Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Magnificent Millie Jackson

Today I was reminded of Millie Jackson, who I love. Drama is the fuel on my bonfire of life and few musical offerings contain as much of the stuff as on Millie's two magnificent albums of the 1970s, 'Caught Up' and 'Still Caught Up'. If I had the cash and connections I would turn these albums into a musical stage show to rival Dream Girls and trample all over 'Chess' etc.

The 'Caught Up' duo tells the story of the Mistress, the Wife and the Husband. Millie sings both female parts and  so do I, alone with my ancient cd player and sometimes out loud around the apartment. The sheer tenderness, fury, bitterness and power emanating from these albums is almost visible.  It is time to resurrect these songs, bring them forth and at least make the musical movie. It's not up to me though.

Does anyone know Beyonce or Mary J?

Saturday, February 19, 2011


More on this Fergie business - maybe Wills just doesn't want her there. If so, fair enough.

If it's about that 'selling access to the Royals' scam though, well honestly, they are all at it. Assorted in-laws & out-laws on both sides have, to my certain  knowledge, been busily approaching media outlets promising 'access' to the world's hottest couple.

Just saying.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011


A DIVORCE CAKE - the latest way to celebrate a legal unshackling

Well, I say celebrate. None of the three women I went out for a drink with this week, whose husbands have divorced them, were celebrating. Divorce, among the parents at my kids school is a way of life. In fact, I meet lots of women here, aged 40-plus with husbands either threatening it or instigating the big 'D'. For the three girls I went for a drink with this week, two of them cited the same reason for their divorce 'he wanted to date again'. Pardon????!!!!!!

Bubbling under New York's 'high society' is the constant fear of being divorced. It's one reason why women work so hard to maintain their looks. The race to own a wealthy bloke in NYC is blatant and cut-throat among a lot of women, professional/working/whatever. The scene is more like you might find at a football club or on a sinker estate than in the 'upper echelons' of society. I am not making myself very clear but let me try harder: all those bankers want perfect trophy wives. The wives pander to this. There doesn't seem to be much depth to many of the marriages I come across. This is a huge, sweeping generalisation of course and I do know lots of happy couples too. However, on an everyday level, I've met quite a few women now, who have just been dumped. The divorce laws are OK, but ultimately, it's about more than material wealth. Of course I feel sorry for these women who end up broke and homeless by the time they are 50 (palimony for the kids dries up when they grow up) but they should have found some way to support themselves!

I am really, unpleasantly surprised by this little aspect of NYC life.  The New York Rumour that there are more single men than women is constantly peddled and permeates everyone, it's hateful. I've even been out to dinner with couples who, when I've complimented her on a great body or fabulous hair, the wife will whisper to me, 'I have to do it, I don't eat/have extensions - whatever, so he won't leave me'.  It's sad and depressing but seems to be the 'norm'.  Very disturbing and makes me feel like New York needs a Female Revolution. Similar to what's happening in Egypt. The women need to take to the streets and refuse to date the men. All women, from all walks of life must say NO or the situation will only worsen. Already, a lot of NY men are arrogant. Our banking special advisor emails me and says 'I need you to ring me and schedule and appointment' because he wants to sell me something. What? His attitude is purely sexist. I haven't met him and don't intend to. What I am driving at overall today is, despite all the feisty ladies in NYC I have discovered a sexist, unequal undertow, pulling at the psyche of the women of this city. I don't like it one bit.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No one knows what it's like....

When I was a student/younger person I used to get sore throats and tonsilitis the whole time. I had my tonsils out aged 19 but I still suffered for years especially just before a cold. Sometimes my throat hurt so much I just had to go to bed and mope until the pain, un-changed by whatever tablets I took, went away. On one such occasion I was lying in bed weeping and had written, on a piece of paper, for some reason 'No one knows what it's like'. I don't know why I wrote this,  I was just being dramatic as usual but my friend Jane came round to see me and found the note. 'What's all this?' she demanded and we ended up falling about. After about an hour of mutual, hysterical laughter, she probably made me a cup of tea, propped up my pillows then went home. That note has stayed with us, in our heads and now, whenever anyone has a sore throat, or an ailment of any kind, in our circle of trust, one of us (usually her) will say 'No one knows what it's like'.  It's not that funny to outsiders but it is to me. She just tweeted it because her throat is sore today and it's 1989 all over again......

TARGET YAY! (and Kanye West)

Maxine and I are going on Friday!

I get more excited about a trip to Target than anywhere else I ever go in NY. That's because I hardly ever go. I went once about this time last year to the Bronx branch by Yankee Stadium. Our car was new at the time. The men in the garage where we keep it started it for me, and following the sat-nav I made it through the mean streets to  Target. When I came out again I couldn't start it. I had to phone the fella who was at that time in Mexico, for instructions. It was dark and lonely in the Target multi-storey carpark and unable to start my brand new vehicle and it's fair to say I panicked. It put me off going for a while, despite the treasures to be found inside the big 'T'. I went to a CT branch with TheWomensRoom and F in the summer but I have not been since.

However, I am planning a trip this Friday morning. After putting out an APB I've found one accomplice and we'll be pushing our trolleys round on the big F to the R to the I to the D to the A to the Y!  Can't wait to get my hands on some $14.99 table lamps,  $1 tea-towels and teen-man-clothing. If you want Aeropostale/Polo-Rugby/Hilfiger buy it yourselves lads, Mummy's off to Target!  Will try and snap a little pic to post of us on our trip and will report back on all the fantabulous bargains we find. Yay, Target!


No-one causes more arguments in our house than Kanye West.

I.e I will overhear some rude words on musical equipment and ask my sons 'What's that vulgar nonsense?' One or the other will always answer 'Kanye'. Or, weekends, late night we'll be awoken by the slamming of the front door, then the pumping thud of you-know-who once more.

After the Taylor Swift thing I banged on about him quite a lot. Still do refer to this outrageous incident when I'm discussing SEXISM because that's what it was. KW felt that just being a big, noisy MAN gave him the right to scare Taylor into shutting up and handing over her award. I love Beyonce but for all her Single Ladies talk I believe she's a Man's Woman in a worrying way.  Oh anyway look, this is all just my opinion. BUT in the interests of interest I gave KW's Dark Fantasy a listen. Now I'm badly, sadly hooked. It's not for me, it's just not but it IS brilliant. Which leads to more tension at home, i.e: 'Don't even discuss it with me, Mum. I don't care what you think and don't want to talk about him with you EVER AGAIN etc, etc'.

 OK. Will now back out of teen's music life for good as it gets me nowhere. I know you're supposed to hate their stuff. The image of my Dad, while TOTP was on, asking if the legendary and badly under-valued Brian Connolly of Sweet was a boy or a girl cemented Brian in my estimation for ever. While there is no doubt about KW's sexuality, I'm officially backing off. Except to simply say that although his new album with Jay Z (named something like 'Our Throne') will be super-duper, it will also be Heavy Weather. I mean, modesty's not their thing is it? No reason why it should be, they are super rich squillionaires and charitable too, I'm just saying, ok?


The perfect Capuccino:  industrial strength brew seething beneath a frothy top

Coffee is such a way of life in the USA that I can't understand why it is so hard to find the perfect capuccino. There are two nice ladies at my local Hot n Crusty. One makes a perfect cappy, the other does not. After months of describing to Bad Capuccino Lady (BCL) how to make it, she has now got it. In that, she always hands me over to Good Capuccino Lady (GCL). There is no ill feeling involved and I never actually returned a cup or even complained, BCL just read my subtle, psychic signals. So now, if I get to the till and it's her turn to serve me, we pass on to the next customer in the queue, while I wait for GCL. This suits everyone, no-one is offended and I am getting the great cup of morning Joe I so richly deserve after two hours of teen-waking, dog-walking and international phonecalling trauma.

I'm going to a lunch today that I can't possibly discuss. Half of my life must remain schtum but look for a novel in about twenty years time by Montana Los Angeles Moonstone-John and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



I know, I know, it's stalkerish but I only have Jen's best interests at heart. Chelsea Handler is a Californian Z-grader. She's like Joan Rivers already, so what will she be like, aged 70 plus? I've tried to balance out my opinion of Chelsea by watching her show but it's pants. She's loud, crude and un-funny. A bit like that other American comedian she competes with, Somebody (think it's Kathy) Griffin. Both women are hard as nails, trailer-park-savvy and talk a lot about 'down there'. They both had Bravo shows but I think Griffin may have been kicked off. Oh, either way they are depressing old birds you'd expect to find in a bar in Vegas, if you were a sailor who'd got lost on shore leave and taken the train in-land instead of back to the dock.

If Jen is serious about her future she needs a PR overhaul. Otherwise, only Bravo awaits her. I hate to sound like the Mistress of Doom but I can't stress highly enough how much the Chelsea relationship must be harming her. What does Courtney think? Because she has been interestingly absent from Jen's dalliances with her NBF.  So has Sheryl Crow and new mum Christina Applegate. Many congrats to her by the way. All these lovely Jen friends are absent from Jen's life now that Chelsea's taken her over.  Come on Chris the Hairdresser, we need an intervention. Very clearly, Chelsea is taking over and will see to it that no-one gets close! Clearly a control freak with a lot of power over her inner circle, she's a person who bulldozes everyone else's objections. Fine in her own life but not in Jen's. Jen is vulnerable and still can't get love right, fodder for the bossy, controlling tactics of Chelsea.

Let's hope for some kind of bust-up when Jen discovers that Chelsea has booked them both to appear as the cabaret at a Cougar Convention in Ohio over Spring Break, then on to a mini-tour of Bar Rooms with Brawls across Minnesota in May.  For the love of Brad, somebody help her!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Young Elton - I'm in an Elton mood after reading the current Rolling Stone interview

OK, here comes a delusional bit of blogging from a fan. I don't love anyone like I love Elton John. I've never met him and therefore, my relationship to him is entirely fantasmagorical. Until he was 'outed' in the N.O.T.W - in 1976 or whenever, I loved him like a teen girl loves a popstar. After that I wrestled with a lot of concepts to do with growing up and decided to just carry on loving Elton more. I was so lucky when I bombed over to the UK in December unwittingly in time for Elton Weekend on the beeb!

Elton cares so much about his fellow human creatures, from his foundation, to the quiet giving no-one knows about and his generally loving nature, he is just lovely. Forgive him the odd tantrum, he's a genius for the Goddess's sake! Musically he has inspired all the best  pop musicians, from Axl Rose to Kanye West and Lady Gaga. I could go on here. In concert his voice is full of heartbreaking soul and spirit you can't help but be moved into wonderfully heavenly places when he's singing. I love all his music, old and new, though I struggled with 'Nikita'. On the other hand, those were the times we lived in...

EJ tells Rolling Stone this week so much poignant stuff for us fans. 'Levon' from the Madman album is one of his favourite songs, for instance.  OMG EJ, mine too!  Why? It's a dramatic, beautifully produced story. Just like his/my other fave from that album 'Indian Sunset'.  Growing up, these songs felt prolific and prophetic to me,  I was listening to something from the future that I couldn't quite grasp. Levon is about a lonely boy, raised in New York City - now I have sons and live here, it resonates even more. My boys grew up listening to the Madman album and have loved  'Indian Sunset' since they were babies. Sampled by Eminem on a posthumous Tupac hit, EJ's ethnic background is forgiven in this heartbreaking song.

So, after reading the Rolling Stone interview the time has finally come for me to leave my ordinary life behind and just follow Elton. I fancy myself as his official stalker,  think I'll just sit outside his home and eat cupcakes all day.  Because like all delusional fans, I see Elton as my unwitting guardian angel and here's why. When I was 13 I made my Dad take me to see Hull City play Watford just so that I could see Elton. Lucky enough to sit in the Director's box virtually next to him, I collected his Wrigley wrappers and still have them pinned in my scrapbook from the time. I didn't speak to EJ and barely looked at him as it was too embarrassing. Nor did I notice my future HUSBAND sitting on the other side of him. Because my spouse's Dad was a Watford official and travelled with them. I ended up giving birth to both of my children in Vicarage Road, one of them to the sound of the Watford FC crowd.

Before I met my hubby, I had a gay hubby I went everywhere with and he lived virtually at the end of Elton's driveway in Berkshire. He was also an Elton fan, the foundation of our close friendship. He was a pantomime dame, I a lonely, impoverished little hackette living alone in the Big City. That's almost an Elton song in itself.

When I married, the novelty of living near Watford (which we did) quickly wore off  but I did love the Elton connection. I used to love going home through Pinner and Northwood on the train and bought a piano from a shop opposite the pub where Elton played his first gig. In fact that was the only thing I liked about living in Hertfordshire and eventually I had to force a family move back to London for my sanity's sake. Elton had left, why shouldn't I?

Elton's American-inspired early albums cemented the USA in my heart. Although I miss friends and family, America feels like home to me now, thanks to Elton I was already living here in my imagination, years ago.


A celebrity in my favourite shopping spot: Barneys shoe dept (think it's Vanessa Hudgens)

'To have a barny' is a quaint, Northern term for a bust up, a hoo-hah, a row. Pardon my pun but I smell one brewing at 'top designer store' Barneys.

Sorry if you've heard this before but I am not a fan. The place is jaded and worn out looking, the minimal style is too stark and the clothes look sad, messy and droopy. I don't like the selections the Barneys buyers make from designer ranges and I don't rate the merchandising. The accessories and shoe departments, plus the top floor home decor areas are lovely but the rest of the store is blah.  I cannot believe they make any money at all from clothing sales in the Madison Ave flagship.

Enter a new boss. Out goes the old guard. In comes a new, gorgeous, stylish fashion director in the form of Amanda Brooks. She writes books on style, blogs for Vogue and knows what makes women look gorgeous. This is extremely heartening news for those of us who gave up on finding anything beautiful, unique or specially gorgeous clothing-wise in Barneys a long time ago.  Amanda looks lovely, let's hope she wants the same for her clientele.

Meanwhile, gossip-column fodder is already bubbling with the appointment of former W magazine art director Dennis Freedman as Creative Director. He replaces Simon Doonan who, the company is at pains to point out, remains a super stylish ambassador at large with a huge influence still on windows, styling etc.

Well Barneys management, I predict a riot. I predict more screaming, queening stand-offs over the Barneys visuals, creatives, windows and art than is to be found on the set of the new Real Housewives of Miami. Knowing as I do, the inner workings of the world of the Highly Fashionable, I know how precious those titles are and how much jostling goes on. What are the new managment thinking? Let's watch and see!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Parking made easy

The horrible snowbanks everywhere have one obvious advantage for the driver. Parking has never been easier. Many drivers, including this one here, just head into the snowbank, crash, then go to the shops. Proper parking and driving rules don't apply in the snow. By the way, it's not my car in the pic! Passing my test doesn't mean I EVER drive anywhere.

The snowbanks are now very high thanks to the rubbish beneath. No collections when the streets are snowy, you see. Question is, how long can it go on for? The pavement on our street is now a tiny canyon down through the middle of sky-high garbage cliffs. Horrid and very, very ugh!ly