Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ode to old bags

Note: By "old bags" I'm referring to cranky old British ladies in movies and TV.

Here's to the cranks and the old sassy crones
Here's to the ladies and their big fancy homes
Here's to their rotten kids and festooned little dogs
Here's to their fat hats and all their ritzy togs
Most of all here's to me for writing this to them
And for how I am a dear, a darling, and a shiny little gem

That was partially an ode to me, but whatever. I really like matriarch type mean ladies from period pieces. They have money, attitude and style. They're usually pretty nasty, which makes them fairly interesting. Though most of the time if you're a jerk in real life I'm not gonna like you. Unless we're being jerks together behind someone else's back. You shouldn't be a turd to someone's face. That's just rude and smelly.
Just look at Dame Judi Dench. First off, in real life she's a dame so she's already basically a champion of life. Then she nails playing the domineering captain of film on several occasions. We have her in The Importance of Being Earnest always trying to shut everyone down and succeeding most of the time. She's a power player.
In Pride and Prejudice she does it again. Just look at the size of her 'do. Look how serious she is. This is who we ladies need to aspire to. She totally doesn't want anyone to have any fun at all in this movie. Once again, she almost succeeds! She never quite manages to totally ruin everyone's good time in film..or does she??
She does. She does it in Shakespeare in Love. She totally ruins Shakespeare's love life, insults people in public, tramps through mud puddles and makes a chick move to a new world that's across an entire ocean for no good reason. Judi has got it going on. Why can't more people be like Judi is in all these movies? Sure, she never really smiles or seems to have that great a time, but how can you be worried about fun and games when you're busy being rich and heavily coiffed??

Next, let us hop on over to Cranford. A miniseries in which Judi appears, but plays not the rotten old bag but the nicest lil lady in town. However, no British town ever went without an old bag of its very own and Cranford is no exception. Just check out Lady Ludlow:
Just kidding. That's a cow in pajamas. I just wanted you all to know you must watch Cranford because there's a cow in pajamas on the show. COW IN PAJAMAS. Here's real Lady Ludlow who is not cow-like at all:
She really is a mean old poop. Her son is an even bigger poop. But as far as mean old poops go, she's pretty cool. Physically, she's not exactly a tough old bird, seeing as how she's pretty spindly and weak most of the time, but she's got a supercool house and totally doesn't want to sell her land to a railway company so they can destroy her feudal empire. She's like a fortress of a lady. Cranford is also home to Mrs. Jamieson and her wonderful dog Giuseppe.

They are both always dressed to the nines and Mrs. Jamieson travels in a chair/hut thing that's carried around by two guys. Kind of wonderful. She's really horrible to her friends - especially when she tells them all that their not good enough to meet her sister-in-law. Poor Giuseppe probably didn't feel that way, but what's he supposed to do? He's busy wearing a dress and a bow in his hair. Mrs. Jamieson gets her comeuppance though. But without ladies like Mrs. Jamieson we wouldn't even know what comeuppance is! So thank you to the Mrs. Jamieson's of the world and your comeuppances. Oh, and hey look it's Tim Curry.
Looking like as chubby a magician grinch as ever.

Then another Dame. The great Dame Maggie Smith. What's with these dames having such informal first names? Shouldn't it be Dame Judith Dench? Dame Magaret Smith? What's next - Dame Tootie Ramsey?
I don't think so, Tootie. Anyway. Maggie Smith. She hits up the old crank role about as much as Judi. We got her in Gosford Park:

Just look how unhappy the chick is doing up her necklace. And look how much like a snippety bird Maggie is. I want some unhappy loser to do up my necklaces for me. And tie my shoes and cut my spaghettis. A gal can dream...dream I do.  I do. Mags is also a firecracker in Downton Abbey. Which for a really long time I thought was spelled Downtown Abbey but pronounced Downton. Which is dumb and makes no sense. But that's ME. I'm LAURA. I'm dumb. I make no sense. Just kidding. I'm cool and smart. Like a cow in pajamas.
Look how commanding she is. A powerful lady should always have a powerful hat. Back in the olden days the bigger their head or the thing on it, the more powerful they were. 

When I'm a mature and terrifyingly wealthy and iron-fisted lady, I will have the biggest hat you've ever seen. The biggest hat you've ever dreamed. You can count on it. But I won't let you. I won't let you count. At all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

from the doodlebooks - all about eve edition

I began writing this post many moons ago and promptly forgot about it. I've forgotten most of what happens in All About Eve but I still wanted to share this bit I wrote at the time. You should always share what you learn even if it is very little and poorly remembered. I have italicized edits made to this post since it was written many moons ago, so basically the one sentence that explains why this Notes & Hot Tips posting is different than all other N&HT postings. Enjoy!!

Catalyzed by my post about Netflix, I finally watched All About Eve, which had been sitting in my Queue probably since 2008.  Or whenever Queues were born.  And I'm so glad I finally watched it.  There are so many useful life lessons - if you remember my previous posts about how movies inspire personal living -

Bunny Lake is Missing

I've given some really great NotesHot Tips.  So I'm bringing that format back.  Let us begin with this latest incarnation of that: 
NOTE - When confronting a conniving crazy lady such as Eve Harrington, be sure to be drunk at a party.  There is no better confrontation than a drunk one.
HOT TIP - On second thought, there is no better confrontation to watch than drunk one where one of the parties involved is Margo Channing.  I mean Bette Davis.  Oh - hey - check out who the sophisticated spectator is here!  Right in between the confronters.  It's MM!  Way to go, Marilyn Monroe.  Way to sit on those stairs and stay classy and passive.  Way to try and slut your way into a role in Max Fabien's stage play.  Way to be, MM.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

i am surprised

Agatha Christie is not only better at being British than I am, but is also a better surfer. Yes, surfer.
What a cool lady.
Who knew?? I totally stink at surfing. Or I did that one time I tried it. Way to go, Agatha. Way to go.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

parties I wish I went to

I don't like parties a lot of the time. They're filled with bad drinks, no snacks/bad snacks, real dumb bunny type folks and the music is nothing I'm gonna shake my stick about.

Is it too much to ask that a party be superfun and superpretty with supergood music and everyone looks supergreat and is superinteresting? I think not. Here are some parties I wish I could've gone to.

Let's start with Harry Potter. I think any party set up by wizards is bound to be classy and fantastic.
Firstly, check out that decor. It's snowing and there are ice towers on the tables. I bet they aren't even cold. Since it's magic snow and ice. And I doubt those wizards would want to keep their coats on the entire evening.
Check it - floating jack o'lanterns. I never done seen nothing like that at no Hallo'weene party. But I'd like to. I'd really like to. I love all things pumpkin: pumpkins, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin candles. Pumpkinetc.
And you get to dress all weird and everyone's magic. So you're going to have a good time whether you like it or not. You would get some tasty food and the crowd would be all wizardy so they'd probably be interesting, even if they were boring. Plus these drinks basically look like the most delicious fun things ever:

The fashion show from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead also looked like a soiree at which to be.
They set up a gosh-darned runway over the pool. And just at look at what they sent down the runway. Check out the musicians in the background and those sassy party lights! Who wouldn't want an invitation to this extravaganza?
Take a look at that crowd! All those ruffled sleeves! That one dude in front who vaguely, very vaguely, looks like Tommy Lee Jones! And check out Sue Ellen's (Christina Applegate for those of you who haven't seen this masterpiece but should go do so now) friends! They're like Troop Beverly Hills girls slightly more grown up. I would love to talk to all these people.

Speaking of Troop Beverly Hills - Phyllis Nefler knows how to throw a party. This is her at a fundraiser. Wilderness Girls walk around offering guests cigars, cigarettes, or cookies. If those aren't three aren't a three-way match made in three-way heaven, well, I guess I don't know my three-ways. She's also wearing my 2nd favorite hat ever to appear in a film. Look how long that feather is! So long. So very long.
In the next photo we see Phyllis at another Wilderness fete. She does one of my all-time favorite party activities, which is fall in a pool. She thinks she's drowning until she realizes it's only about three feet deep.
And just look at her dress. I just want to be where that thing is.
She also throws a party on a yacht. And even though one party on a yacht I went to really stank worse than a hobo's rat-ridden boat, another party I went to on a yacht was pretty neat. And if Phyllis is throwing the party I know I wanna be there.

And finally there's that party in Everyone Says I Love You. Who wouldn't want to go to a party where everyone dresses like Groucho and there are French people singing and dancing??
So if you're gonna throw a party like any of these parties, let me know and I'll show up with a hostess gift or some fruit salad or something.