Paco and I are down to hours before we head off over the pond for a month! We've been planning and anticipating and saving for a very long time. Every time one of us sneezes or trips over a rug or has intestinal gas, I panic that we have pneumonia, or a broken neck, or gout. Here's a quick and dirty itinerary:
Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest (Paco says if I'm needing some space by then, he'll go to Buda, and I can go to Pest), Vienna, Innsbruck, Salzburg (I love Austria best of all), Interlaken, Zermott, Paris, and finishing up in Reykjavik. We have daytrips and sidewinders as well (Brno, Czech Republic--see, we needn't carry along any extra vowels; Lauterbrunnen; Giverny--where I've been trying to get for about 70 years; Loire Valley-- a repeat for me but not Paco; Belgian villages, but mostly waffles; and some other places. We've been squirreling money away into our "perfume account", so that when that moment arrives we'll be Boy Scout ready!! Google "Glacier Express" and then listen for my Commanche warwhoop coming from a general Switzerlanderly direction in a couple of weeks as well. I've packed my Kindle and my knitting. Paco has business cards for his website. Originally he had packed a box and a half which equaled over 750 cards--I talked him down to a handful.
Disclaimer: People who post about exotic trips probably ought to be shuffled off to a guillotine. In this case, please know that this is the celebration of 15 years of marriage by two people who collided in the universe--neither of them thinking at the time that life was pulling much in their direction...this trip is a joint dream come true. See you in a few!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
First of all, raise your right hand and tell me you'll promise to get this whole documentary somewhere--amazon prime, hulu, Netflix--just get it. It is indescribable. You have never met anyone like Bill Cunningham.
Had I not stayed in my pajamas until well after 6 P.M. (I only threw on something else--actually just a top because the alpacas were loping down the road and I had to assist), I would never have been lounging in front of the computer. Had I not finished all of Grey's Anatomy humanly possible to watch without paying money, I would never have been scrolling for something else to see. Had I not declared today a holiday after I studied for an exam for nearly 6 hours, I would have been cleaning out a cellar or toting this or that here or there. The planets aligned. I randomly found Bill.
Bill Cunningham dropped out of Harvard and ended up making ladies' hats in NYC. From there he was drafted. Then he picked up a camera and has been documenting fashion for nearly 60 years since. He lived in an apartment in Carnegie Hall sans kitchen, bathroom, and closets--it was wall to wall filing cabinets of negatives with a make-shift bed laid out over what look to be a couple of cans. Then Carnegie decided to oust all their artsy-fartsie 40 year residents for some reason. Just recently Carnegie Hall relocated him to the 9th floor of a ritzy apartment building overlooking Central Park. Bill had them remove all the kitchen cabinets and appliances in his new digs to create space for his filing cabinets. He dines on the cheapest sandwiches and refuses food at the hundreds and hundreds of fashion events he attends. Food means absolutely nothing to him. Nor does his own fashion. He wears simple khakis, a neutral sweater, and a blue pocketed smock thing everywhere he goes (including affairs in HIS honor!) because his camera tears his clothing. He goes to mass weekly (he teared up and put his head down when the interviewer asked him about his religious life) and has never had a romantic interest. Claims he never had time for it and just didn't think about it. He rides a bike everywhere he goes and commented he was on #29--the previous 28 having been stolen.
Lest you've brushed him off as an eccentric, let me hasten to add that Bill is a regular columnist for the New York Times and has received prestigious awards for his photographic excellence from the masters all over the world--most notably Paris. He is a true egalitarian--his friends include the likes of Brooke Astor as well as Who's Who in the fashion industry and on down. If he passed you pedaling around in Manhattan, you might think, "Sheesh. Be careful, old guy."
Watch this. Let me know if you fell in love with him like I did. He's a treasure indeed. Who knew I could have a thing for an octagenarian?
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
of, relating to, or occurring in the spring
fresh or new like the spring; also : youthful
I get a word a day from Webster's in my email. I mean to print them on index cards and place them around my world in hopes of expanding my vocabulary. So far all I've done is mentally file them away, but today's word demanded some attention. As I write this, I'm gazing out the office window to the west where dark clouds seem to be gathering. I detect a rim of fog, and if I squint I can see what very well could be snow in the mountains above Paris. New snow. May Day.
Bona fide Brrrrrrrrrr Lakers don't put much stock in spring as a season. We'd much prefer to acknowledge 3 seasons and be off about our business--bundled up in polar fleece. Some "Springs" here come and go in a matter of hours--beginning and ending in the time it takes to shake a rug or two. "Oh no! I slept through spring!" "Blasted! Spring came while I was in the shower??" "I used my Spring this year to sweep off the deck!" We can sink our teeth into winter and lollygag us some autumn days away ad nauseum, and summer...now, summer--it brings out the pagan in us all. We worship it unabashedly.
I've made my peace with Spring. I promise not to torment it if it promises not to torment me. I don't expect much out of it. Ever. If it gives me a day here or an hour there, I'll take it. BUT, I also refuse to be Spring's Fool. I won't be surprised by its antics--snow right up to (and sometimes ON) the 4th of July, freezing winds to bring in May, buds on the trees a full month after the rest of the planet, ice on windshields, and any and all nasty little black clouds coming out of nowhere anytime anyplace.
Back to vernal. I'm double checking that definition. A closer look reveals no guarantee of warmth or green anything. Picking out "fresh, new and youthful" as the key words. I'll get back to you on this, but at first glance I'm suspecting YET AGAIN, that it's all a matter of attitude. Drat. I keep coming back to that. I shall go my merry vernal way today, then, and carry spring in my heart. I guess.