Sunday, February 03, 2008


Martyrdom is a funny thing.

I see in the news where that charming social club known as Al Qa'eda is currently forcibly recruiting women with Down’s Syndrome to blow themselves up in Bird Markets – my, THAT should help their cause considerably.

(Say what you want about America, but in the same week on this side of the world we’ve watched as a young man, also challenged by Down’s, scored the winning point on his high school basketball team.

This either demonstrates the sound fundamentals of democracy in action, or that the women of Iraq need to work on their jump shots.)

While I don’t necessarily approve of self-immolation as a political act, I’m afraid that I can certainly understand the impulse ESPECIALLY after the past few weeks here at 801.

It started out with the Seasonal Holidays, of course, and the arrival of the various family members and friends from the four corners of the Earth.

There were some new faces this year , including long lost friend and principal founder of the Rosalind Russell Ex-Tippler Foundation "Nora"-

- as well as such usual suspects as the Duke and Duchess of Milton -

- whose annual invasion of the Guest Suite at 801 is, in its aftermath, rivaled only by that of the Japanese at Pearl Harbour.

But none of these can measure up to the impact of a very special addition to this year's menagerie, the installation of My Sainted Mother and Her Cavalcade of Luggage at a local hotel.

While one adores them all-

- one must admit that being the ringmaster to a houseful of wintry, sniffling refugees –

- not to mention hosting a six course dinner for thirty people on the 25th of December itself –

- requires an almost superhuman amount of energy, especially after having spent two solid months carving the cinematic equivalent of Stonehenge from the endless terrain of pine trees and cheap strip malls of sub-suburban Vancouver. Even though they all pitched in where they could –

- and heaven knows the gifts they brought along and placed at my “all-but-run-off” feet were much appreciated -

- the sheer chaos of the social collision between politics and social causes -

- was alone more than enough to drive even someone with my Gandhi-like patience to drink.

(As I'm sure my Loyal Readers know, with the exception of my single daily, DOCTOR-prescribed, dose of Belvedere vodka - taken in the form of a single martini, with olive, promptly at 5:30 pm – I am practically a tea-totaller so you can imagine the stress I must have been going through!)

Thankfully, with a regimen of exercise and healthy diet, not to mention a full Catering Team-

- (my regular household staff have been unavailable, hunkered as they are around the Ticker Tape machine I installed for them out in the East Cabana; the roller coaster of the current Stock Market has them all very nervous, and Panton hasn’t slept in days so he’s COMPLETELY useless around the house!) Christmas was from all reports one of the highlights of 2007.

Everyone from faded fashion models-

- through marginally bitter ex-child stars -

- on to slightly disappointed un-kept women -

- seemed to have a good time.

And although one never wishes to use subterfuge during the Holidays, the subtle addition of an extra ounce or two of alcohol in the beverages of one's more "trying" family members is always advised, if for no other reason than to make sure they stay seated during the entire meal.

Even our charmingly lascivious Chef enjoyed himself, although we had to peel him off several of our more attractive guests.

This was done for his own good, of course; most of those were actors and, as such, were likely carrying some sort of communicable disease picked up at one of their “classes” during some touchy-feely “trust exercise”.

I swear, the whole profession is just riddled with illness during the cold season and with all the hugging and kissing that goes on between thespians I don’t think we should be worrying about the Writers’ Strike crippling the entire motion picture and television industry as much as a Hollywood-centric outbreak of a particularly virulent strain of the flu.

Speaking of actors, we recently found ourselves at an elegant black tie soiree for a local branch of the English Speaking Union - - whose purpose on this night was to raise money for a high school Shakespearean Festival.

While I am not necessarily a big fan of The Bard – I find all of his rhyming and couplet-ing a bit precious, and how about a happy ending once in awhile, Will? – I wholeheartedly support any venture which keeps children from speaking as if they were raised by “rap singers”.

The MC for the evening was my favorite local radio personality
Grammy winner Mr. Don Wardell of our own KWXY-FM here in the desert.

I’ve spent more hours than I'd care to admit floating in the pool, cocktail in hand, listening to his wonderful choice in music and hearing stories from his years in the industry, so it was an absolute thrill to meet the fellow and discover he is as witty and urbane in person as he sounds on the air. And then, as if the evening couldn’t become any more memorable, who should end up sitting beside the BF and myself but Show Business Legend Miss Carol Channing?

Still stunning at eighty something in her “Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend” dress, Doctor (yes, she has received a Doctorate, although I didn’t want to pry and ask whatever for?) Channing and her wonderful husband Harry couldn’t have been lovelier tablemates and we spent the better part of the evening gossiping about how Hollywood isn’t really going downhill as much as its dirty laundry is now being aired daily by those dreadful “entertainment news” programs.

(Congratulations, by the way, to That Certain Actress of My Acquaintance, currently in rehab, for calling out That Pretentious Director at the Awards Show; he WAS going on and on, and dinner certainly wasn’t getting any warmer…)

The evening was a success apparently, with some significant money raised for the cause, but it seems that our appearance at the event has now opened the floodgates and we are currently on the Guest List for Every Important Event happening this season.

While it all sounds simply too delightful – and goodness knows that nobody adores slipping into his Donna Karen formals quite like yours truly – the truth of the matter is that these things really aren’t that very far removed from that woman I met on the street last summer, playing her flute to raise money to buy herself a glass eye. (See previous blog “My Glass Eye” for details.)

Now Dear Reader, I know what you’re thinking. After the locomotive ride which has been His life these past twelve months, surely He has given enough of Himself to the world, and perhaps it’s time to just slow down a bit, smell the roses around 801 as it were?

As wonderful as that would be, of course, I’m afraid it’s simply impossible. You see, as long as there is even one single corner of darkness left in one single human heart, it is the job of people like me to light the candle of Glamour and Excitement and cast those shadows away. And if it means I must sacrifice a bit of my own happiness well then so be it.

If that sounds like I’m being a Martyr, well, I certainly can't put myself on the same level as Gandhi. After all, my sarong is vintage St. Laurent--

- whereas his is obviously "off the rack", which already gives him a head start toward Martyr-ship.

But perhaps I can make up for it...with a quick trip down to the Bird Market.


OpenID SandraMontgomery said...

Oh my, it must be fate. Of all the rappers to choose from, you picked the one I am interviewing tomorrow to work on a show with. God help me.

Love you!

Sandra xo

1:23 AM  
Blogger hot-lunch said...

lovely Herman Miller chair!

Nelson tells me you have a lot of tiki in your place too! i've got these original "Oriental" figurines from the 60s that would fit in nicely; i should send those over to you!

8:24 AM  

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