Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

The Countess will once again be giving out prizes at the Rumpy's Tavern Costume Contest tonight. Who will compare with last year's winner.....Sir Stew, First Knight of the Berkshires, dressed up as The Countess and walked away with First Prize!!

What shall The Countess wear? Maybe I'll go as Mae West.....after all, Sir Stew looked damn good in this dress!

But the wind is blowing fiercely tonight and that hat might not make it into the Tavern! It is truly a spooky Halloween night here in the Berkshires.

Trick or treat!!!
Countess Bedelia 10/31/2009 05:15:00 PM | 0 comments |

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Finally -- Hate Crimes Bill passed into law

Ten years......10 years, people.

Read the story at the Human Rights Campaign website HERE.

"The Act - Assisting Local Law Enforcement

The act permits the government to provide grants and assistance to state and local authorities investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. The need for this provision is real, as demonstrated by the Matthew Shepard case.
When Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998, the Laramie, Wyo., police department requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice. Because crimes motivated by anti-LGBT bias were not covered in federal law, the department could not assist, and the prosecution was so expensive that Laramie had to furlough law enforcement officers. The act ensures that local law enforcement will have the resources it needs to address hate crimes."

Read Judy Shepard's statement on the Matthew Shepard Foundation website HERE.

".....Be open about who you are and who you love. Dispel stereotypes and assumptions. Tell your stories. And support the continued work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, and Acceptance."....."

Dennis and Judy Shepard with Obama

There is still much to do to ensure Equality for All, but getting the Hate Crimes bill passed is a big step toward future victories.
Countess Bedelia 10/28/2009 06:20:00 PM | 0 comments |

Monday, October 26, 2009

Castle Bedelia in the fall

I was just realizing today that it is 8 years since I bought the Castle Bedelia. I signed the P&S and put a deposit on it on a beautiful fall day just like today. That was September 10, 2001. The next day our world fell apart as two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and one more in a field in Pennsylvania. I remember feeling that if I could, I would take back that deposit and not leave my safe house.....the home I had shared with my husband, my beloved dog Mai-Ling, and my family. But my life had changed by then and there was no turning back. The death of my husband two years before, as well as my cousin and my dog, had caused a shattering in my personal world as cataclysmic as the events of 9/11 caused throughout the planet.

So I went through with the deal and haven't looked back since. One of the things that sold me on this place was the beautiful red maple in the back. Every year at this time I can't help but admire the display that Mother Nature puts on right outside my windows. Here is the Red Maple in all her glory......

The tennis court is deserted now and the pool has been covered for the winter. Soon the snow will cover it all.

Jose and his burro are enjoying the last days of warmth on the patio and there are still a few birds left to take a drink in the birdbath.....

And The Countess is enjoying my Red Maple on a beautiful fall day.

Countess Bedelia 10/26/2009 01:26:00 PM | 1 comments |

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Royal Court

On my way to the Petite Royale's Palace, I stopped at the party store to pick up some supplies. Matching feather boas, tiaras, and rings did the trick....

The Countess and the Baby Countesses in Training!

Countess Bedelia 10/25/2009 01:49:00 PM | 0 comments |

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Weekend at the Castle Bedelia

Finally..... a weekend at the Castle Bedelia!!! The servants hate it when I stay home for awhile....everything has to be polished and scrubbed. But the Castle is looking good and is ready for my overnight guest who will be arriving later this evening.

The carriage has been brought around and soon I will be on my way to see the Royal Granddaughters. Have you ever seen more beautiful girls?

They love 'The Countess'. Their father keeps trying to call me 'Grammy' but the girls insist on 'Countess'. I love it!

Later this evening my dear Alice will be coming for a sleepover. We have been friends for over 50 years.....can you imagine? We don't get to see each other too often now but when we do, it's like no time has passed at all.

Such a nice relaxing weekend......I needed a little break from traveling. Next weekend The Countess will be the 'Celebrity Judge' at the BEST Halloween party in the Rumpy's Tavern, of course. And then we will be off to New York City again. So I am enjoying this little respite while I can.

You all have a great weekend!!
Countess Bedelia 10/24/2009 03:43:00 PM | 0 comments |

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Franklin-Barry wedding weekend

The Countess is still in a state of euphoria from the wedding I attended last weekend. Also a state of exhaustion!! A three day party filled with lots of love, fun, and good people. I danced almost every dance!

The wedding was held at a beautiful farm in Connecticut.

The weekend started on Friday night with the rehearsal dinner party. With guests coming in from all over the country, anyone who was in town on Friday night was invited over to the cottage for a welcome celebration.

Tara and James, the happy couple at the rehearsal dinner party....

The family and friends of the bride and groom tend to be tremendously talented actors and musicians so the party quickly turned into an impromptu jam session....

Tara and her brothers, Jordan and David, getting ready to play....

Nancy and Andy, the proud parents of the groom....

Mark, the bride's father, plays one of his original compositions for Tara and James....

Tab, Dave (James' brother), and The Countess sit back and enjoy the show....

This little party at 'the cottage' started the weekend off. A lovely fun evening filled with so much great music and big smiles all around.

The wedding the next afternoon was held inside a tent on the terrace of the farmhouse. The bride's gown was specially designed for her by her friend, Olivera Gajic.

The ceremony was conducted by another friend, Jason, and their wedding vows included a promise to "never put together unassembled furniture in each other's presence". Yes, these two have a wonderful sense of humor.

During the cocktail hour and a half, I took this picture of John, the bride's stepfather, with the replica of the barn where the reception would be held. He made this at Tara's request to be used for the wedding cards.

Andrew and The Countess, all dressed up and looking fine.....

The Red Barn reception room was ablaze with lights and so elegant and beautiful....

The wedding cake......

It was a little chilly when we first entered the barn so I gave my fur wrap to Sara. She really vamped it up......

Don't you love the mustache? They were put out on the bar and everyone had a lot of fun with them.

I love that the bride wore RED shoes......

These two handsome gentlemen were sitting next to me at my table. They have been together for 30 years and got married last year. The Countess adored them; especially when they told me that they would make sure that my glass of scotch was always full ;)

At the afterparty in 'the cottage' the two mothers, Michelle and Nancy, sat together to compare notes.....

I will close with a picture of Sir Ryan, First Knight of Quincy, on his knees to receive his knighthood. My newest Knight in my service.....

The party continued with brunch on Sunday. It was just the perfect kind of wedding....a celebration of love and happiness that was felt by each guest. I wish I could include everyone in this post but it is long enough, I think. You know who you are and know where the rest of the pictures are ;)
Countess Bedelia 10/23/2009 08:18:00 AM | 0 comments |

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Football Tailgate Party and more...

Sometimes I just need to hang out at the Castle Bedelia and get my s**t together. When you are traveling all the time, it just becomes a little tedious. So after my adventure in New York City, I settled into the Castle, ordered the servants around, and managed to hang up a few outfits.

Of course all it took to get me going was a text from Davo, Duke of the Shire, inviting me to attend a production of "The Laramie Project, Epilogue" which was happening on Monday, October 12th, at theaters across the country in memory of the horrible tragedy of the death of Matthew Sheppard. We attended the matinee performance at the Barrington Stage Co in Pittsfield. So very moving and thought provoking.

You might recall that I was privileged to meet Judy Sheppard one day in Ft. Lauderdale. I was so humbled to talk with this sweet, soft-spoken woman.

A woman who had lost her son in a horrific crime and chose to make his life mean something positive instead of just a statistic. Because of Judy Sheppard, millions of Americans are more aware of GLTB crimes and there is a Hate Crimes bill before our national legislature that just might get passed...finally.

Also this past weekend I was invited to a Football Party. Some cynics might scoff at the idea of The Countess attending a Football Party but I remind you....I do have sons.....Haha, you jest! No, really. Once upon a time The Countess was someone's mother. I went to Little League games, Pop Warner football games, and hockey practice at the local rink at 4 am. Oh yes, I am a mere you have all suspected.

My dear friend Tom....a fellow scotch drinker, invited me to his annual away game tailgate party. Tom cooked up an enormous pork roast on the grill as well as much delicious chicken. There were homebaked beans, salads, dips, much food!!!!

Here is The Countess with my new friend, Leslie....

Brianne and Sean are making sure that Murray, the dog, is behaving.....

A group photo showing that "Points is Points"....

Unfortunately the home team, The New England Patriots, lost that game. I hope it wasn't because I was at the party!!
Countess Bedelia 10/15/2009 11:07:00 PM | 2 comments |

Mama Freddie turns 75!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Bridgett's mother's birthday was happening and the dear lady was in Iowa; so The Countess was asked to stand in for the fortunate woman and be a part of Bridget's comedy act. Sooooo much fun!!!

Bridget Everett and The Countess

The boys got me up to dance....

She started singing "You are so me...." so sweet!

But then she started climbing up my back and humping me!

By that time Bridget was taking off my clothes!!!

We brought down the house! The Ritz Bar will never be the same. Stop in next week for more outrageous behavior at Sideshow on Sunday night !!!
Countess Bedelia 10/15/2009 10:50:00 PM | 1 comments |

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

On the Yellow Brick Road to Oz and back again.....

Hello dear readers! The Countess has been here, there, and everywhere since I last posted.

I did return to the Berkshires for a quick visit. Rumpy's Tavern always is the place to be on a Thursday night for karaoke. Even The Countess sings now and then.....

Then the next night Davo and I went to see 'Red Remembers' at the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

A wonderful play....especially if you are a baseball fan and remember the golden days when radio was the medium that you used to 'see' a baseball game. Red Barber was the voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers and he used to paint pictures with words to describe the action and play by play. Television changed all that and today we live in a different world filled with information overload, but back then, radio was your ticket out of your humdrum world and into the major leagues.

Then it was off to New York City! I can't tell you how excited I was to return to the Big Apple after being away from the city all summer. As much as I love my time in the bucolic beautiful Berkshires, I miss the hustle and bustle of the city.

First night was my party at Joe's Pub to see the Our Hit Parade show performed by my friends Bridget Everett, Neal Medlyn, and Kenny Mellman. This started out as a fun thing to do last March when my friend, Jenn Harris, was going to perform in this cabaret for the first time. We had a table for four that night and we all loved the show and had a great time. This past Wednesday I had a table for fourteen and squeezed in a few more....probably 20 of us altogether.

Matt and Daiva are my great friends who hang with me around town. They are Besties and have known each other since they were about 12. Imagine meeting that young, going on to college and theater careers and still being roommates and best friends! Matt has a short film, "Curious Thing", that is premiering at the Miami Short Film Festival in mid-November...

Sadie and Laura came into town all the way from the Berkshires. We had talked about this during the summer because a couple of their friends sometimes perform at Joe's Pub. They had such a good time that they want to do this again!!! Here they are with one of our friends who talked them into coming to the city for Our Hit Parade....

I had a couple of cancellations due to the awful cold/cough thing going around, so I called up Arne who was one the Berkshire Theatre Festival apprentices this summer, and asked him if he would like a night out on the town. The Countess had such fun with all the apprentices and interns this year and it is such a treat to keep in touch with them during the year. Arne is such a talented young man and I think he got some ideas about marketing an act from the amazing people performing at Joe's Pub that night. The picture is a little blurry but I think you can see what a handsome young man Arne is.....

Here is Jenn Harris getting her act ready with Jim Andrelis. Watch out! The Barbies and cake came out after I took this was insane!

That night I also got to meet Matt's boyfriend, Travis, and see my pal Russ, who takes all the videos of the performances at Our Hit Parade.

The next night I saw "A Steady Rain" starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The hottest ticket on Broadway and I was sitting in the 5th row Center!! OK, I will admit that I did turn into a 13 year old girl when faced with Wolverine and James Bond in one room! My friend, CJ Wilson, is Daniel's understudy. We went out for drinks after the play and he entertained me with some will just have to use your imagination!!

Friday I met up with the beautiful Stephanie and we went to see "Superior Donuts". This play had just opened the night before to rave reviews. I can only add to them. It was a stellar performance. Tracy Letts (the playwright) has trumped his own success with 'August, Osage County'.

On Sunday, after a wonderful dinner with a special friend, I went over to the Ritz Bar on 46th St for Bridget Everett's SideShow. It was Bridget's mother's 75th birthday and she had written a comedy skit about the occasion. Since her mother was in Iowa, she asked me to play the part. Needless to say, I was the star of the show!! So much fun! The boys were all asking me to dance in honor of my birthday...and don't I look damn good for 75!!!

There were pictures taken and I will add them later when they are available.

Such a wonderful visit to New York City. The Countess is greatful to all her friends in the city who make time to share with me. From actors in Broadway shows to cabaret singers, I am blessed with friends everywhere I go. Thank you all.
Countess Bedelia 10/07/2009 12:28:00 AM | 1 comments |