Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Holiday Season is almost over ... Thank Gawd!

OK, so I have just about had enough of family. That is adult children and their kids, siblings, extended family, etc. You get the picture.

Why do we put ourselves through this torture every year? It must be fun for someone but for most of us it is an endless procession of social obligations that we endure. As I sat in on the Christmas Day Poker Bingo, I was struck as to how bored I was. It is time to start some new traditions. Like travel. Next year I propose to be at least a thousand miles away from this holiday charade. That is my New Year's resolution.

You be my witness.
Countess Bedelia 12/29/2005 06:03:00 PM | 2 comments |

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, NYC

On Monday night, December 12th, I went to The Met to see the debut of a new opera, An American Tragedy. This is an American opera, sung in English, based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser. This story was made into a movie in the 1960s I think, A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.

Lincoln Center at Christmas is lit up like a fairy castle. White lights on all the bare branches of the trees and the beautiful fountain in the courtyard all give a feeling of holiday magic. The Met is all maroon velvet and gold; just a feeling of elegance and majesty. The fact that the back of the seat in front of you gives you all the words with a touch of a button just adds to the magic.

The opera itself was a bit of a disappointment. For all the drama and angst in the story, it didn't translate into any real heart-wrenching arias. All three leads had opportunities for a show-stopping aria but it never materialized. The best song was sung by a secondary character, Clyde's mother Elvira. She got the best ovation of the night so I guess the audience agreed with her.

In spite of the disappointment in the opera itself, my visit to The Met was memorable and a real joy. This kind of entertainment is so wonderful that I am amazed that it has gone out of style. So much drama, pageantry, and angst go into an opera. The daily soaps are just cartoons compared to it. Ah, pop culture, you are such a desert wasteland.
Countess Bedelia 12/19/2005 11:49:00 PM | 0 comments |

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Brokeback Mountain - You Have to See It!!

Brokeback Mountain

An incredible movie! A must see movie! The kind of movie that makes you laugh and cry and gasp and sob.

The movie is faithful to the beautiful short story written by Anne Proulx. The acting by Heath Ledger as Ennis DelMar and Jake Gyllenhall as Jack Twist is worthy of Oscar nominations. The photography of the magnificent vast country where their love story takes place is breathtaking.

The direction of Ang Lee is subtle and understated; very true to the image of the silent cowboy; the Marlboro Man….riding herd across vast amounts of territory. Two young men spend a summer together up in the high country in complete isolation as they tend to the grazing sheep. The real world fades from view and anything is possible. Two men who have no words to express their feelings, only physical action, often brutal and primal; with the unexpected breakdown which shows the anguish they both feel when the summer ends and they have to part. In the end their relationship spans 20 years. As Ennis says, “This thing has no reins.” It was ‘til death do us part’.

Seeing the movie with two friends who share most of my political views definitely contributed to my enjoyment and then add in seeing the movie in New York City in a theater in Chelsea and you have the ultimate viewing experience. When the movie ended with a shot of the entwined shirts nailed to the inside of Ennis’ closet with the postcard of Brokeback Mountain pinned next to them, I gave Kleenex to several people sitting around me and I knew I was in the right place.

As we sat in a little bistro and enjoyed a late supper after the movie, we agreed on most points. Ang Lee’s direction was tight. The repressed emotions felt by both men were shown with sublety. Heath Ledger played Ennis perfectly, IMO. He played a silent man yet there was no doubt as to his feelings of love, confusion, longing, and resignation to his fate. Jake Gyllenhall is pretty!...and an excellent actor too LOL!

The movie is showing now in NYC, LA, and SF. It is being distributed to other cities next week, I believe.
Countess Bedelia 12/11/2005 06:15:00 AM | 0 comments |

Monday, December 05, 2005

Time for a new outlook since......

I went to the Cliffhouse Spa in Ogunquit, Maine for the Thanksgiving holiday long weekend. Four days of massages, facials, etc. have rejuvenated my body and renewed my spirit. I recommend it to everyone.

First up was a Stress Relief Massage. This combines aromatherapy with a comprehensive muscle massage. After 80 minutes I guarantee you will be reduced to a blob of jelly. I like to sip herbal tea and retreat to a quiet zone after a treatment like this.

Next the customized facial. The perfect way to start the winter season. Lift all the dry skin and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Ocean views from our room also contributed to the soothing ambiance. We saw stormy seas, calm seas, blinding sunshine glinting off the waves, and the constant background hum of the waves crashing against the cliffs. A wonderful memory.

Next, a few days in New York City. The theater, the opera, and the movie, Brokeback Mountain. And maybe a gay club to spice up the visit.
Countess Bedelia 12/05/2005 11:03:00 PM | 0 comments |