Saturday, September 12, 2009


Been thinking a bit about style lately. Not just because that's my moniker on the blog, but because it reaches so deeply into what matters to me on a personal level, and how the world runs, in general. Not by some stupid designer label, or some fad or fashion..ugh, how pedestrian do we have to get?

No, I'm talking about grace and the way people conduct themselves these days. I having some hard moments with this.

Style does not exist without grace. Nope. Nada. No go.

I once had an idea of starting a web business to help men with their style. You have no idea how many incredibly successful men- as in household name successful- have no idea about how to behave with grace and elegance. They really don't have a clue. Can buy a small country but can't hold a fork or a conversation. Don't know how to treat people with dignity.

Before we get into this one, don't think for a minute I think that this subject has anything to do with one's station in life. Quite the contrary. I've seen gardeners with more grace than the guy who owns Viacom. ( I swear to you, I had to knock that idiot down a few pegs once, but that's another story...)

This all started a few weeks ago when I went to a play called "Legally Blonde." I know, I know, sounds torturous, but the real torture came at intermission. I was standing in line amongst, oh, say, 45 other females- most of them under 15 years old, and with the exception of myself and two others, EVERYONE was on their cell phone, either yapping or texting. There we were, having a theatre experience in one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in L.A., and these ninnies and their pathetic Lindsay Lohan mother types were completely checked out, texting. To say I was horrified is the understatement of this year. Was there really anything monumental to report? Honestly?

I live in L.A. I deal with the vulgarities of wannabes everyday. I grit my teeth through the horror of standing next to people yapping into their cell phones in the tiny elevators at Neiman Marcus. I cringe at the Euros haggling, in their gold lame spandex and Helen Keller couldn't miss it make-up and hair- on a regular basis. I don't like bad manners, fake boobs, fake lips, lipo, eyelash extensions, bad facelifts. It's hard to avoid to avoid the painful effects of bimbos and himbos in their SUVs, (always single in their enormous vehicles while taking up two lanes, I might add), with their little pet store purchased puppy mill dogs as accessories, cutting everyone off as they adjust their make up/ check their sunglasses while texting/phoning/driving.  ARRHGGGHHHH!!!!


What has happened to let the other guy go in front of you? Open the door for someone, smile at someone, tell some elderly widow she looks pretty, just because that might be the only nice thing she's heard in years?

I can't figure out the illness of a Sarah Palin, or a Glenn Beck. I can't understand the twisted mess of a heart or psyche that claims to follow Jesus while they are too stingy to share their bounty. Nor can I understand some knob at the movie who thinks that sharing public space does not demand that they follow some sort of decent code of behavior, like shut off your phone, stop editorializing- you are not Rex Reed- and stop frantically checking your emails or texting through the film! Yes, nimrod, the blaring screen is distracting, forget about the ones who actually take's all the same- the entitled "I am more important than anyone else in my space, in fact I am unaware of anyone else in my space" rudeness. Yikes.

Oh, I know, this rant has a long way to go. It's like the Tourette's of blogs.. But I am trying to make a point. These things bother me. We're losing our grace.

I'm just sayin...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Integrity of Ugly

Everyone in the apartment complex that I that lived in knew who Ugly was.

Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and, shall we say, love. The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner. His tail has long ago been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch.

Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby, striped-type, except for the clumps of missing fur. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. "That's one UGLY cat!"

All of the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around his feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running, meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up, he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.

One day Ugly tried to befriend the neighbor‘s dogs. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly hurt. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tired to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was lying, it was apparent that Ugly's sad life was almost at an end. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home, I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. It must be hurting him terribly, I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering, and obviously dying, was trying to suckle my ear.

I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion. At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.

Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat there and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.

Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked and beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.

- Author Unknown

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 1

This is the beginning of (hopefully) an interesting adventure. OK, I know, a bit late starting, but I have viewpoints and Facebook is not where I want to put them. In starting this, I want every single reader (or that one single reader) to get this point clearly if you're jumping into the fray with me: ideas are just that- ideas. Thoughts. Formations. Something I have experienced/observed, obviously from where I'm seeing it.

We lost Ted Kennedy today. And Dominick Dunne. Both suffered unspeakable losses, and both moved forward, working to make life better for others in very, very different ways. One a fiercely private man who lived publicly, the other an open book, as it were. Both captivated us at one time or another with their stories, and I for one will miss them.