Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Of Rising Metaphors and Rococogasms

"Busy is as busy does." Wait. Is that it or is it "Pretty is as pretty does"? That's it, that sounds better.
Seems there have been a lot of parties and a lot of interesting travel opportunities for yours truly over the last several months, It all started with a particularly splendid party held each year in New Orleans attended by only the people that can trace their lineage back to 18th century France and had a relative that perished by the guillotine during "The Rein of Terror".
It's quite charming actually, everyone wears red ribbons tied around their necks and it is held on October 16th, the anniversary of the day the Queen of France Marie Antoinette Jos├Ęphe Jeanne de Habsbourg-Lorraine met her fate.
This year it was held in the ballroom in a private house in the French Quarter. The room had been recently restored to it's original Louis-Louis Rococogasm style, you know the look, all 18th century gold mercury guilt and ceilings with painted skies with chubby little cherubs swooping about like pterodactyls that is so popular here.
There was a lovely young Franco-Japanese man at the party by the name of Kyou, (I think it's a Japanese unisex name meaning "apricot,") who was interviewing a few of us for a magazine, the name of which escapes me at the moment, (it's something like "Vellum" or "Papyrus") but here is a little taste of the interview... gagging is encouraged.
Kyou: "So 'le C', what’s your drink of choice?
Me: "Hmm. Well, besides the blood of robust virile men, which is more of a medicinal thing anyway, I suppose if I had my druthers, I would only drink Framboise Lambic, which is a raspberry-flavored, frothy, garnet Belgian ale that tastes like unicorn tears."
Kyou: "Do you collect anything?"
Me: "Collect? Let's see... maybe a few odds and ends... There's the Medieval embroidery, 'gently used' murder weapons- knives are most desirable, human bones- skulls with a nicely symetrical pterygoid process are a favourite, all things Hello Kitty, the milk teeth of particularly beautiful children, vintage couture, overly dramatic religiosa- you know like divinely gruesome Spanish 18th century crucifixes, depictions of the Anima Sola or Saints that were martyred in an interesting fashion, unredeemed gift certificates, vanitas paintings, jewels with curses, other peoples husbands... just teasing, I was just checking if you were listening."
Kyou: "Hanging on every word."
Me: "Oh goody."
Kyou: "I was invited here tonight thinking that it was a birthday party. Will anyone here actually be guillotined tonight?"
Me: "Sadly no, but a lot of these people will wake up tomorrow wishing that they had lost their heads. Have you tried the punch?"
Kyou: "I have. Wow."
Me: "That's why they call it punch."
Kyou: "Truly. And what are some of your most memorable birthdays?"
Me: "Well now, I missed my birthday when I was five- I was in a coma because I had been struck by lightning a few months earlier, after that missed birthday my parents gave me an 'Un-birthday' party every month, except for the month of my real birthday of course..."
Kyou: "Oh my thats's terrible, but it sounds like a lot of 'Un-birthdays' over the years... any other memorable years?"
Me: "Oh sure! Let's see, on my 10th birthday I met my first boyfriend, when I was 15 I received a full scholarship to NYC Ballet, on my 20th birthday I was homeless yet had a net worth of three million dollars, On my 25th birthday I spent the evening stuck in a limousine -that broke down in the freezing weather- with Joan Rivers of all people, On my 30th birthday I asked for a Mercury Cougar, -I was enthralled with the new trapezoidal waterfall grille and "cat's-eye" headlamps- but instead my mom presented me with a cougar cub, -I named him Murphy- I have his photo here in a locket, Adorable huh? He was rescued after some hunters killed his mother, I thought about calling him Bambi... Anyway, when my Grandmother finally lost her mind she would strip down to her scanties and wrestle with Murphy out in the formal gardens, Oh the times they had, I can still see them romping through the bougainvillea..."
Kyou: "Indeed?"
Me: "Hmm. On my 35th birthday, I was supposed to assasinate Count Whatshisname.... oh, blah blah blah. Now I'm bored with birthdays, shall we change the subject?"
Kyou: "Absolutely. Others here have told me about your delightful sense of style and your devotion to beauty as well as something you call 'radiant decay' can you tell me what that is?"
Me: "I think the concept of what is beautiful is being forced upon us. I believe what is considered beautiful is usually decided equally by the times we live in as well as the products their makers want to sell us. I believe that most of the consuming population believes beauty can't exist without it's opposite- like good cannot exist without evil. I believe decay is beautiful. as winter is as beautiful as spring. I believe the children are our future. No, not really.
When I see some thing or some beautiful person, I have an automatic response in which I see its/their entire lifespan, from inception to disintegration- If it is a beautiful sculpture, painting, or piece of furniture for that matter, I see in my mind its creation from raw materials all the way through its descent into dust-It's the same with people. I will meet or observe some one and immediately and simultaneously see their progression through life- as a child, in their prime and as a dessicated corpse. It's quite unnerving actually- But this also makes my perception of what is 'beautiful' somewhat askew, as I see breath-taking beauty in imperfection. When I meet a true beauty for the first time I will be both fascinated and frustrated with them until I find a flaw of some sort- the bigger the better- it's only then that I can truly accept them and relate to them- it sounds awful I'm sure, but honestly, who really wants 'true perfection' in a friend or loved one? the same goes for things. I totally understand the concept behind the artisan incorporating a flaw in an Amish quilt, but I suppose that is another story all together- and 'Radiant Decay'? It is the state in which you see the real beauty of things- the rose that is just past full bloom, the man that is just at his prime, oozing sensuality, architecture that has been weathered by the ages- patina! Viva Patina! That's what I say..."
Kyou: "So you don't believe in plastic surgery?"
Me: "Oh no.. I mean yes! If someone wants that it's up to the isn't it? It is their body after all. Until they are dead that is, then they become something like public domain. And besides that, face-lifts, botox and that sort of thing are about artifice isn't it? And I am all for that.
Kyou: "And for you?"
Me: "And for me what?"
Kyou: "Plastic surgery?"
Me: "No, I quite like watching time slowly having its way with my face. But it's fashionable to complain about ones looks though isn't it?"
Kyou: "It is. Is your 'look' something that you have created over time?"
Me: "I suppose so. I think all of us create ourselves over a period of years or even every morning for that matter. It is natural to want to emulate what we find attractive in others. Strength, fragility, its all up to the individual."
Kyou: "Do you think beautiful people have the advantage in the world?"
Me: "Naturally. Beauty is the great emancipator. We put way too much faith into it. Anything we think of as beautiful is automatically thought to be 'good'. We expect beautiful people to have grace and dignity. We expect babies and puppies to smell good -always. We expect that beautiful things have been made by people who, if not beautiful physically, to have beautiful souls. We expect beautiful acts of generosity to have no under-layer of self-interest. Because these expectations are unshakable, they might be called convictions. It may be confusing when expectations go unmet, but it is disturbing when convictions are shown to be mistaken.
Here's an example. I received a huge bouquet of out of season flowers that sat on the table for several weeks. The entire life cycle of a flowers seems - to me anyway, so poetic, it pleased me to no end every time I looked at them, because even their decay seemed glamorous. The enjoyment ended when I went, last week, to refill the crystal vase in which the flowers stood I found gooey black mold at the tips of the branches and a smell of confined, humid life. It smelled like the combined smells of a dumpster behind a Chinese fast food restaurant, the underside of a bathmat and a week long unwashed uncut penis. Begrudgingly the flowers soon went into the trash and the trash went out to the curb. So you see, although I enjoyed the beauty of the flowers entire life cycle visually, the stench of decay was off-putting -even to me. And I wasn't about to have 'dead flower stink' ruin my day or my memory of the flowers. Are you with me so far?"
Kyou: "I am struggling, but yes. You seem to have strong convictions."
Me: "As a human, I like convictions reinforced as often as possible, even if that means editing my way through life. Edit, edit edit."
Kyou: "Are you saying you want to see this interview before it goes to print?"
Me: "Exactly."


A Curious Feeling
2 oz gin
1 oz Angostura® bitters
2 oz orange juice
1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
1 oz Mott's® clamato juice
1 tsp brown sugar
Combine dry gin, bitters, coffee liqueur, and orange juice in a mixing glass and stir. Decant contents into a microwave-safe container and microwave for 30 seconds. Add ice to a blender and pour contents of container into it. Add clamato juice and brown sugar, cap container, and turn blender on. When mixture has the consistency of a frozen drink, pour into highball glass. Garnish with straw, a dash of kosher salt, and peppermint leaves.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man