything stylish about these days so I look to the suave ladies of the Mod era, when nobody twerked or tattooed their face.

    That author sounds like Zelig, always where the action’s at. He did a disservice by not writing his memoir.I agree that his author photo is rather creepy but he looks very fetching, in his pullover, with Nancy Cunard. She must have been a ton of fun to hang with. I hope Mr Maccown had a happy life, I love his quest for adventure, which is what all those Americans in Paris were after in the 1920s. Midwesterners who wanted to be artists had to find themselves in Paris. I wonder where they go today? To Silicon Valley?

  3. Casey

    And I want to add my heart to your message to the good people of New Zealand. That’s what greatness looks like, Mr. Trump.

  4. OK — I will be back later to really read this post after a fast scan. And to go back to the past two because life has come totally unglued for me here in the past week or two and I’m behind on the world. But I just want to clarify something first —

    When Taffy did his final roll of the season, it’s just THIS past season (winter) and not ALL seasons, right? I mean — Taffy is just fine, right? Please?

    I’ll be back.

  5. Marg-o

    Congratulations on your fund rising. $14,000 is amazing!! You deserve a nice trip to Scotland as reward. Thank you for the Taffy roll, and for the Trump memes. It feels good to laugh at the guy its a change from wanting to strangle him six times a day. and what a find in the book. Look where it leads us today, back to Paris and the unlit hip, od which there was never a better time to be chic and beautiful and artistic. I think that’s why Paris in the ’20s still resonates.

    Happy Spring. Happy Fall, to all our friends down under.

    And the people of New Zealand are my heros.

  6. Vivian, I’m intrigued by that book. Do you do internet sales? I’d buy it and read it! E-mail me at

    Love the photos of Taffy and I’m glad you had a nice outing to the Sound with a bottle of champers. Sounds really nice!

  7. Bunny

    All I can say is here here ! Trump is so dumb regarding McCain Shows his overall weakness.
    Welcome spring— will we all be reborn?
    NZ passes a ban immediately on asaault weapons while the us continues to debate the topic. Really? There s not enough evidence against guns yet?

  8. Kirra

    Happy final winter roll Taffy! Your picnic view looks nice, I always think it’s a great idea to pack the champagne and food have a sunset picnic when you do it, but I haven’t managed it yet.

    New Zealand are the best, they put us Australians and most other people to shame. Thanks for the laughs about Trump, it is the best thing to do. You sound like you are working full time on the mini golf at the library, I hope it’s a success and you can enjoy your time back soon. Maybe wear the jacket to that event?

    I’m hoping to visit Scotland for the first time this year as well, enjoy your trip planning!

  9. Patricia

    I spent a blissful (but extremely sweaty) two weeks on the Amazon river in Brazil. Technically the Rio Negro and the Solimoes, but let’s just go with Amazon. No English language newspapers. No internet until we got back to Manaus. I did not hear nor see the name Trump. And I was happy albeit dripping with sweat.

    And I got to see pink dolphins.

  10. I love your spring celebration and your Trumpeting this week. Good finds all. And to me that book sounds a little bit fascinating though I have to agree about the author’s photo.

    All right. Now I’m caught up and I will never miss four weeks again, no matter what disasters pop up!

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